Friday, September 09, 2011

Loose Feathers #307

Eastern Meadowlark / Photo credit: Carlton Ward, Jr./

Birds and birding news
Nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity
  • This summer the U.S. experienced its second-hottest summer on record. Not all areas were equally affected by the record heat; the southern central part of the country experienced the worst heat, with Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana having their hottest summers on record while Texas had its driest summer on record.
  • An op-ed argues that individual actions are not enough to address climate change.
  • The Hudson River turned red because of red clay sediments being eroded by floodwaters in the Catskills.
  • According to genetic research, the Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio appalachiensis) evolved from hybridization of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) and the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis). New species developing from hybrids is relatively rare among animals.
  • When a particular virus infects a gypsy moth caterpillar, it climbs as high as it can and liquifies, so that the resultant particles fall and infect other gypsy moth caterpillars.
  • The US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed endangered listing for the recently-rediscovered Franciscan Manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana). The only known specimen of this rare shrub is somewhere in San Francisco's Presidio.
  • Warming water temperatures have allowed King Crabs to gain a foothold on Antarctica's continental shelf.
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