Monday, February 13, 2006

Loose Feathers #22

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment.
  • Blue Ridge Gazette tells us that the National Park Service is restricting access to certain areas of the New River Gorge National River in West Virginia during peregrine falcon breeding season. The restricted access is part of a program to support the species that includes active monitoring of nest sites.
  • The Washington Post covered the Howard County Bird Club's mid-winter bird count last Saturday. Their count had similar goals to the canal count that I covered here, namely to establish the local populations of wintering birds between the end of fall migration and the beginning of spring migration.
  • Recent tests suggest that the influenza infecting birds in Nigeria was indeed carried there by migratory wild birds. What this means remains to be seen, but it should not be a reason for hysteria, yet.
  • Cornell is reporting that there have been several possible encounters with ivory-billed woodpeckers, including both visual and aural observations. In one case there may have been two birds. While cause for hope, the reports so far have not been fully confirmed.
  • Quail were in the news as supporting characters when Dick Cheney shot a man in a hunting accident. The victim appears to be okay; no word on what species of quail was involved. If it was a species native to the Austin area, northern bobwhite might be most likely, but we know that Cheney likes to participate in canned hunts, so it could be any species. (Link to firedoglake via Pharyngula.) UPDATE: This Post story about the reaction to the story in Washington is accompanied by a picture of a northern bobwhite.