Friday, June 10, 2011

Loose Feathers #294

Spectacled Eider / Photo by Laura L. Whitehouse (USFWS)

Birds and birding news
  • British scientists are fitting cuckoos with satellite trackers to record their migration patterns. They hope to gather more data to help determine why the species is declining.
  • As many as 300,000 seabirds are killed each year as a result of longline fishing practices. Seabirds, especially albatrosses, get caught when they dive after bait attached to the lines.
  • The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), one of the world's largest birds, is on the brink of extinction according to the 2011 edition of the IUCN Red List. According to this year's list, 1,253 bird species are threatened – about 12% of all species worldwide. (To check on other bird species, see the IUCN Red List here.)
  • Conservationists want to see a halt to horseshoe crab harvests in Maryland and Virginia to protect the food source for migrating Red Knots and other shorebirds. While New Jersey has banned the harvest of horseshoe crabs, those states and Delaware have not, and the annual harvest of horseshoe crabs along the Atlantic coast is still unsustainably high if the shorebirds are to survive.
  • A survey of Canada's Wood Buffalo National Park recorded 75 active Whooping Crane nests, a new record.
  • A Kookaburra that survived a high-speed auto collision and a 400-mile ride stuck to a vehicle's grille has been returned to its home territory and released.
  • An oil refinery in Wyoming will pay a fine for an incident that killed 80 migratory birds in a wastewater pond.
  • Both Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos like to feast on caterpillars, especially tent caterpillars.
  • NY Times City Room has an image of one of the Washington Square Park nestlings panting because of the heat.
Birds in the blogosphere
Environment and biodiversity