Friday, January 19, 2007

Loose Feathers #82

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

  • The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeal of a decision that would set daily limits for pollutants dumped into the Anacostia River. The EPA will need to draw up new guidelines for local agencies such as the WASA.
  • Maryland has posted a list of the top ten actions you can take to improve the local environment.
  • Delaware is considering an offshore wind project as a new source of electricity. The impact this may have on local and migrant sea birds will need to be monitored.
  • One of the more unusual photos I have seen this week is this one of a red-tailed hawk hunting a kestrel. (Via Birderblog)
  • Meanwhile, here is a great blue heron carrying a dead squirrel.
  • Plus a photo of a red-tailed hawk and bald eagle in an aerial dispute.
  • According to a recent study, exurban areas provide better habitat for birds than tree plantations.
  • Birds are in decline in the Sahel of West Africa. Ostriches and bustards have been particularly hard-hit. Overhunting of wild mammals and habitat degradation from agricultural expansion are blamed for the declines.
  • Many bird species in Ireland are in decline because of the booming economy and new development.
  • Hundreds of birds, including many unusual winter warblers, have been feeding at a pile of decomposing Brussels sprouts in California.
  • A rare golden eagle was shot in northern Italy. It may have been the last male in Val Biondino.
  • An Audubon report criticizes the slow pace of pollution cleanup in the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee.
  • Here, at least, is a success story of habitat restoration, from Cape Cod.
  • Here is a profile of a wildlife rescue clinic in Virginia.
  • Birds are being blamed for a building fire in West Virginia; fire marshals suspect that one brought a burning cigarette butt into its roost.
  • Democrats in Congress are pushing forward initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in the United States, with regulations similar to the cap-and-trade system used in Europe.
  • Budget cuts over the past ten years have made it more difficult for federal agencies to monitor the climate.
  • As a result of budget cuts, 27 positions are to be eliminated at National Wildlife Refuges and Wildlife Management Areas in Minnesota.
  • Uncharted islands have been revealed off the Greenland coast as glaciers retreat.
  • The pigeon deaths in Austin are being blamed on parasites and a cold snap.