Red Knot (in nonbreeding plumage) / Photo by Gregory Breese (USFWS)
Birds and birding news
- During the Tribute of Light on the anniversary of 9/11, the lights were turned off and on five times during the night because migratory birds (up to 10,000) had become trapped in the light beams. NYC Audubon alerted the Municipal Art Society whenever ground observers noticed the problem and shutting off the lights briefly dispersed whatever birds were there. Birds get trapped in city lights because they use the stars and moon to navigate; cloudy nights like last Saturday can be especially confusing.
- A fossil bird with a 17-foot wingspan and pseudoteeth on its bill was found in Chile.
- The Palila, an endemic Hawaiian bird, lost almost 75% of its population since 2003 because of habitat degradation from introduced sheep and goats and predation from feral cats. The state is going to try moving the sheep and goats out of the bird's critical habitat.
- A recent survey found 429 White-shouldered Ibises in Cambodia, the highest-ever count of that Critically Endangered species.
- Birding is the second-fastest growing hobby in the U.S.
- Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources plans to reimburse hunters for non-lead ammunition as long as they commit to using it in areas of the state populated by California Condors.
- The Nature Conservancy of Canada is injecting a heart rot fungus into healthy trees to create more nesting habitat for Lewis's Woodpeckers, which are a threatened species in Canada.
- A Red-backed Shrike is breeding in the UK for the first time since the early 1990s.
- Not Exactly Rocket Science: Fishing for fat: why learning to use tools is worth it for the New Caledonian crow
- Coffee and Conservation: Know your coffee birds: Black-and-white Warbler
- Suncor is trying to reclaim one of its toxic tailings ponds by moving most of the liquid to other tailings ponds, filling in the pond, and replanting it with trees and shrubs. Tailings ponds hold waste liquid produced as a by product of oil sands mining.
- Arctic sea ice reached its third-lowest minimum extent in 2010. The extent of sea ice shrank rapidly in the first half of the summer, but then the rate of shrinking slowed. The lowest minimum sea ice extent occurred in 2007.
- The annual dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a massive fish kill. It is not clear whether oil contributed to the kill.
- According to polling over the past decade, women are more likely than men to accept the scientific consensus on climate change.