Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Loose Feathers #19

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment.
  • The San Diego Audubon Society is holding its 6th annual America's Birdiest City and Birdiest County contests during the peak migration period in April and May. Birders in participating cities and counties attempt to find as many bird species as possible during a 72-hour period. Bill of the Birds has the information.
  • Former Congressman Pete McCloskey has entered the Republican primary against Congressman Richard Pombo. One of his major campaign issues is the anti-environmental legislation sponsored by Rep. Pombo in the last term. This will be an interesting and important race for environmentalists and birders to watch, as an end to Pombo's legislative career could mean a less radically anti-environmental atmosphere in the next Congress. (Via Birdblog.)
  • Several state and federal agencies have agreed to maintain over 25,000 acres near Washington, DC, as wild areas. This land includes the Patuxent Research Refuge, as well as several nearby tracts.
  • A survey of brown bullhead catfish in Maryland's South River shows that they have abnormally high skin and liver cancer rates. Within the Chesapeake watershed, only catfish from the Anacostia River showed higher liver cancer rates. Catfish are significant indicators of the overall health of a watershed; such high cancer rates are likely the result of excessive pollution. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have not yet discovered the exact cause.
  • Here's a short review of the latest edition of National Geographic's Complete Birds of North America.