Friday, January 27, 2017

Loose Feathers #580

Ring-necked Pheasant / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
  • The Boreal Songbird Initiative has started an acoustic monitoring program to get better information on the birds that inhabit the boreal forest. Some of the devices in the program are being maintained in collaboration with First Nations scientists. 
  • The Collared Flycatcher is evolving smaller white forehead patches, apparently in response to climate change.
  • The US Navy is trying to move a breeding colony of Laysan Albatrosses away from its airfield on Kauai by shifting fertile eggs to foster parents in a colony in a safer location.
  • The proposed expansion of the border wall with Mexico is primarily a human rights issue but also threatens migratory animals along the border; that includes 111 endangered species and 108 migratory birds according to an evaluation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Audubon has more on the effects on birds, particularly Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls.
  • There is a new Ivory-billed Woodpecker paper by a long-time searcher. See the summary by Audubon and the journal article. The evidence he presents is not very compelling.
  • Last fall, 3,000 geese died when they landed in a toxic retention pond at a former copper mine that is now a Superfund site. The toxic waters also threatens the region's groundwater, and it is unclear whether federal and state officials will be able to prevent it from becoming an even bigger problem.
  • Volunteers are cordoning off parts of state-owned beaches in New Jersey to protect birds and dune vegetation
  • Mary Tyler Moore is best known for her acting career, but late in life she campaigned to have the nest used by Pale Male restored after the building's management had it removed.
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity