Saturday, October 29, 2005

Odds and Ends

  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that Hurricane Wilma hit birds in the Everglades particularly hard. Witnesses describe finding many wading birds blown off their perches and dashed against other trees.
  • Elsewhere, Hurricane Wilma brought unusual birds to Bermuda on its winds. Observers noted about 60 magnificent frigatebirds and about the same number of sandwich terns, as well as a few royal terns. Various land birds also were caught up and dumped in Bermuda.
  • This article reviews a new book on the New Jersey Pine Barrens: The Natural Wonders of the Jersey Pines and Shore, by Robert A. Peterson, with photographs by Michael Hogan. The book is a collection of essays written by Peterson for a local newspaper; some of Hogan's photographs are included with the review. The Pine Barrens are a large tract that covers most of southern Jersey. Much of it has been preserved in a natural state because the soil was unsuitable for agriculture. In the 1970s the New Jersey preserved several large tracts - totalling 300,000 acres - as state forests before they were affected by the boom in development. Despite the name "barrens," the area is quite rich in natural resources, especially birdlife.
  • Here is a list of what elected officials are doing to protect Americans from poultry flu. Sadly, some of it is believable.
  • Surfbirds has a more serious - and sensible - look at the situation. GrrlScientist adds some links and analysis on this issue in her weekly "Birds in the News" column. DC Audubon also has information on the issue.