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Loose Feathers #543

Sharp-tailed Grouse / Photo by Rick Bohn (USFWS)
Birds and birding news
  • Genetic research shows that the Sapayoa, a suboscine passerine from Neotropical rainforests, has its closest relatives in Africa and Asia.
  • An Irish birder argues that bird records committees should not be in the business of deleting old records without good reason. 
  • Penguins do not have the densest contour feathers among birds, but they do have incredibly dense plumules, which provide insulation under the contour feathers. 
  • Migratory shorebirds that use beaches need some protection from dogs, especially off-leach dogs.
  • Genetic research found that the Pygmy Bushtit is closely related to the other long-tailed tits in the genus Aegithalos.
  • A nest cam in Pennsylvania recorded a Bald Eagle feeding a dead cat to its chicks (another reason to keep cats indoors).
  • A Swainson's Warbler showed up in Central Park yesterday.
  • Small, solar-powered tags are allowing closer tracking of migratory songbirds like Tree Swallows.
  • Evolution of beak shape for birds of prey is constrained by the shape of the skull. 
  • This year, 37 Kakapo chicks survived, making it their most successful breeding year in 20 years.
  • Forsythe NWR, one of New Jersey's prime birding locations, is undergoing repair work that will close parts of the wildlife drive over the coming year.
Science and nature blogging
  • Urban Hawks: Swainson's Warbler
  • 10,000 Birds: Heermann’s Gull – A Mexican Beauty
  • Extinction Countdown: Black-Throated Finch Extinct in New South Wales
  • South Jersey Butterfly B/Log: Leaving Sites Undesignated
  • Bird Ecology Study Group: Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher – nesting and calls
  • robertscribbler: Climate Change Drives Half a Billion People to Suffer Hunger, Water Shortages as Droughts and Heatwaves Wreck Crops Across the Globe
Environment and biodiversity
  • NOAA's latest (unpublished) data suggests a much faster sea level rise (ten feet by 2050) than previously reported.
  • India is in the midst of its worst drought in decades, which seems to be linked to climate change.
  • A presentation from 2006 shows how Volkswagen planned to evade US emissions regulations.
  • This week marked the thirtieth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Most wildlife has been harmed by radiation, but camera traps show that the exclusion zone is full of wildlife, including some rare mammals. 
  • Small urban nature preserves can harbor significant biodiversity, particularly on the invertebrate level.


Posted on A DC Birding Blog under a Creative Commons 3.0 License.


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

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Loose Feathers #543

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