This week in birds - #559

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

Perhaps the most popular of backyard birds in North America - the Northern Cardinal, in this case, the showy male. But for my money, the more delicately colored female may be even more attractive.

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Southern Californians and Nevadans have had their hands more than full fighting wildfires recently

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At one year old, the U.S. climate law is already having a major impact on encouraging the production of clean energy.

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The world is moving toward deep-sea mining and so far there are no rules to regulate it.

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Protecting krill will help to preserve the whole ecosystem of which they are a part.

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August is a great month to be a sky-watcher. With the Perseid meteor shower and not one but two "blue moons," there's a lot going on up there.

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Have the roles of women in the ancient world been misinterpreted? Since most of that interpretation has been done by men, I'd say there is a distinct possibility!

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It's winter in South America now but some areas are experiencing temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Otis the grizzly has returned to Katmai National Park in Alaska to feast on its salmon and that is good news to his many fans - if not to the salmon.

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In an urgent attempt to save Florida's coral from excessive heat in the ocean, teams are moving some of it out of the sea and into tanks where it can be protected.

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And scientists describe that ocean heat as "astonishing." It has set record highs this year. It seems that we are now in the era of "global boiling."

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It's winter in Antarctica but the production of sea ice is at a very concerning record low.

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As the production of sea ice diminishes, the sea level rises.

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One effort to repair damage to the environment involves rebuilding coral reefs.

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It is estimated that there are more than 900 at-risk species that still lack international trade protections.

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Power lines are a danger to birds but not because they might be electrocuted - because they might be shot while sitting on them.

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Jellyfish have been floating around Earth's oceans for a very long time. A 505 million-year-old fossil proves it. 

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This is the Kākāpō, the world's only flightless parrot. It has teetered on the edge of extinction for decades, but efforts to save it have now resulted in its return to its native land of New Zealand.

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When I studied world history in college (about a hundred years ago), we learned about the "Fertile Crescent." Sadly, it seems that it has now become the infertile crescent.

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But there is actually some good news; Amazon deforestation has fallen by more than 60% compared to last July.

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And date palms are absolutely thriving in Arizona's desert heat.

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This is the gorgeous 
‘Apapane, a bird of Hawaii and the American Bird Conservancy's Bird of the Week.

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The Blackfeet tribe has been instrumental in returning the American buffalo, the bison, to its native habitat.

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Fall migration is already underway and the Purple Martins are gathering in Nashville.

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President Biden has designated a new national monument near the Grand Canyon, an action that will prevent uranium mining there. 

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An ancient whale may have been the heaviest animal ever to exist on the planet. And in our own time, three humpback whales recently put on a remarkable ballet for the videographers. 

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Conservation efforts are facing a funding shortage but three bills in Congress could help close the gap.

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In our admiration for butterflies, we risk unappreciating their cousins, the moths.

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Hydrothermal vents in the ocean are habitats for some of the weirdest animals on Earth.

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Why would you want to attract bats to your yard? Why wouldn't you? They are amazing and useful creatures.  

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Finally, a man in Kansas planted more than a million sunflowers as a 50th-anniversary gift to his wife. I like his thinking!

Comments

  1. Welcome back. Dorothy. Saturday morning now seems like Saturday morning! I have read so much depressing environmental stuff recently that I think it’s pretty safe to say that we are doomed. Nothing is going to save us now. The early notes of the Requiem for Humanity are now being heard and they are getting louder and building towards a crescendo. It’s over!

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  2. What a wonderful surprise for a 50th anniversary!

    I'd love to know more about moths. The study I participate in only includes butterflies.

    I'm happy you have returned, Dorothy. Perhaps, as David says, we are as doomed as the Titanic, but I'm glad you offer us some lovely violin music to listen to as we sink.

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  3. Welcome back, Dorothy. As a long time reader of science fiction, I long wondered why there didn’t seem to be intelligent life contacting us. Now I wonder if any intelligent life destroys itself. I , too, am pessimistic about our future but I was amazed at that flightless parrot. I love Northern cardinals, male, female and juvenile.

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  4. I'm so glad Biden designated that national monument. The Grand Canyon should be left alone, and all sorts of people have been wanting to rip it apart for decades.

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