Sunday, January 15, 2006

Loose Feathers #17

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment.
  • An emergency petition to have the red knot listed as an endangered species has been denied, but the USFWS is still reviewing the bird's status under its normal protocol. Officials and scientists in New Jersey worry that this shorebird could disappear from the state's beaches within a few years if more radical action is not taken.
  • Jeff Reiter narrates a recent experience with car birding in search of lapland longspurs and snow buntings.
  • The USDA's maps of plant hardiness ranges provide yet another indication that the earth is warming. Plant ranges have moved significantly northward over the past fourteen years. See Creek Running North (with maps) and Science and Sarcasm for additional commentary.
  • The Philly Inquirer reports on the 20th Mid-Winter Bird Census, run by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club.
Blogging News
  • Many popular blogs have migrated to a new server,, including two in my sidebar: Pharyngula and Living the Scientific Life.
  • I am experimenting with an offline blogging program called Qumana. This has some advantages over the Blogger interface, especially the ability to compose longer posts without having to worry about Blogger losing them or timing out. Unfortunately, because of Blogger's limitations, I still cannot upload images with that program and need to do it through Blogger's web interface. This post, meanwhile, was composed with Performancing, which I prefer for linkage posts like this one.
  • Meanwhile, Thunderbird 1.5 was just released. Thunderbird is the open source alternative to Outlook and Outlook Express as a stand-alone desktop email client.
  • This blog will soon have a revised template. Nothing really big is in the works, but there are some changes I have been wanting to make.