Friday, March 23, 2007

Loose Feathers #91

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment

  • Fewer waterfowl than usual visited the Chesapeake Bay region this winter. Canvasback numbers were especially low.
  • The Post profiled Huntley Meadows, a birding hotspot in Fairfax County, Virginia.
  • Researchers have identified a population of crossbills that became reproductively isolated due to ecological factors in its range. The South Hills crossbill, part of the red crossbill complex, specializes in foraging among lodgepole pines.
  • Research suggests that nuthatches can understand chickadees.
  • A fight between two peregrines in Pittsburgh was captured by a webcam. The twenty-minute fight occurred when a younger male tried to invade the nesting territory of an older male. Which bird won is not entirely certain. A sequence of photos from the webcam is here.
  • Human land use contributes to the decline of grassland and seashore species.
  • Ecologists in the U.K. are worried about the flourishing population of feral rose-ringed parakeets.
  • Deforestation continues at a rapid pace, but has slowed recently. The article states that 18 percent of carbon dioxide production comes as a result of deforestation since trees soak up carbon. The worst deforestation rates are in South America and Africa, though those continents are not alone.
  • The Twin Cities have started a voluntary program to reduce migratory bird deaths by dimming or shutting off lights in tall buildings at night.
  • The News Journal profiles the role of Delaware's marshes and beaches during migration.
  • Rules affecting livestock grazing and energy production have been enacted in Wyoming to protect sage grouse.
  • Grist has an interview with Rep. Ed Markey, chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
  • The long-whiskered owlet, a small rare species from Peru, was sighted in the wild for the first time. Previous encounters had all been facilitated by mist nets.
Birds in the blogosphere
Carnivals and link posts