Thursday, November 10, 2005

Loose Feathers #3

A round-up of links and news on birds, birding, and the environment.

  • There is a report of a female imperial woodpecker being sighted in Mexico. So far the only reports have been through email on a Mexican bird listserve. Little Birdie reproduces one; another is reproduced at milkriverblog - where it is noted with a grain of salt. The imperial woodpecker is a close relative of the ivory-billed woodpecker, and like the ivory-bill, had been considered extinct for half a century. I am not sure how much credence to give this report; additional sightings would be needed to establish its presence and identity.
  • Rock Creek is being re-engineered to remove or mitigate man-made obstacles that have prevented fish from spawning upstream. The most visible change will be a fish ladder at the Peirce Mill Dam. The goal is to attract blueback herring, white perch, and striped bass back to the upper areas of the creek. If successful it should benefit fish-eating birds as well as the fish.
  • Sometime recently, the URL for the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center's online bird guide changed. The link on the right has now been updated.
  • Yesterday's Senate committee hearing on energy prices was highly unusual in that the witnesses - oil executives - were not sworn in, and Ted Stevens (R-AK), the committee chair, cut off most criticism of oil companies and their executives. Hardly a way to have a serious discussion of the country's energy problems!
  • Here is a pessimistic look at the future of Louisiana's coastal wetlands. A report from 2004 urged a study of which areas can be saved or rebuilt and which cannot. The problem appears to be that proposed projects are too little, too late to make much of a difference in slowing the advance of the Gulf of Mexico.