Friday, November 19, 2010

Loose Feathers #265

Snow Geese / Photo credit: Jim Bahn

Birds and birding news
  • California Condors that forage and breed along the California coast may have trouble breeding due to lingering DDT contamination. Sea lions, a food source for those condors, still store DDE in their blubber because large amounts of DDT were dumped off the coast of Southern California by the Montrose Chemical Corporation up until 1971.
  • During migration, birds can show up in places they normally would not normally use as habitat, such as American Woodcocks in downtown Washington.
  • Wildlife officials are looking for help in finding and convicting the person who shot a Bald Eagle in Wareham, Massachusetts. Bald Eagles have also recently been shot in Vermont and poisoned in Delaware.
  • British researchers placed cameras within European Starling roosts to learn more about how they live. Adults dominate the roost and push juveniles to colder parts of the roost, where the juveniles huddle together to keep warm.
  • Only seven pairs of Hen Harriers nested successfully in England this year – a possible sign that the species will be extirpated in the near future.
  • In the southeastern U.S., some hummingbirds stay through the winter, including western species that have migrated east. The wintering hummingbirds are being studied by banders to learn more about their movements.
  • A flock of African Pink Pelicans recently landed in Siberia during an unusually warm November. The birds were captured by a local zoo and will be released in the spring.
  • People on the remote island of St. Kilda survived by eating nesting seabirds well into the 20th century. 
  • ABC North Queensland is encouraging Australian birders to tweet their bird sightings under the hashtag #bluewrentweet. The project is coordinated on Twitter by Ron Smith (@bluewrentweet) and ABC North Queensland (@ABCnorthqld).
Birds in the blogosphere
Oil Spill
Environment and biodiversity