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Loose Feathers #632

Gadwall / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
  • Grassland birds in general are not doing well across North America, and the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow is in real danger of extinction, with less than 100 individuals left in the wild even before last year's hurricane season.
  • Several other bird species specialize in the same sagebrush habitat that Greater Sage-Grouse require and are also threatened by development and fragmentation of sagebrush habitat.
  • China plans to end land reclamation projects and possibly restore some habitat destroyed by such projects. Land reclamation usually involves covering tidal flats or shallow water with fill and then building on the resulting land; such projects often destroy important stopover habitat for shorebirds and waterbirds.
  • Here are some tips for finding wintering Northern Saw-whet Owls.
  • Ryan Zinke's plan to stop enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in cases that involve the incidental killing of birds drew protest from 17 former Interior officials (from both parties).
Science and nature blogging
  • ABA Blog: 2017 Big Years: A Roundup
  • Vermont Center for Ecostudies: Field Guide to February 2018
  • Mia McPherson's On The Wing Photography: Great Egret – Snowy Egret Size and Appearance Comparison  
  • 10,000 Birds: Top 25 National Wildlife Refuges for Birding
  • Avian Hybrids: Hybrid zones help to unravel the genetics of bird coloration 
  • Outside My Window: Who Is This White Hawk?
  • The Meadowlands Nature Blog: Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Finding Food In Winter – It’s Tough Out There
  • Birding the day away !!: Ross's Gull ~ Vlissingen, Netherlands - 27.01.18
  • Edin Whitehead: The big and the small
  • Natural Newstead: Praying Mantises and pseudopupils
  • wadertales: Well-travelled Ringed Plovers 
Environment and biodiversity
  • Last weekend, hundreds attended a rally at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Texas to protest plans to build a border wall through the refuge and to support a legislative solution to maintain the DACA program. 
  • Today is World Wetlands Day. This year the celebration focuses on the importance and restoration of urban wetlands.
  • Contrary to claims in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece, preventing extinctions is still important work.
  • Footage and tracking data from a recent study revealed that polar bears are more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought since they depend so much on hunting seals.
  • In Ontario, research is underway to save the province's population of eastern wolves.
  • A recent report found that the Lone Star Tick does not spread Lyme disease, though it does carry some other illnesses.
  • Here is a good primer on urban lichens and lichen ecology.
  • Chile created five new national parks, thanks in part to a land donation.
  • Here are the five most common types of trash collected in river cleanups. 
  • With the change in administrations, New Jersey will now support a ban on fracking in the Delaware River watershed.


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

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Loose Feathers #632

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