Friday, December 15, 2006

Loose Feathers #78

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment.

  • Recreational activities - even ones that seem to make nature more accessible - sometimes come into conflict with the needs of wild creatures, as in this case of a heron colony in Indiana.
  • In the weird story of the week, three chickens, three pigeons, and a fish were found beheaded and left in a bag on a beach in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
  • Speaking of pigeons, the mayor of London is involved in a fight to restrict pigeon-feeding in Trafalgar Square.
  • See here for criticism of the coverage of a scuffle between a boy and a red-tailed hawk. (And see here for the reporter's response.)
  • Not a bird, but here is a Mesozoic flying mammal.
  • Here is an interview with David Pimentel, a biofuels skeptic. Whether or not his assessment is correct, there are good reasons to question whether ethanol and similar products are adequate to supply U.S. energy needs.
  • Meanwhile, estimates of sea-level rise due to climate change may be too low.
  • Also on the carbon front, the ability of forests to sequester carbon dioxide depends heavily on the quality of the soil and the leaf cover on the forest floor. Deficient nutrients prevents trees from taking advantage of increased carbon levels.
  • Update on the mallard story: The cause turned out to be moldy grain, and now over 2,000 ducks have died.
DC News
  • Yesterday was the start of the Christmas Bird Count season for 2006-2007. Check the linked Audubon website for the bird counts in your area to participate.