This week in birds - #525

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

A common sight in Southeast Texas in the summer and fall - a pair of Cattle Egrets in a field.

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Maui is leading the way! A new ordinance has been implemented there that will control outdoor illumination at night and will help keep migrating birds safe.

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The prolonged drought has reduced the mighty Mississippi River to the status of a small stream in places and it has revealed shipwrecks, some of them from many decades ago. The shrinking of the river is having a serious impact in many places along its course. 

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What is the cause of these "fairy circles" in the African desert? Many theories abound.

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Environmentalists breathed a sigh of relief with the victory this week of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the presidential election in Brazil. He has promised to protect the Amazon rainforest and restore Brazil's leadership in environmental matters.

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Exposure to PFAS "forever chemicals" is widespread in this country. A study in North Carolina found nearly 100% of participants had been exposed to the chemicals. 

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This is the Lesser Prairie-Chicken. It is the American Bird Conservancy's Bird of the Week. Like many birds of the prairie, its numbers are decreasing.

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A Cop27 task force report this week warned that food companies and governments must come together to change agricultural practices or risk "destroying the planet."

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The Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is giving indications that an eruption may be imminent.

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Siberia is burning. The warming of the Arctic has led to extreme wildfire seasons in Siberia in recent years.

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Wind energy could be the wave of the future for the Gulf South.

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The last Chisos mountain oak, or lateleaf oak, was thought to have perished in 2011, but reports of its demise have proved premature. The tree has been found alive in Big Bend National Park.

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Gabon, in Central Africa, is turning to its rainforest for revenue while also promising to preserve the forest.

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Who are the biggest consumers of plastic on the planet? Why it is the blue whales who consume millions of particles of microplastic pollution every day. 

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China is emitting more greenhouse gases because they are burning more coal. The country is seeking a viable alternative that will not pollute the environment. 

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The National Park Service plans to rid one of Glacier National Park's coldest lakes of non-native trout in order to make it a refuge for a native variety. 

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Nations are failing to meet their promises in regard to controlling harmful emissions and that could be a serious problem for the planet.

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A Pinyon Jay enjoys a pinyon pine cone. These jays are decreasing in population throughout their range in the Southwest.

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In a speech this week, President Biden accused oil and gas companies of 'war profiteering' off Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


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Remember all the excitement a few years ago when there were reports that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker still lived in the swamps of Arkansas? There were never any verifiable sightings and eventually the excitement died. But there are still plenty of exciting species in those swamps and somewhere in there, there might even be an Ivory-billed.

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This tiny butterfly is called the Fender's blue and there is good news about it. The good news is: It exists! Not only that but its numbers are increasing. All of that is particularly good news because a few years ago, the species was presumed to be extinct.

Comments

  1. Hello Dorothy. Thank you for rounding me up again! The one spark of good new is that we have despatched Bolsonaro to the sidelines. Now if only we can do the same thing with Trump we will be making some progress. There have been rumours and hopes for Ivory-billed Woodpeckers for as long as I can remember it seems, but I am quite sure they are extinct. Even if there were a few left their inbreeding would doom the species anyway. I have held two skins though, one in Florida and the other at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, where they also have Carolina Parakeets. So sad that we eliminate species like this.

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    1. Indeed. For a supposedly intelligent species, we never seem to learn, do we?

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  2. Another thought-provoking round-up. Thanks for putting these together.

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  3. It always makes me happy to hear that a living thing like the Chisos mountain oak and the Fender's blue are not extinct but still managing to survive despite all the obstacles humans have put in their way.

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    1. Nature is persistent and finds a way, often in spite of us.

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  4. That article about the Fairy Circles is so interesting to read! And the picture is beautiful, even if the water stress story behind it is not a fun one.

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    1. The patterns made by the circles truly are amazing and still not completely understood, but I agree with you that the landscape is strikingly beautiful.

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