Friday, August 24, 2007

Loose Feathers #112

Common Moorhen / Photo by Lee Karney (USFWS)

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment
  • The US Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft recovery plan (pdf) for the ivory-billed woodpecker. The plan would spend close to $28 million over five years with a focus on population surveys, monitoring potential habitat, and management of existing habitat to meet the woodpecker's needs. The draft is open for comments until October 22, 2007.
  • Crested AukletDuring courtship, crested auklets rub each other with a scent that discourages parasites.
  • Pigeon dung is being considered as a factor in the Minnesota bridge collapse.
  • A comment in Environmental Science and Technology praises the work of citizen science, especially Audubon's Christmas Bird Counts.
  • The Basra Reed-Warbler has been found in Israel. It is the only record of the species outside of Iraq.
  • A California condor died of lead poisoning.
  • A farmer in New Zealand used a massive fuel bomb to kill a flock of starlings that he feared would eat his fruit. Many birds were left injured but not killed.
  • Orange-bellied ParrotThe sighting of nine orange-bellied parrots, an extremely rare bird, in southern Australia has led to hopes that a recently-built wind farm did not disturb their migration.
  • Numbers of house sparrows are declining in the U.K. because of a loss of private gardens to intense development.
  • Bush issued an executive order to expand hunting opportunities on public lands.
  • Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ-3) argues for federal grants for invasive species control in National Wildlife Refuges. (Saxton's district includes the Forsythe Refuge's Barnegat Division.)
  • A red-tailed hawk crashed through a screen onto a porch; the homeowner attributed the incident to an attempt to eat his cat, which was in the porch at the time.
  • A new wind turbine design allows turbine blades to be lowered in bad weather when birds fly at a lower altitude.
  • The U.N.'s climate change official believes that two-thirds of emissions cuts before 2030 must come from developing nations.
  • The Bush administration has a proposed a new rule that expands mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachians. This type of mining practice causes deforestation and threatens vulnerable species such as cerulean warblers.
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