Friday, May 04, 2007

Loose Feathers #97

Wilson's Snipe / Photo by Gary Kramer (USFWS)

News and links about birds, birding, and conservation
  • A report by the National Research Council on wind farms concludes that there is too little data to predict their effects on wildlife populations. The council recommends thorough study of each proposed location before a wind farm is built, as well as regular monitoring afterwards. See the full report.
  • Some waterfowl species have very complex genitals. A recent study suggests that complex genitals evolved first in females as defense against forced copulation, and later in males in response. (See also the takes by evolgen and microecos)
  • A study of great tits found that curiosity depends on variations of a gene that controls dopamine receptors in the brain. (See abstract.)
  • Dutch researchers determined that the migrating Bewick's swans' ability to benefit from forage sites varied with the distance from roads and the distance from their roost sites.
  • The International Ornithological Committee's list of recommended English names is now online. (via Birds Etcetera)
  • Birders in Louisiana are increasingly birding by kayak to avoid access problems and approach birds more quietly.
  • A mallard is nesting downtown at the side entrance to the Office of the US Trade Representative.
  • Arctic sea ice is melting faster than climate change computer models had predicted.
  • Climate change may alter the biodiversity of Welsh streams.
  • The IPCC has approved affordable recommendations for slowing climate change through reductions in greenhouse gases. The American representative, of course, complained that they were too expensive.
  • Like Malta, Cyprus is pushing the envelope with a spring hunting season targeting a declining species.
  • Rock Creek Park is developing guidelines for future wireless communications facilities within the park. If you wish to comment on this issue, write them a letter before May 13th. The towers currently in the park went up in the face of strong opposition.
Birds in the blogosphereCarnivals and news links
American Bittern / Photo by Gary Zahm (USFWS)