Friday, December 23, 2011

Loose Feathers #322

Snow Geese and Ross's Geese at Sacramento NWR / Photo by Steve Emmons, USFWS
Birds and birding news
  • Scientists are urging that at least one third of "forage fish" like anchovies and herring be left for seabirds to eat. The high commercial demand for "forage fish" is starting to put seabird populations such as gulls, kittiwakes, terns, puffins, and penguins at risk.
  • When Lesser Kestrels and Jackdaws breed in mixed colonies together, they keep a truce of sorts: the Lesser Kestrels help protect the Jackdaw nests, and in return the Jackdaws do not prey on the Lesser Kestrels' eggs.
  • A study in Oregon found that thinning forests to give them old-growth characteristics (and thus make extra habitat for Spotted Owls) chases out flying squirrels, the Spotted Owl's primary prey. 
  • A pair of Whooping Cranes are wintering in western North Carolina.
  • The captive Spoon-billed Sandpipers that were taken to the U.K. are now out of quarantine.
Nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity