Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Loose Feathers #20

News and links on birds, birding, and the environment.

  • Virginia is expected to approve a $200 million appropriation for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. The money comes from a budget surplus and will go towards better sewage treatment and reducing agricultural runoff. The state government of Maryland estimates that the bay's cleanup will cost over $10 billion to complete.
  • The Chesapeake Bay's tributaries in Virginia are popular with bald eagles. A survey of a 35-mile stretch of the Rappahannock River found 276 bald eagles. A slightly longer portion of the Potomac held 191 eagles. The large eagle population in these areas is attributed to the relative lack of development; the river is bordered on either side by large farms and preserves.
  • In Minnesota, the towns of Sauk Prairie have made much in tourist money from the large gatherings of bald eagles that occur there.
  • A local newspaper covered last Saturday's C&O Canal Count.
  • In other counting news, the Big Garden Birdwatch will be held this weekend in the U.K. See the RSPB for more information. The American equivalent, the Great Backyard Bird Count, will be February 17-20.
  • An article in the journal Nature reports that certain types of snails travelled from Europe to islands in the South Atlantic by riding on birds. See Snail's Tales for more.
  • A snowy owl was still being seen at Dulles Airport as of yesterday evening.