Friday, October 06, 2006

Loose Feathers #69

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment, plus a few other things.

  • Ultralight aircraft are leading 18 endangered whooping cranes on their southbound journey from their breeding grounds in Wisconsin to their wintering grounds in Florida. The population restoration program uses aircraft to train captive-bred cranes to migrate south for the winter; in the spring the cranes will know where to go without assistance.
  • Little egrets, a southern species, are now breeding in London for the first time. The species was hunted nearly to extinction in the 19th century. Just as the hunting of great and snowy egrets in North America led to the formation of the National Audubon Society, the near extinction of little egrets prompted the foundation of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Britain.
  • Here is a profile of the fox sparrow, one of my favorite species.
  • This week Congress renewed the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which provides grants for bird conservation projects.
  • When a rare rose-coloured starling appeared in England and then died, neighbors and news reports blamed birders who had come to see the species. The RSPB attributes the bird's death to two large ticks that were lodged into the starling's head.
  • Yet another new bird species has been found in Colombia: the Yariguies Brush-Finch (Atlapetes latinuchus yariguierum). Update: The brush-finch was discovered in the Serranía de los Yariguíes, a mountain range in northern Colombia northeast of Bogota. See ProAves for more information. The site is near the Cerulean Warbler reserve.
  • In upstate New York, former agricultural land is being reverted to wetlands in the federal and state refuge systems.
  • Judges in western jurisdictions have been expressing frustration with the Bush administration over non-enforcement or reinterpretation of many statutes dealing with wildlife and land conservation.
  • Check out Laura Erickson's coverage of the North American Ornithological Conference at Birderblog, including coverage of presentations related to ivory-billed woodpeckers here, here, and here. Attending the same conference, Nuthatch has a report on the River of Raptors hawk watch.
  • Stop by and say hi to Cindy of Woodsong, who has been dealing with a major illness.
  • Also, Shakespeare's Sister celebrated its second blogiversary yesterday.
  • And, as always, the Friday Ark is boarding.