This week in birds - #577

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

This little bird has recently been causing quite a stir in South Texas. It is a bird of South America called a Fan-tailed Warbler and birders are traveling from far and wide to enjoy its presence in this country.

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The West is in the middle of experiencing a two-decade-long drought. Trees tell the story.

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Even the Amazon rainforest is in drought.

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And yet animals and plants do adapt to the changing conditions, as the Meadow Brown butterfly shows.

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Archaeologists have discovered remnants of ancient cities in the Amazon.

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In Scotland, hotter and wetter weather has led to declines in some of their iconic bird populations.

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You might want to invest in some earplugs, especially if you live in the Midwest. We will have two broods of cicadas emerging this summer - a virtual cicadapocalypse!

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Ten more species could soon be added to the Endangered Species List. Among them is a big bumblebee.

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Here is the "Week in Wildlife" in pictures.

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Bird populations are declining across the continent.

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An avian flu panzootic (pandemic among animals) has struck hundreds of animal species and humans could be next.

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Many aquifers are declining, but data indicates that this trend could be reversed.

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How do birds see the world? Scientists claim they can now show us.

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Coyotes are making a comeback in Florida. They have also begun to recolonize some other areas from which they had been extirpated.

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There is a huge deep-sea coral reef off the Atlantic coast of the United States and now it has been mapped.

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This little beauty is the American Bird Conservancy's Bird of the Week. It is the exquisitely named Fiery Topaz, a resident of the treetops of the lowland Amazonian rainforest. Its status is not clear but the population is probably decreasing.

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Scientists are tracking the travels of a woolly mammoth by examining the layers of her tusks.

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A beluga whale escaped captivity and now he is a global celebrity.

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Why are craters appearing in Siberia's tundra? The mystery may have been solved.

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The Greenland ice cap is losing a lot of ice and that is cause for concern.

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Bats are extremely clever in the ways they have devised to stay safe from predators.

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It may look like trash to you but to a hermit crab, it can look like home.

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Everything in Nature is connected, including ants and lions.

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This Mongolian lake is pristine and yet some of its inhabitants are struggling.

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The Pacific Flyway, which stretches from Alaska to the tip of South America, is the migration route for millions of birds each year.

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Could IVF be the key to saving the endangered northern white rhino?

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Genomic research on blue whale carcasses has revealed that there is less inbreeding in the species than scientists would have expected. 

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Here are some amazing pictures from Nature, winners in a photography contest.

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Engraving on a 2,000-year-old knife in Denmark may be the oldest known example of runes. 

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A Canadian climate change denier has been arrested and charged with setting at least thirteen wildfires.

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Invasive fire ants are making their way through Australia. (I remember when they first made it to Texas several years ago and there was so much hype and scary headlines all over the place. We had their mounds in our yard for a while but I rarely ever see them anymore.) 

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And speaking of Texas, its "green grid" may get a test if the anticipated winter storm develops early next week.

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Wild agave, used in making mezcal, is getting harder to find.  

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She aspired to have the ugliest lawn. Do you think she succeeded?





Comments

  1. On my wish list, birding in Texas. Lovely picture.

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    1. It is a great place for birders, especially along the coast and especially during migration. So, get that trip planned and come on down!

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  2. The Fan-tailed Warbler reminds me of a visit to Arizona many years ago when a vagrant of this species had been reported and the traffic around Patagonia was so heavy the police were called to clear the roads. Oh, those crazy birders! If your impression of a lawn is a manicured sheet of green then you might decide that she has an ugly lawn, but it’s not a conclusion I would jump to. Good for her, I say. Great to have you back, Dorothy. Thanks for the roundup. All the best - David

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    1. You are right to refer to them as "crazy birders." Birders can abandon all reason when a rare bird has been reported.

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  3. Texas is such a great place for birding! I can see why all the birders are flocking to see that cute fan-tailed warbler. Wish I lived closer, I'd come for a look, too. :D

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. It's a great place for birding, even in my own backyard.

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  4. I wish we had more lawns that looked like hers here in Phoenix. The number of people who moved here from the Midwest (and other places where lush green lawns are more the norm) and insist on making their desert properties look like the Midwest really chap my hide.

    Lots of good links to explore, Dorothy. Thanks so much for taking the time to put this together.

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    1. I think it is always important in landscaping to be true to the ecology of the area where you live. Around here, green lawns are the norm, although our front yard is pretty much a wasteland at the moment. I hope to change that soon.

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  5. I am not looking forward to the cicada event. It is going to be SO FREAKING LOUD! lol

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  6. I'd love to see the Fan-tailed Warbler. It looks like the warbler was in Brownsville for a while. While Brownsville is in Texas, it is still 355 miles away!

    It's interesting to me that butterflies are adapting to warmer weather. I hope all of us creatures can learn to adapt.

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    1. I envy those who have gotten a chance to see that visitor to our state. And as for adapting, I think many - maybe even most - creatures are making adaptations, even if we can't necessarily notice them just yet.

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  7. The ugly lawn story is a good one. I'm hoping the arsonist in Canada receives a lot of years behind bars for what he did but I fear he will get a light sentence. Like we really need an arsonist on top of the problems with fire already. How disturbing.

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