|Spotted Sandpiper / NPS Photo|
Birds and birding news
- Technology is changing how ecologists study bird migration, from the study of advanced radar systems to the use of miniaturized tracking devices on individual birds. One disturbing finding from radar studies is that the volume of birds migrating along the east coast has declined by about a quarter in the past decade.
- Common Murre parents exchange information about their condition when they preen each other after a foraging partner returns to the nest. Preening takes longer when one partner is low in weight, and the more fit partner may go out to forage even if it is the other partner's turn. The interactions may boost a pair's long-term success.
- A methane vent at a former landfill in the NJ Meadowlands singes the wings of large birds and kills smaller ones.
- Birders like Keith Russell have shown the value of Philadelphia's parks as bird habitat.
- A colony of Yellow-crowned Night-Herons is nesting along Jones Falls in Baltimore.
- Early arrivals to a new ecosystem diversify quickly, like Darwin's finches, but their long-term success depends on other species that join them later.
- Overestimated range sizes for endemic birds in India may make it harder to identify their true conservation statues.
- Birders are needed for CLO's NestWatch program.
Science and nature blogging
- The Prairie Ecologist: How Small Is Too Small?
- Mia McPherson's On The Wing Photography: Breeding and Nonbreeding Forster’s Terns
- Birding New Jersey!: Crossbill Tales
- Net Results: Winter Bird Population Survey 2016-2017
- Bird Ecology Study Group: Pied Kingfisher and hovering
Environment and biodiversity
- This week the Trump administration announced a review of all national monuments over 100,000 acres designated during the past 20 years, with an eye to modifying or possibly revoking the designations. Most of the monuments are in western states, but one is in Maine. It is unclear whether presidents have the legal authority to revoke designations made by their predecessors, though Congress may do so.
- On this year's Earth Day, the prospects for the environment looked especially grim.
- This Saturday is the People's Climate March. Organizers face a difficult task in turning the protest energy into a broader movement to combat climate change.
- The Trump administration's proposed budget would eliminate all funding for Chesapeake Bay restoration even though the project has shown signs of progress and federal involvement is key to protecting the watershed.
- Americans still have not fully learned how to live safely alongside large carnivores, and that puts bears and people in danger. As climate change reduces bears' natural foods, conflicts are likely to get worse.
- Caterpillars of the Greater Wax Worm moth have been found to eat, and possibly digest, plastic, which opens the possibility of finding a way to biodegrade plastics.
- A survey by the US Fish and Wildlife Service found that American understand the benefits of time spent outdoors but make little time to do so.
- A series of questionable management decisions led to the decimation of the Bow Valley wolf pack in Alberta.
- Conservationists are trying to create wildlife corridors between large protected areas in New Jersey's Highlands and Ridge and Valley provinces to link the state's Bobcat populations.
- New Jersey's DEP is proposing a stewardship program to protect forests on private land.