Friday, August 15, 2008

Loose Feathers #162

Lewis's Woodpecker / Photo by Dave Menke (USFWS)

News about birds
  • Warmer temperatures are leading many British birds to lay their eggs earlier in the spring. This could lead to problems if the chicks hatch when their expected food source is not available.
  • Bird lineages with proportionately large brains have a greater capacity for adaptive evolution. A study compared the relative body sizes of 7,209 species and found that families with a high degree of body size diversity tended to have relatively large brains. The large-brained birds included woodpeckers, hornbills, parrots, owls, lyrebirds, and crows.
  • Invasive brown tree snakes killed off most of Guam's birds, and now the lack of birds is altering the island's flora.
  • BirdLife is promoting a new Standard Lexicon for Biodiversity Conservation to improve communication and cooperation among conservationists around the world.
  • A new study refutes claims that hen harriers were causing declines among ground-nesting shorebirds.
  • An oil company in Montana pleaded guilty to killing migratory birds in open oil pits.
  • The Marvelous Spatuletail, a rare hummingbird, is being seen regularly at feeders in northern Peru.
  • Snowy egrets have created a large rookery in a city park in Willows, California, leaving residents around the park unhappy. (Even if you don't like the premises of the news story, check out the photo gallery that accompanies it.)
  • Substantial restoration work, including the clearing of invasive species, has brought nesting herons back to the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary (NJ).
Birds in the blogosphere
News about the environment
Carnivals and newsletters