Friday, January 26, 2007

Loose Feathers #83

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment

  • At least 600 birds have died and many more have been contaminated as the result of an oil spill from a ship that was run ashore near Devon, UK. The ship was grounded deliberately following damage from a storm. Wildlife agencies are still looking for birds affected by the spill.
  • A study by Wetlands International showed that waterbirds continue to decline. Of 878 species studied, 44% has significant reductions in population since 2002. The major area of concern right now is Asia, where economic growth has led to increased urban sprawl and reclamation of wetlands. In other cases, Asian wetlands are threatened by pollution.
  • Over the past year, 71,000 waterbirds have been tested for highly pathogenic avian influenza in North America, but so far no positive cases have been identified.
  • Cuyahoga County in Ohio plans to build 4-10 wind turbines about three miles from the shore. The plan is raising questions regarding whether these turbines will be safe for birds. One issue will be whether deaths at an open-water site can be monitored.
  • The Pennsylvania Game Commission is studying migration routes of golden eagles through the state to determine the best way to avoid collisions between those birds and wind turbines.
  • Here are some tips for feeding birds in winter. It covers different types of food and feeders.
  • Eagles at Blackwater NWR have laid an egg and are incubating it. Here is the live webcam.
  • BirdLife and Nature Iraq collaborated to produce a field guide for the birds of Iraq. The guide features 387 species and is the first comprehensive field guide in Arabic. (Via Wildbird)
  • A hunter in Florida shot a duck, but somehow it survived both the shooting and two days in the refrigerator. Now it is recovering in an animal hospital.
  • Ski trails, especially in forested areas, tend to reduce bird diversity.
  • A Houston homeowner was caught raising about 100 birds for cockfighting.
  • Bats fly more efficiently than birds because their wings are flexible and produce more lift and maneuverability.