|Virginia Rail / Photo by K. Theule / USFWS|
Birds and birding news
- The latest State of the Birds report assesses the conservation status of all 1,154 species native to the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Of those, 432 qualified for the watch list, indicating that they are at risk of extinction. The most severe declines were found among birds of oceans and tropical forests.
- Last Saturday was the World Series of Birding in New Jersey. My team, the Middlesex Merlins, placed third in the LGA (county-level) category. See the full standings here (pdf).
- Studies of canaries and zebra finches found one of the genes that allows birds to turn carotenoids into red plumage.
- The first chicks hatched in the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow captive-breeding program. The subspecies breeds only in southern Florida and has been in rapid decline.
- The drying of the Salton Sea poses a threat to migratory birds as well as the local economy.
- A study of Seychelles Warblers found that inbreeding is linked to a shorter lifespan.
- Here is an interview with Heather Wolf, a birder who has been watching and photographing the birds of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
- Hornbills in the Kalahari Desert pass heat through their beaks to keep from overheating in much the same way as toucans do.
Science and nature blogging
- Extinction Countdown: Here's a List of Every At-Risk Bird Species in North America (All 432 of Them)
- Bourbon, Bastards, and Birds.: The One Bird Theory
- 10,000 Birds: South Island Robins
- Bird Ecology Study Group: Crimson Sunbird: Post-juvenal Moult
- CitizenSci: Citizen Science Reveals Large-scale Effects of Cities on Bird Diversity
- mocosocoBirds: Weekend Bird Migration – May 15, 2016
- Warblers and rumors of warblers: I like to see Seaside Sparrows by the seaside, by the beautiful sea!
Environment and biodiversity
- Naming the bison as the national mammal glosses over the continued mismanagement of the last wild bison.
- In other bison news, the decision by a tourist to take a bison calf into his car left the staff at Yellowstone with a difficult choice after its mother rejected it: euthanize the calf or let it starve.
- A lawsuit argues that Exxon is putting people at risk by not protecting one of its oil facilities from sea level rise and climate-induced storms.
- Ecologists found cedars hundreds of years old on the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment.
- Christie has held up the use of funds set aside under New Jersey's recent open space amendment by not signing appropriations bills.
- WNYC had asked New York residents to submit photos of wildlife around the city; here is a selection of #WildNYC submissions.
- A new website features insects of the Yellowstone region.