Birding News #55

:: Edmonton, Alberta, is the world’s capital of “ghost” or imperfect albino Black-billed Magpies

 :: A new study finds that jackdaws can communicate silently, just with their eyes 

:: Two more Whooping Cranes have been shot, this time in Louisiana. The cranes were a pair, the female was killed and the male seriously injured.

:: City-dwelling humans are affecting urban birds, according to a new study on the effects of urbanization on the stress response system of House Finches and the effects of an intestinal parasite and a virus on the birds.

:: The US Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee has approved the bill to reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act; the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), “says the program is a good value because it supports the hobby of bird watching”

:: New Scientist has an in-depth profile of researcher Kazuo Okanoya and his pioneering work with Bengalese Finches and the key they might hold to learning more about human speech

:: Lead poisoning is becoming an increasing problem for birds in Virginia

:: A new US study reports that as many as 988 million birds in the country die annually from window collisions, and that most birds aren’t killed en masse hitting skyscrapers but from occasional collisions with many smaller buildings.

:: The Great Backyard Bird Count is this week — February 14th to the 17th. Click here to find out more about the count.

:: 11-year-old birder Mya-Rose Craig has an impressive life list of over 3,000 bird species

:: The town of Hempstead, Long Island, in New York, has outlawed feeding Rock Pigeons, ducks, and geese, to reduce the problem of cars, houses, and yards covered with excrement.

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From John at Two Birders and Binoculars: Rusty Blackbird Migration Blitz: Help Wanted!

:: From Kathy at Still Life with a BirderThe Zen Of A Rusty Hinge

:: From Shyloh at Beakingoff: A Detailed Telling of my Antarctic Journey – Part 4 – Elephant Island

:: From Laurence at Butler’s BirdsEncanto Encounters–Reigniting an Old Flame

:: Josh at Birding is Fun: Winter Rarities Keeping the Birding Action Hot!

:: From Robert at Birding for a LarkThe spring passage has begun

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