Friday, January 06, 2012

Loose Feathers #324

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache NWR / Photo by Lee Karney (USFWS)
News about birds and birding
  • Tom Reed set a new big year record of 362 species for New Jersey in 2011. The old record of 337 was broken by five birders in 2011, and a few other birders came close to matching the record.
  • The Whooping Cranes led by Operation Migration have been grounded due to a legal dispute over the operation of the ultralight aircraft. 
  • The kittiwake population has fallen by 40% since 2000 in the U.K. All seabird colonies in that country have suffered losses over the same time span.
  • Hitchcock's famous film, The Birds, was partially inspired by an incident in 1961 when thousands of seabirds in the San Francisco became disoriented and died. The incident is now believed to have been the result of an algae bloom that produced domoic acid; when seabirds ate marine animals that had consumed the acid, they too became poisoned by it.
  • Programs to protect Snow Geese have worked so well that some conservationists worry that the population is too large and has started negatively affecting smaller species like Greater White-fronted Geese. What, if anything, to do about it remains in question.
  • A recent expedition rediscovered the Timor Bush-warbler, which had not been recorded since its original discovery in 1932.
Nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity