Friday, June 27, 2014

Loose Feathers #449

Great Crested Flycatcher / Photo by Ken Sturm (USFWS).
Birds and birding news
  • The USFWS will permit the Shiloh IV Wind Project to kill up to five eagles (mainly Golden Eagles) over the next five years without penalty. The permit requires that the energy company fix 133 utility poles to reduce electrocutions of birds of prey. Since the energy company should be fixing its utility poles anyway, this does not seem like much of a bargain, but it depends on how many birds the turbines kill.
  • Some Arctic birds are breeding up to a week earlier in response to earlier snow melt.
  • A Tufted Puffin was sighted off Machias Seal Island; this is the first sighting of one on the Atlantic coast since the 1830s.
  • The Black Rail, like other birds that nest in high salt marshes, is threatened by sea level rise.
  • Conservationists found a large population of rare Sarus Cranes in Myanmar.
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, June 20, 2014

Loose Feathers #448

Piping Plover and Chicks / Photo by Kaiti Titherington/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, June 06, 2014

Loose Feathers #447

Nēnē and goslings at James Campbell NWR on Oahu / USFWS Photo
Birds and birding news
  • The Nēnē family in the photo at the top of this post are the first breeding record on Oahu (pdf) since the 18th century. The Nēnē (also known as Hawaiian Goose) is an endangered species, and about 2,000 are alive in the wild. See this article for more images of the geese.
  • Atlantic Puffin chicks are suffering from a lack of herring and hake in the Gulf of Maine. When those fish are not available, parents bring back butterfish, which are too large for the chicks to swallow. The decline in herring and hake seems to be linked to warmer ocean temperatures.
  • Some readers may remember a report from a few weeks ago of trees bearing Black-crowned Night Heron nests being trimmed of the branches supporting their nests. Here is an update: none of the birds were killed (early reports erroneously mentioned birds being fed into a wood chipper), but several were injured and are being treated. It looks like the tree trimmer will be held accountable, but so far there is no indication the post office will be.
  • Flickr recently changed the code it gives users to embed photos on other websites, and this affects how photos appear in eBird checklists.
  • California Brown Pelicans are having a very bad breeding season so far.
  • The June challenge for eBird calls for submitting complete checklists with breeding data.
  • A new Guatemalan reserve will protect Highland Guan, Great Curassow, and Keel-billed Motmot, among other wildlife.
  • Scientists split the Wakatobi Flowerpecker (found in Wakatobi islands in Indonesia) from the similar Grey-sided Flowerpecker.
  • Two Black Vultures have been roosting around K Street in Washington, DC.
  • The trail adjacent to the Edison Boat Basin will be renamed Riverside Park. The site is one of the better spots in Middlesex County (NJ) for finding unusual gulls, other waterbirds, and sometimes raptors.
  • For readers in the DC area: The National Museum of Natural History is hosting an exhibition on bird extinction this summer, with an exhibition opening on June 24 that will feature Joel Greenberg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky.
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity