Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Loose Feathers #34

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

  • A survey by the British Trust for Ornithology and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds shows that many species of long-distance migrants have decreased in numbers up to 70-90%. Leading the way was the lesser redpoll, down 88.9%. Many species of old world warblers showed similar declines. A few species such as the coal, blue, and great tits have increased over 25%.
  • Double-crested cormorants are getting the blame for brown trout declines on the Great Lakes. The USDA and Michigan DNR are preparing to reduce cormorant numbers.
  • Here is a webcam for bald eagles nesting in Maine.
  • The Detroit Free Press urges the federal government to restore funds for cowbird control in areas where Kirtland's warblers breed: "But endangered species work is out of favor in Washington, where anti-government activists famously talk about tax cuts as a tool for 'starving the beast.' Too bad, apparently, if that also includesstarving baby warblers."
  • On Long Island, New York, the nesting needs of piping plovers are coming into contact with large colonies of feral cats - and the people who care for them.
  • Researchers have found frogs in China that can sing like birds.
  • This should come as no surprise: American companies lag behind those in Europe and Asia when it comes to reducing their contributions to global warming.
  • A study published in the Journal of Avian Biology has found that Australian whipbirds have regional variations in the songs sung by females (but not by males). (Link via DL)
  • What is the deal with the Washington Post hiring a conservative blogger - Ben Domenech - to provide "balance" to their website? It is not so much his conservative views that I object to, as his propensity for pure partisanship and online flamewars regardless of reason; these should have no place in a serious publication with pretensions to objectivity. He has already started the usual conservative bashing of the "mainstream media," seeming not to realize that he is now a part of it. Among other things he is a creationist, and he has connections to Jack Abramoff. As FireDogLake says, "Fly, little wingnut, fly."