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Loose Feathers #713

Indigo Bunting / Photo by Michael Schramm/USFWS
Birds and birding news
  • A team of scientists found and filmed the nest of a rare Nordmann's Greenshank in Russia. Nordmann's Greenshank is one of the few shorebirds that nest in trees.
  • One of the more significant Kirtland's Warbler specimens was collected by Nathan Leopold, who is better known as a murderer.
  • A study using a wind tunnel showed that Bar-headed Geese slow their metabolism and use more efficient wingbeats when flying in low-oxygen conditions, like the ones they face when migrating over the Himalayas.
  • Hurricane Dorian may have pushed the endangered Bahama Nuthatch to extinction.
  • BirdLife gives examples of five bird species that were thought extinct but were subsequently rediscovered. 
  • Two Andean hummingbird species have remarkably similar genomes despite appearing very different. 
  • The white undersides of Barn Owls reflect moonlight and cause voles to freeze when the moon is full. 
  • Barnacle Geese have shifted one of their migratory stopover sites further north due to climate change.
  • Using genetic analysis of Greater Sage-Grouse droppings to identify individual birds produces population estimates with less disturbance to the birds.
  • The new (weakened) Endangered Species Act regulations could hamper protection for Lesser Prairie-Chickens.
  • A number of recent articles have highlighted steep declines in insect populations; here is a bit about what that might mean for birds.
  • Fires are transforming Alaska's forests, which will have consequences for many breeding birds and may force some to move north.
  • Two New Zealand songbirds went extinct because of habitat loss and invasive species, according to a new study of their genomes.
  • Roseate Terns have had good breeding seasons recently, both in the US and in the North Sea.
  • The rare Philippine Cockatoo is threatened by mining.
  • A study found that the length of time that songbirds can learn new songs evolves with the preferences of their potential mates.
  • New Zealand was once home to multiple massive birds, examples of island gigantism. 
  • Breeding birds around Lake Constance have declined by 25% since 1980.
  • Native birds in southeastern Australia are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss. 
  • One third of British breeding birds have been affected by climate change, based on citizen science data.
Science and nature blogging
  • Vermont Center for Ecostudies: Field Guide to September 2019
  • World Shorebirds Day: Let’s go out counting shorebirds: the 2019 Global Shorebird Counts kicks-off
  • Raptormaniacs: Shining a Light on Nightbird Evolution: My First First-author Paper! 
  • Avian Hybrids: Classifying Corvids: Peculiar phylogeographic patterns in the crow family
  • incidental naturalist: The Miracle of the Monarch
  • The Bruce Mactavish Newfoundland Birding Blog: FOY - Common Ringed Plover
  • The Metropolitan Field Guide: Folklore & Nature: Birch Bark
  • awkward botany: Eating Weeds: Chicory 
  • On The Wing Photography: Ruby-crowned Kinglets – Challenging Subjects 
  • Bird Ecology Study Group: Nesting Common Tailorbirds – One Full Circle Part 9
  • Skeptical Science: Consensus on consensus hits half a million downloads
  • Backyard and Beyond: Viceroy vs. Monarch 
  • Urban Hawks: Black-crowned Night-Heron 
Biodiversity and conservation
  • Scientists are investigating how road salt affects Monarchs in Minnesota, where much of the milkweed grows along roadways.
  • A two-headed Timber Rattlesnake was found in the New Jersey Pinelands.
  • USFWS denied a petition to list bison under the Endangered Species Act but will consider petitions for rare squirrels and bees.
Climate change and environmental politics
  • Climate change is producing stronger and wetter storms.
  • The Trump administration removed regulations that set energy efficiency requirements for light bulbs.
  • BLM plans to clear large tracts of pinyon-juniper forest in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to create foraging areas for livestock even though there has been little study of the effect that would have. 
  • The USGAO ruled that it was illegal to use entrance fees to keep national parks open during a shutdown.
  • The Trump administration is ready to revoke California's right to set stricter air pollution standards, though it is unclear whether they have a legitimate justification for it. Thirteen other states follow California's standard.
  • Seven tons of marine plastic pollution were removed from a remote beach in Australia.
  • Brazil resumed releasing deforestation data for the first time in a month, when 1,400 acres of rainforest were cleared.


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

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Loose Feathers #713

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