Friday, May 01, 2009

Loose Feathers #185

Bird and birding news
  • At least some bird species can dance in time with music. Film analysis of a sulphur-crested cockatoo and an African grey parrot show that they adjust their movements to match a musical tempo, even with songs they have not heard before.
  • Larger groups of house sparrows are better than small groups or individuals at solving problems. The reason appears to be that the larger groups have more diversity of skills.
  • The European Union is now allowing farmers to leave dead animals in the fields to feed vultures. The practice had been banned during the outbreak of Mad Cow Disease, with devastating effects on vultures.
  • A stray dog killed 50 wedge-tailed shearwaters at the Nature Conservancy's Mo'omomi Beach Preserve in Hawaii. Shearwaters are easy prey during nesting season due to their difficulty walking.
  • Poachers steal birds from endangered Hispaniola parrots' nests during the breeding season to supply the pet industry.
  • A federal court invalidated a drilling plan on BLM property in New Mexico due to insufficient attention to the plan's impact on wildlife habitat, particularly for Aplomado Falcons.
  • In DC, there is a robin nest outside the White House briefing room.
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