Friday, August 22, 2008

Loose Feathers #163

Dunlin and Western Sandpipers / Photo by Carla Stanley (USFWS)

News about birds
  • French ornithologists have done annual bird population surveys since 1989. The surveys show that birds are shifting their ranges in response to climate change, but that they lag well behind the temperature changes.
  • A psychologist has found evidence that a magpie can recognize itself in a mirror. Previously, self-recognition was believed to be a unique trait of mammals.
  • Human visitors have introduced a parasite that could cause avian malaria to the Gal├ípagos Islands. Avian malaria has contributed to extinctions in Hawai'i. Tourism is also bringing invasive insects.
  • Several species of Peruvian seabirds are in need of protection. The causes of their decline range from coastal development near breeding areas to longline fishing. The country has economic reason to protect the seabirds nesting at its guano islands, which are an important source of fertilizer.
  • The RSPB is creating new wetlands for lapwings and redshanks with a "big wheel rotary ditcher," a farm machine imported from the U.S.
  • Stone Harbor (NJ) had to pay a $250,000 fine to the National Wildlife Federation for damaging bird habitat; that money will go to build bird watching platforms at Stone Harbor Point and to fund a conservation management plan.
Birds in the blogosphere
News about the environment
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