|Golden Eagle / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS|
Birds and birding news
- While some birds thrive in suburban environments, others prefer to avoid them and have difficulty finding new breeding territories or mates when they are forced to move.
- British breeding birds had a tough year in 2016 due to a wet spring and summer.
- In the tropics, drier conditions would reduce the populations of 19 of 20 species included in a recent study.
- Since birds' migration routes follow the seasonal availability of food resources, finding food during and after migration may become more difficult for them as climate change alters stopover and wintering habitats.
- With a warmer climate, Brant can raise more young, but mothers sitting on nests are more likely to be killed by predators.
- Big-billed birds have to snuggle their bills more than short-billed birds in cold weather.
- Here is an explanation of threats that shorebirds face while migrating along the Atlantic Flyway.
- Common Terns mate for life even if it does not lead to more offspring.
- A new study finds that hummingbirds see movement differently than other birds.
- Here are some suggestions for new year birding resolutions.
- A crowdfunded project will study how American Woodcock use post-industrial landscapes in New Jersey.
Science and nature blogging
- Anything Larus: 'Tis The Season For Gull-watching
- Extinction Countdown: Conservation Stories You May Have Missed in 2016
- The Prairie Ecologist: How Science Works and Why It Matters
- ABA Blog: 2016 ABA Big Year Update: The Results
- Undercover Big Year: Day 366 - That's All Folks (for now)
- Sibley Guides: A melanistic Downy Woodpecker
- DCist: The DC Eagle Cam Has Launched Earlier This Year, And With Sound
- Backyard and Beyond: Oak Wilt
Environment and biodiversity
- The New Yorker is sharing Rachel Carson's classic series, Silent Spring, on its website. Here are Part I, Part II, and Part III.
- A new study links goods produced for trade and export to the habitats and wildlife threatened by their production. It is hoped that the study will help conservationists protect the biodiversity hot spots under the greatest threat.
- There have been some recent articles about Republicans who want to fight climate change; if they can persuade their party to do so, good for them, but their proposals sound a lot like Democratic proposals that have been blocked.
- Meanwhile the actual Republicans are trying to make it easier to sell off federal lands by changing budget rules. (The congressman behind the effort won the Center for Biological Diversity's Rubber Dodo Award for his efforts.)
- Obama had delayed designation of the Bears Ears and Gold Butte monuments so that Congress could take action themselves, but officials could not agree on a legislative solution while archaeological sites were being looted.
- According to the recent State of the Bay report, water clarity in the Chesapeake is improving and populations of several key shellfish are increasing. Pennsylvania is lagging behind Maryland and Virginia in meeting goals for reducing pollutants flowing into the bay.
- The herbicide paraquat is banned from use in the U.K. and E.U. for its toxic effects on humans, yet factories there still manufacture it for export.
- Washington will not allow a proposed coal export terminal to be built on state-owned land.
- A study found ticks carrying Lyme disease in 9 national parks, all in the eastern U.S.
- Warmer winters mean that ticks can stay active longer, which may contribute to the decline of New England's moose population.
- A photography project is documenting the ongoing recovery of the Anacostia River.
- A rare Blainesville's beaked whale washed up on the beach at Island Beach State Park in New Jersey.
- A Bald Eagle pair returned to a nest in northern New Jersey after the creation of a buffer to protect it from a new housing development.