:: As part of a ceremony to dedicate the new 300 megawatt Blackspring Ridge Wind Project in Vulcan County, Alberta, on July 15th, corporations EDF EN Canada Inc. and Enbridge Inc. presented cheques totaling $20,000 to the eight inaugural recipients of the Blackspring Ridge Community Project Fund program: the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation, Carmangay District Historical Society, Champion Fire Department, Public School Betterment Society of Picture Butte, Rainbow Literacy Society, Village of Carmangay Library Board Society, Village of Milo, and the Vulcan Regional Food Bank Society. That works out to $2,500 each. According to the press release in The Wall Street Journal, the Blackspring Ridge Wind Project is the largest investment in wind energy in Western Canada.
:: Waterfowl hunters in Washington State are looking forward to a “better than average fall and winter season due to excellent production on breeding grounds” in Alaska, northern Alberta, and parts of Washington. Don Kraege, a state Fish and Wildlife waterfowl manager, said mallard numbers are up in particular and, “Every area that affects our flyway saw a big increase in bird production.”
:: A Danish birder in the Canadian Rockies received superficial injuries after a bear encounter.
:: Dr. Dan Stowell and his team have developed an automated analysis technique and classification algorithm for birdsong, testing it by using recordings from the British Library Sound Archive and other online audio collections. More here in a PeerJ blog post interview with Dr. Stowell.
:: A team of biologists is collecting Greater Sage Grouse feathers from more than 7,000 leks across 11 western states in the US and two Canadian provinces to gather genetic information about movement patterns and population structure that can be used to help manage the species.
:: Scientists have examined DNA from a Spotted Green Pigeon, also known as a Liverpool Pigeon, presumed extinct for nearly a century, and found that the species was related to the Dodo; the specimen studied, from a Liverpool museum collection, is thought to have been gathered in Tahiti in 1783.
:: Smithsonian Science uses a new exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, “Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America,” to highlight the plight of the continent’s birds, and a vast urban landscape that is becoming increasingly “bird-unfriendly“.
Great post in birding blogs this week:
:: From Nate at the ABA Blog: California Condors Nesting in Utah for the First Time