Friday, March 02, 2007

Loose Feathers #88

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

  • Bird Watcher's Digest is running two articles on bird blogging in its current issue. One is about how 10,000 Birds got started, and the other lists a select group of birding blogs. (I am happy to say that A DC Birding Blog was included on the list.) For some background, see 10,000 Birds. For those who may not be aware, 10,000 Birds is one of the oldest active birding blogs; the only older active blogs that I know about are Birds Etcetera and Swampblog. (As of December, there were 138 known bird blogs in North America, and many more on other continents.)
  • An expedition in Syria discovered a larger population than expected of sociable lapwings, a critically endangered species. The global population was thought to be between 400 and 1500 birds, but the expedition team found over 1500 in just a few grassland sites.
  • Some brown pelicans that lingered too long in Delaware Bay had to be rescued and treated for frostbite after the recent cold snap. Eleven were euthanized and the rest are recuperating at Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research in Newark.
  • Here is an article on planting for birds.
  • More GBBC coverage: Marquette Mining Journal, The Tribune Chronicle, and The Oscoda Press.
  • Recent tests determined that China's raptors are carrying an extremely high amount of flame-retardant chemicals. I wonder if the same is true for North America.
  • Judith Toups, a birder and activist for the Mississippi Coast Audubon Society, has died.
  • Mike's Birding and Digiscoping Blog recently discussed the ethics of baiting wild owls for photography here, here, and here.
  • On Sunday night, An Inconvenient Truth won an Academy Award; shortly afterwards, a previously unknown think-tank attacked Al Gore for using too much electricity. Grist evaluates the think-tank's claims here and here, as do The Lede, The News Journal, and The New Scientist. What I find interesting about the kerfuffle is the sight of right-wing groups attacking Gore from the left. Criticizing high energy use, after all, only makes sense if you accept anthropogenic climate change as a premise.
Carnivals and news links
Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for future post topics. I will use some of the ideas there, and the "Loose Feathers" series will definitely be continuing. If you have any further requests, please make them in the comments on this post.