Birding News #71

:: An Arizona woman is rowing solo across the Pacific Ocean, from Monterey, CA, to Honolulu, to raise awareness about avian conservation.

:: An interview with Dr. Carla Dove, head of the Smithsonian Institution’s Feather Identification Lab, on her work examining the “snarge” that results from bird-aircraft collisions

:: For the past two years, the Ellis Bird Farm near Red Deer, Alberta, has worked with Dr. Kevin Fraser from the University of Manitoba to track Purple Martins with light-level geolocators, which help with an understanding of migration and how bird populations are connected in space and time. This year the Ellis Bird Farm and Dr. Fraser are expanding the geolocator project to include Mountain Bluebirds. More here on the geolocator projects

:: Poachers in eastern China’s Jiangsu province have caught 20,000 wild birds, mostly Common Moorhens, which they lure with recorded sound clips of bird calls and sell to restaurants. 

:: A recent study by researchers at the University of Delaware and the University of California/Davis examines the question of what to do when the eradication of an invasive species threatens an endangered species. Specifically, in the San Francisco Bay, the California Clapper Rail — a bird found only in the Bay — has come to depend on an invasive salt marsh cordgrass for nesting habitat. The Clapper Rail’s original native habitat has slowly vanished over the decades, largely due to urban development and invasion by the salt marsh cordgrass.

:: A likely breeding pair of Black Vultures has been spotted in downtown Washington, DC.

:: A springtime reminder and opinion piece at CNN.com from Dr. Peter Doherty, “We Need the Birds, and the Birds Need Us”; Dr. Doherty is the author of Their Fate Is Our Fate: How Birds Foretell Threats to Our Health and the World

:: The Virginia Beach SPCA is noting an alarming increase in waterbirds shot with blow darts.

:: The New York Times weighs in on the tree trimming debacle in Oakland, where several Black-crowned Niight Herons chicks were injured.

:: A company in Nepal gives tourists the chance to go “parahawking” — paragliding with trained vultures or raptors; a portion of the $170 (US) fee goes to local conservation efforts for the endangered Egyptian vulture.

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Special Visitors — Baltimore Orioles

:: From Mia at On the Wing Photography: Still on a Lifer Streak — American Dipper with Prey

:: From Lucas at The Eyrie: Seawatching – A Review

:: From Cory at 10,000 Birds: Breeding Plumage Dunlin

:: From Shyloh at Beakingoff: Yukon Birdathon 2014

:: From Pat at Bird Canada: Guest post from a Saskatchewan Birder

:: From Laurence at Butler’s Birds: A Send Off and Salute to Sparrows

:: From Kenneth at Birding is Fun: Catching up with Migration

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