This week in birds - #516

 A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment:

Here's a Common Nighthawk assuming that he is invisible, which he almost is with his cryptic coloring. 

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The big news in the world's environment this week was the deadly floods in Pakistan that have so far killed more than 1,100 people.

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And elsewhere in the world, many areas, including the American West, are enduring brutal heat waves. 

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The extreme weather is, of course, exacerbated by climate change and climate change has also had an effect on the Pacific Crest Trail, a popular venue for serious hikers that runs from Mexico to Canada. 

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An algal bloom on San Francisco Bay has killed thousands of fish and resulted in their dead bodies washing up on the edges of the bay and creating a putrid stench in nearby neighborhoods.

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In the deep ocean, about 600 to 800 meters down, there lives a fish called the barreleye which has a transparent head and extremely light-sensitive eyes that it can rotate in the transparent canopy.

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And elsewhere in the ocean, male dolphins form lifelong bonds and complex alliances that help them to repel rivals for females.

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While Pakistan is being flooded, elsewhere in Asia China is suffering a severe drought that has crippled its huge hydroelectric dams.

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Negotiations for a treaty to protect the world's oceans have stalled and time is running out to give them the protection they need. 

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A bird of the prairie, the Western Meadowlark, is the American Bird Conservancy's Bird of the Week.

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The climate phenomenon called La Nina is expected to continue through the end of this year, according to U.N. climate scientists.

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The fifteenth conference of the world's nations on climate change, called Cop15, will take place in Montreal in December.

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Deforesters are plundering the Amazon region and the government of Brazil is letting them do it.

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Also in Brazil, the last member of an Indigenous group has died meaning that that group is now extinct.

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The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act should set the stage for a boom in renewable energy in the United States.

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There is no longer any way of stopping the partial melting of the Greenland ice sheet and that will trigger a foot of global sea-level rise.

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Dinosaur remains discovered in a back garden in Portugal may prove to be the largest sauropod yet found in Europe.

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And next door in Spain, extreme drought has uncovered a prehistoric stone circle that is being referred to as Spain's Stonehenge.

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Paleontologists have identified the earliest-to-date fossil record of a placental mammal. It dates to about 62 million years ago.

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A new study has confirmed that there is a long-lost branch of the Nile River that was instrumental in aiding in the construction of the pyramids by providing a transportation route for the large stones that were used. 

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Octopuses are very intelligent creatures, but in the United States, there are no laws protecting them as subjects for researchers.

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Margaret Renkl notes the coming end of summer.





Comments

  1. Today I saw some really awesome nature news about the Netherlands. The wolf is back in our country! Which is really good for the natural balance of some animals :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Predators are an essential part of maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

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  2. Hello, Dorothy, and thank you for the weekly roundup. The fact that negotiations to protect the oceans have stalled comes as no surprise, does it? Every nation displays its petty greed and self-interest and loses sight of the goal that would benefit all of humanity and the world's wildlife. I am quite sure that Cop15 in Montreal will produce soaring rhetoric and lofty promises, followed by the failure of nations to honour their commitments. It has happened every time so far. In my own country, we have never met one of the targets we have set - ever.

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    Replies
    1. Nevertheless, I wouldn't want to live in a world where no one acknowledges the needs for such goals. Even if they are not met perhaps the aspiration to meet them has some positive effect.

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  3. It would be wonderful if this conference on climate change led to some lasting adjustments in the way we all do things. I'm not too hopeful, at this point, however.

    I've been hearing a lot about recent fossil finds but these are new to me. Thank you, Dorothy.

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    Replies
    1. It is always interesting to contemplate what secrets may be hiding under the earth in the form of fossils.

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  4. All this talk of climate change but no significant action makes me sad.. That Western Meadowlark is a beauty. After reading Remarkable Bright Creatures (yes is fiction but turned me on to reading more about this beautiful, intelligent creature. I was surprised to read that no laws are in effect here. Thank you for keeping us informed.

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    Replies
    1. Octopuses truly are remarkably bright just as the title of that excellent novel suggests.

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  5. We have been enjoying the American Goldfinches coming to the backyard sunflowers, now the seeds are visible.

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    1. I always look forward to the return of the goldfinches in winter. They generally arrive here in December and my feeders will be stocked and waiting for them!

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  6. The bird really does blend into its surroundings!
    Happy Labor Day weekend!

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  7. I would love to have seen the Nile in it's prime like the picture the artist did. Just amazing.

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  8. I love meadowlarks. I don't care if they're eastern or western ones. I remember sitting on a tree stump outside Eager, Arizona one gorgeous winter afternoon. While I watched the antics of the residents of a prairie dog town, I was being serenaded by a western meadowlark. A little slice of heaven!

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    Replies
    1. I have a hard time telling them apart actually and they are both beautiful.

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  9. I enjoyed the pyramids story about transporting stones via the Nile River ... they had long suspected that helped build the pyramids .... fascinating!

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    1. Well, it just makes sense and the ancient Egyptians were obviously very sensible people.

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