This week in birds - #569


A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment
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Dark-eyed Junco - a favorite winter visitor to my yard. They generally arrive here in late November/early December.

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The junco is one of the birds that might be appearing on my FeederWatch reports. Project FeederWatch begins on November 1. You can sign up here.

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So, the country gained a new Speaker of the House this week. A champion of fossil fuels and a doubter of human-caused climate change, he is not good news for anyone who cares about the environment.

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And in other sad news of and for the environment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week declared twenty-one species extinct.

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Unfortunately, protecting the land and environment is not always popular in some of the places that most need protecting.

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Yellowstone National Park represents one of this country's early efforts to protect the environment and one of its best-known attractions is home to an amazing diversity of microbial life.

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Here's a heartening story of how a farmer decided to turn his farm into a wildlife sanctuary.

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We know that plants can communicate with each other but how do they warn other plants when danger is near?

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The West Antarctic ice sheet is irreversibly melting and creating a rise in sea level as it does so.

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Domestic cats could evolve into the alpha predators of the future. As one who lives with cats, I do not doubt it.

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And here's some alarming news: Bird flu has reached the Antarctic for the first time.

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Chickens are a lot smarter than many people give them credit for. As someone who grew up with a farmyard full of chickens, I knew that!

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Global warming impacts the nonhuman world even as it impacts us.

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A beloved ancient pear tree, felled to make way for a highway, has a new life.

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The Turkey Vulture is the American Bird Conservancy's Bird of the Week. It is omnipresent in Southeast Texas skies, most often in the company of its cousin the Black Vulture, as well as, occasionally, the Caracara.

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A volcanic eruption in January 2022 was so intense that it temporarily depleted Earth's ozone layer.

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Sheep lawnmowers - could this catch on with the public? I really like the idea!

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And then there is the javelina which has its own ideas about lawn care.

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It turns out that our country provides a safe hiding place for the dirty money of environmental criminals.

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A charismatic species, the Burrowing Owl, is in population decline as are many grassland birds.

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A California otter, called 841, that became famous for harassing Santa Cruz surfers has given birth. She was photographed with her new pup this week. 

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Our cousins, the chimpanzees, go through menopause just like humans.

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There are two yellowlegs species - the Greater Yellowlegs and the Lesser Yellowlegs. It's not always easy to tell which is which.

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This will be the planet's warmest year on record and the heat records continue to be shattered.

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A twelve million-year-old great ape fossil could reveal clues about our origins. Scientists have reconstructed the fossil's face.

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A rewilding project in the U.K. is helping to bring endangered species back from the brink. 

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Barn Swallows - amazing flyers!

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American Flamingos are also amazing flyers but even they can be blown off course by hurricane winds. That's what happened to a couple that ended up in Chincoteague, Virginia recently. 







Comments

  1. Good morning, Dorothy. Thank you for the roundup. I trust that the weather is cooling off for you a little down there in the Texas furnace and that you are able to take long walks in pleasant conditions. The election of this right-wing, climate change denying, religious zealot as Speaker of the House of Representatives, is deeply concerning. In fact it’s a mystery how he can ever be elected in the first place, but that’s perhaps the classic illustration of why we are where we are today. Initially I thought that no one could be worse than Demagogue Jordan, but now I’m not so sure. All the best - David

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my! I almost missed signing up for Project Feederwatch. The link took me to the Canada site, though. I wonder if that is intentional.

    I've never had a Dark-eyed Junco at my feeder (to my knowledge) but I'll be on the lookout for one this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evidently I inadvertently used the Canada site link. I'll bet you have had juncos. They are actually pretty common here in winter - especially if we really have a wintry winter which, of course, some years we don't.

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  3. Wow a flamingo in Virginia! Oh my. That's terrific. How strange. I hope the two are safe and well. Other articles I notice are from the Guardian - perhaps you are a subscriber? They don't let you read too much there. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete

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