Friday, October 27, 2006

Loose Feathers #72

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

  • Palaeontologists have discovered a new species of "terror bird." This South American species was about ten feet tall with a 18-inch bill that could handle dog-sized prey. It lived about 15 million years ago.
  • The Maryland State Law Library's collection of original prints by John James Audubon is undergoing restoration. Aside from the usual build-up of grease and discolortion, several prints have been creased or cut, so that the restoration work is more difficult. The linked article describes the restoration process.
  • Cornell has developed new software called "Raven" for analyzing sound recordings. Users can edit files and view spectrograms. Several versions for professionals cost money, but there is also a free version for hobbyists. See here for details.
  • The Independent has a list of ten recommendations for helping garden birds. It is directed for a British audience but the same holds true here.
  • If you want to report a dead bird for influenza testing, you can go here. (via Birdchaser, who has much bird-flu coverage this week)
  • Rabbits are stripping the vegetation from Macquarie Island and destroying important habitat for albatrosses and penguins. These rabbits are the descendents of animals brought by Europeans in the 19th century.
  • On January 20, 2007, there will be a conference for science bloggers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. See here for more information about the program and registration.
  • For people in or near College Park, Maryland: The Fluid Dynamics Reviews Seminars of the Burgers Program presents G.R. Spedding (University of Southern California Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department) who will discuss “Experiments in Low-Speed Aerodynamics: Birds and Other Micro-Air Vehicles." Time: Noon on Friday, October 27. Place: Room 2164, Glenn L. Martin Hall, University of Maryland College Park Campus, College Park, MD.