|Long-tailed Duck / my photo|
Birds and birding news
- The latest update to the IUCN Red List designates 222 bird species as critically endangered.
- A study in the Sacramento area found that birds like the California Scrub-Jay prefer native Valley Oaks to non-native oaks and will fly to areas with native oaks to feed.
- Savannah Sparrows nesting near oil and gas wells need to adjust their songs to account for noise pollution from drilling equipment.
- The Safe Harbor conservation program has kept Red-cockaded Woodpeckers nesting on private land but has not increased the success rates of those nests.
- Great Britain's Big Garden Birdwatch takes place this weekend, January 27-29. (The Big Garden Birdwatch was an inspiration for the Great Backyard Bird Count, which will take place February 16-19 this year.)
- Female Asian Houbaras consistently choose nest sites that offer a balance between concealment and sightlines to see approaching predators to prevent nest predation.
- Golden Eagles are at high risk of electrocution from energy infrastructure, and mitigation efforts have not helped enough so far.
- Birds may become smaller as the climate warms.
- A Spanish study looked at the potential for bird deaths from high-speed rail.
- Great Black-backed Gulls may be the bullies of the gull world, but they play a vital role as scavengers.
- Experiments with New Caledonian Crows show how technology evolves.
- Pittsburgh earned designation as an Urban Bird Treaty City for efforts to restore habitat and reduce collisions with windows.
Science and nature blogging
- The Birdist: Renaming Birds By Their Anagrams
- Birds and Words: Interview with the Afternoon Birder
- The Meadowlands Nature Blog: Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Watch for the Rusty Blackbirds!
- ornithologi: Melospiza Plate
- Mia McPherson's On The Wing Photography: Unusual Behavior – Ring-billed Gull Preening In Flight
- MoCoSoCo Birds: Snowy Owl and other birds – Jan. 22, 2017
Environment and biodiversity
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service officially designated the Eastern Cougar subspecies as extinct and removed it from the Endangered Species List. Other Cougar populations remain in the western US and Florida.
- At least two wolves are still present at Isle Royale, where a declining population has led to calls for introduction of more wolves from the mainland.
- There will be a rally to save Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge from proposed border wall construction this Saturday, January 27.
- Rain-on-snow events, which are likely to increase with climate change, are shrinking the heads of muskoxen.
- During the brief government shutdown, snowmobilers drove into off-limits areas in Yellowstone National Park. Similar problems probably occurred on other federal lands that remained open for the weekend.
- A major oil condensate spill in the East China Sea will be hard to clean up, and the effects of a spill like this are not well known.
- Mammals wander less in areas with lots of human activity or population, partly because of obstacles like highways and partly because of extra foraging opportunities like farm fields or garbage.
- A global registry of invasive species will help identify the most problematic ones.
- Bits of plastic seem to be spreading disease among coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific.
- A nearby golf course wants to privatize a chunk of Liberty State Park (in addition to the plan to build a second private marina in the park).
- The planned solar farm at Great Adventure will be built on 40 acres instead of 92, with the other 52 acres being placed in a 213-acre conservancy.
- Cabbage Whites might not be as territorial as gardening advice suggests.