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Loose Feathers #617

White Tern / Photo by Brian Peck/USFWS
Birds and birding news
  • The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an important site for Arctic breeding birds, is once again under threat from proposed oil drilling, as it was for much of the Bush administration. A look at Prudhoe Bay shows that oil infrastructure would be far more intrusive than its supporters claim.
  • The administration also wants to build a road through the Izembek Wilderness, another important area for breeding birds.
  • Exposure to even small amounts of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill made birds sick.
  • Canada Warblers tend to breed near other members of their species, so preventing habitat loss and degradation is important to avoid overcrowding.
  • Climate change is reducing the food available to seabirds like Nazca Boobies that nest on the Galapagos Islands.
  • A new paper proposes a method for estimating the eastern population of Golden Eagles using hawk watch data from the Kittatinny Ridge. The method produced a total of 1,350 Golden Eagles migrating along the ridge each year in the first decade of this century.
  • The reasons for the long-term decline of Red-headed Woodpecker populations is unclear, but even in normal conditions, they go through boom and bust cycles. 
  • A paper argues that harmful effects of geolocators on Cerulean Warblers may be due to the marking method rather than the weight of the geolocator. 
  • When Australia's inland deserts flood with temporary lakes, Banded Stilts fly thousands of miles to reach them and lay eggs there to take advantage of brine shrimp hatching.
Science and nature blogging
  • Feathered Photography: The Interesting Feeding Technique Of The Wilson’s Snipe
  • Simon Barnes: How to eat a meal as tall as yourself
  • Mia McPherson's On The Wing Photography: White-crowned Sparrow Juvenile Feeding On Wild Sunflower Seeds
  • The Speckled Hatchback: Post #120 - Pelagic Bird Photo Showcase and Pelagic Photography Tips/Tutorial 
  • Backyard and Beyond: The Canary on the Windshield 
  • The Meadowlands Nature Blog: Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Get Your Backyard Ready for Winter Birds
  • Stokes Birding Blog: How to ID and Attract Sparrows at Your Bird Feeder Now! 
  • 10,000 Birds: Searching for the Puerto Rican Parrot 
  • Avian Hybrids: More Species Than Meets the Eye: A Genetic Look at the Red-eyed Vireo Complex
Environment and biodiversity
  • A new study suggests that methane emissions from Alberta's tar sands mines are much greater than estimated.
  • In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico's drinking water remains contaminated by sewage and other pollutants.
  • The insects trapped in routine surveys in German nature reserves have fallen by close to 80% in the last three decades. 
  • While insect populations are declining, the bats that eat them in North America are suffering from White Nose Syndrome.
  • A new bill threatens to limit a president's ability to protect lands for conservation purposes under the Antiquities Act. 
  • Climate change may bring even more extreme weather to California in the coming decades.
  • The Trump administration has announced US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement but will still send representatives to negotiations on its implementation. 
  • Public lands are popular but would benefit from changes to increase their accessibility to all of the public.
  • Turkey returned 7,500 wild frogs to the wetlands where they were captured by poachers.
  • Ireland and other European countries need to prepare for more storms like Hurricane Ophelia because of climate change.  
  • The UK's bill to withdraw from the EU leaves out important elements of European environmental law.


This post first appeared on A DC Birding, please read the originial post: here

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Loose Feathers #617

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