Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bird News

A proposal has been made to build a wind farm in Garrett County, Maryland. The plan would place a little under 20 turbines along Backbone Mountain. An earlier plan had run into difficulties because it threatened migrant and nesting birds; it is not clear if the new version has addressed these issues.

Newsday has a piece on the Great Swamp of New Jersey, a large watershed that covers portions of Somerset and Morris Counties. Having grown up in New Jersey, I can attest that the Great Swamp is a wonderful place to visit, for birding or just for walking in the woods. Others may disagree, but I think that the Great Swamp is one of the two best places for birding in Central New Jersey. (Sandy Hook would be the other.)

The New York Times has a short report with satellite pictures that show the flooding of Louisiana's bayous in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Washington Post carries an AP report, which seems to be based on a press release, about the killing of nuisance animals in 2004. Some 2.7 million were killed, including about 2.3 million starlings, according to the figures in the article. Overall the figures given in the article appear to be a small percentage of the total populations, and unlikely to cause lasting damage. I do think there needs to be a balance between human needs and the needs of wild animals.

A new study suggests that unmowed power line cuts may help preserve bee populations. A comparison of unmowed cuts with nearby mowed areas in Maryland found greater diversity of species in the unmowed areas. Leaving such strips unmowed would of course benefit birds as well, especially grassland and meadow species that have been under increasing pressure.

Finally, the Post has recommendations of places to see penguins, wild or otherwise. None appear to be in Washington, though there are a few at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.