Friday, December 04, 2015

Loose Feathers #522

Green-Winged Teal / Photo by Tom Koerner (USFWS)
Birds and birding news
  • The protection of Important Bird Areas used by migratory birds is too uneven to guarantee the birds' survival. Of the 8,200 designated Important Bird Areas, only 22% are completely protected and 41% partially overlap with protected areas, and 91% of migratory birds lack protection of part or all of their migratory routes. 
  • New research suggests that the Dodo was not doomed to extinction and that invasive animals played a significant role in the Dodo's demise.
  • An adult male Painted Bunting has spent the last several days in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, well north of its usual range.
  • Seabirds return the toxic chemicals from water pollution back to land via their excrement.
  • Russian birds nesting in a church tower preserved numerous historical documents and other items in their nests.
  • The British Trust for Ornithology released its red list of birds on concern this week. While several species were downgraded, the Bittern and Nightjar improved enough to be taken off the list.
  • Possible disturbance of dotterel nesting sites during the filming of a music video is the latest example of how shooting in exotic locales can harm rare wildlife.
  • Humans speak and birds sing using different vocal organs but similar physical mechanisms.
  • There may be rare geese lurking in Canada Goose flocks if one has the patience to look for them. 
  • Starlings are more likely than other birds to drown in groups, perhaps because of their habit of bathing and drinking in groups.
  • With a handful of exceptions, most terms of venery are purely fanciful.
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity