Friday, February 24, 2017

Loose Feathers #584

Black-footed Albatrosses / Photo by Eric VanderWerf/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, February 17, 2017

Loose Feathers #583

Short-eared Owl / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, February 10, 2017

Loose Feathers #582

Great Horned Owl / Photo by Susan Rachlin/USFWS
Birds and birding news
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Environment and biodiversity

Friday, February 03, 2017

Loose Feathers #581

Gulls fighting over crab / Bill Thompson/USFWS
Birds and birding news
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Environment and biodiversity

Friday, January 27, 2017

Loose Feathers #580

Ring-necked Pheasant / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
  • The Boreal Songbird Initiative has started an acoustic monitoring program to get better information on the birds that inhabit the boreal forest. Some of the devices in the program are being maintained in collaboration with First Nations scientists. 
  • The Collared Flycatcher is evolving smaller white forehead patches, apparently in response to climate change.
  • The US Navy is trying to move a breeding colony of Laysan Albatrosses away from its airfield on Kauai by shifting fertile eggs to foster parents in a colony in a safer location.
  • The proposed expansion of the border wall with Mexico is primarily a human rights issue but also threatens migratory animals along the border; that includes 111 endangered species and 108 migratory birds according to an evaluation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Audubon has more on the effects on birds, particularly Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls.
  • There is a new Ivory-billed Woodpecker paper by a long-time searcher. See the summary by Audubon and the journal article. The evidence he presents is not very compelling.
  • Last fall, 3,000 geese died when they landed in a toxic retention pond at a former copper mine that is now a Superfund site. The toxic waters also threatens the region's groundwater, and it is unclear whether federal and state officials will be able to prevent it from becoming an even bigger problem.
  • Volunteers are cordoning off parts of state-owned beaches in New Jersey to protect birds and dune vegetation
  • Mary Tyler Moore is best known for her acting career, but late in life she campaigned to have the nest used by Pale Male restored after the building's management had it removed.
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, January 20, 2017

Loose Feathers #579

Oregon Dark-eyed Junco / Photo by Peter Pearsall/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, January 13, 2017

Loose Feathers #578

Greater Sage-Grouse / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, January 06, 2017

Loose Feathers #577

Golden Eagle / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
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Environment and biodiversity

Friday, December 30, 2016

Loose Feathers #576

Ring-necked Pheasant / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity
  • President Obama this week named two new national monuments, Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada. Coverage of the monuments has emphasized conservative opposition, but the same politicians complaining about overreach use parks and monuments to market their states. There may be a few more monument designations on the way.
  • The Obama administration's record on endangered species has been mixed; while many species have been delisted (a mark of successful conservation programs) and some backlog has been cleared, new rules have made it harder to nominate species for protection.
  • The National Whistleblower Center is launching a website to help people report wildlife crime, which often goes unreported or underinvestigated.
  • The deaths of four bears in Pennsylvania were probably caused by eating toxic berries from an English Yew, a nonnative ornamental shrub.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Loose Feathers #575

Barred Owl / Photo by Andy French/USFWS
Birds and birding news
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Environment and biodiversity