Saturday, March 11, 2006

Loose Feathers #30

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment.
  • Pale Male and Lola, the famous New York red-tailed hawks, are back in business. They have mated and appear to be incubating eggs at their new nest. Last year's brood failed to hatch; perhaps this year the pair will have better results.
  • The latest edition of Audubon magazine devotes its birds column to research on owls in Maine. Volunteers run routes in the late winter to play recordings and listen for owl calls in response. The surveys are expected to increase knowledge about owls' breeding territories and behaviors.
  • A web article, also from Audubon, gives sound samples and sonograms for several common eastern species based on Dan Kroodsma's recent The Singing Life of Birds.
  • Gale Norton is stepping down as Secretary of the Interior. There is speculation that her resignation may be related to the Abramoff scandals since he and his clients did a great deal of business with her department. I am glad to see her go because her policies have had a detrimental effect on public lands, but I am sure that Bush will appoint someone in the same mold.
  • Local anglers should be careful: Rockfish (striped bass) in the Chesapeake Bay have succumbed to a wasting disease that can be passed to humans. The epidemic among rockfish may have been enabled by a combination of overpollution and overpopulation. How much this will affect the rockfish industry remains to be seen.
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