Birding News #66

:: The government of Alberta is considering a Sandhill Crane hunt for the autumn of 2015

:: The Yurok Tribe Wildlife Program, the Ventana Wildlife Society, and several federal and state government agencies have signed a memorandum of understanding to work toward reintroducing captive-bred California Condors to the north coast region

:: A Saudi prince poached more than 2,100 internationally protected Houbara Bustards in 21-day hunting safari in Pakistan, during which he also hunted in protected areas

:: Birds are continuing to die at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in San Bernardino County,

:: In February, Oxford University evolutionary biologist Joseph Tobias and colleagues published a study in Nature questioning how widespread character displacement is in nature, focusing on Ovenbirds.

:: The California Department of Food and Agriculture is working with the USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service to develop an anthraquinone-based bird repellent to minimize damage to crops such as almonds, lettuce, melons, and ginseng.

:: The continuing California drought is endangering fish and bird populations, including the Tricolored Blackbird, and causing mortality in Foothill Pine trees.

:: There’s a new penguin cam at Antarctica’s Yalour Islands.

:: 28 years after the Chernobyl disaster, researchers have found that birds in the exclusion zone are adapting to, and possibly benefiting from, long-term exposure to radiation.

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Jacob at The Eyrie: Bird Courtship

:: From Dan at Bird CanadaSpring Scouting at Frank Lake

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Spring has Sprung (Part 4)

:: From Kirby at Birding is Fun: Pledge to Fledge — Every Day!

:: From Larry at The Brownstone Birding BlogThe Secret City Of Great Blue Herons

:: From Rick at the ABA BlogWader Quest in South Australia

:: From Eileen at Viewing Nature with EileenSaturday Walk

:: From Jeff at NeoVista BirdingComing Soon: New Generation of Cooper’s Hawks

:: From Alex and Drew at Nemesis BirdWillow Ptarmigan – 1st for New York!

Birding News #63

:: Last weekend’s Galveston Bay oil spill is threatening the nearby Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary

:: A breeding pair of endangered Hawaiian Geese, the state bird of Hawaii, thought to have been absent from the island of Oahu for hundreds of years, has been found nesting there. The Hawaiian Goose, or Nene, is a descendant of the Canada Goose which arrived in Hawaii almost one million years ago, shortly after the islands were formed.

:: Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), which is highly contagious and often fatal for poultry and pigeons, might be a possible cancer treatment in humans

:: In the United States, House Republicans are hoping to prove that the Obama Administration is selectively enforcing wildlife laws to prosecute oil and gas companies while sparing wind-energy farms, and bird deaths are coming into play

:: A Project NestWatch volunteer has discovered the first known Eastern Bluebird twins

:: Officials are telling bird watchers in New Hampshire to remove feeders because they’re attracting bears this Spring

:: Holland Cotter reviews the new “Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown” (Part II of the Complete Flock), exhibit for The New York Times

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Kathie at Kathie’s BirdsFlorida Scrub Jay Day

:: From Jeremy at A Victoria BirderKilldeer for the Win!

:: From From Laura at the ABA blogGalveston Bay Oil Spill: What We Birders Can Do

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your BackyardA Special Visitor – Pileated Woodpecker

:: From Russell at British Columbia Rare Bird AlertFirst Northern Cardinal in BC

:: From Jeremy at The Naturalest Naturalist: Conquering a Nemesis: Say’s Phoebe and Tiny Picnic Tables

:: From Ashley at Views from the Urban LakeFeeding Wild Birds in Your Garden 

Birding News #46

::  An article on how birds are able to sleep without falling off their perches

:: It’s another great winter for Snowy Owls in the Northeast United States

:: Plans to monitor fresh-water crocodiles in Australia with a motion-sensitive camera were interrupted when a young Sea Eagle flew away with the camera. It was found later about 110 kilometres away from where it had been set up.

:: Owen is a six-year-old birder from Massachusetts, and in 2014 he’ll being doing a Massachusetts Big Year! You can read about his adventures on his blog. I wish him the best of luck!

:: A very interesting story on why some birds may be gynandromorphs

:: A protection plan has been put in place to save the Greater Sage Grouse in Canada, but is it too little too late?

:: An article from The Calgary Herald about the much debated topic of baiting in birds of prey, especially owls, for photographs.

:: Heavy rainfall and warmer temperatures are not good for breeding Peregrine Falcons in the Arctic.

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Larry at A Brownstone Stone Birding BlogClose-up Deer & 1 Elf Village But No Snowy Owl

:: From Neil at Accidental Big Year 2013: Pink and White in Texas

:: From Josh at Birding is FunBirding the Sax-Zim Bog

:: From Nate at The Drinking BirdBlack Friday, White Owl

:: From Clare at 10,000 Birds: Grey-crowned Babblers-Yahoo

:: Andrew at Birding DudeUgh…Gulls!

:: From Gordon at Birding Adventures: Way out West

:: From Dan at Birds CalgaryBeaverdam Flats is a breath of fresh air

Birding News #45

:: An article from The Toronto Star about the benefits of Project FeederWatch

:: Bird Studies Canada has taken part in nocturnal owl surveys in Ontario for 18 years, and The London Free Press interviewed some volunteers at the bird observatory, including my friend Daniel, about the owls.

:: The South Island Kokako was declared extinct in 2007 but after some recent sightings, the Kokako is now listed as “data deficient”

:: A study finds that a high percentage of Laysan Albatross chicks are raised by same-sex female pairs

:: A story about Red Knots and Horseshoes Crabs from the New York Times

:: A Canadian researcher finds that toxic chemicals banned decades ago are contaminating the livers, eggs, and plasma of Glaucous Gulls in the Arctic.

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Nate at 10000 BirdsHow to CBC Like a Pro

:: From Drew at Nemesis BirdDigiscoping adapter roundup for smartphones

:: From Nicholas at Hipster BirdersLake Mayer Before the Ducks Return

:: From Sharon at Birdchick: The latest Birdchick podcast

:: From Josh at Ontario Birds and Herps: “Yellow-legged” Gull saga continues

Birding News #44

::  A hand-reared Spoon-billed Sandpiper has been spotted more than 8,000 km from where it was released in Russia

:: In a settlement announced on Friday, Duke Energy Renewables will pay $1 million US for killing 14 Golden Eagles over the past three years at two Wyoming wind farms, after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The case was the first to be prosecuted against a wind energy company under the MBT Act. Duke Energy Renewables is the renewable energy arm of Duke Energy, which is the largest electric power holding company in the United States and has a market value of about $50 billion US.

:: The intense heat of a solar thermal project going online soon in the California desert is singeing feathers (warning: graphic photo with article) and injuring birds.

:: Great Blue Heron numbers are declining in Maine, but biologists are hoping citizen scientists will help collect data on heron nesting sites to reverse the trend.

:: A Dutch traveller was caught trying to smuggle more than a dozen live hummingbirds in his pants

:: An article from The New York Times about the population increase of Wild Turkeys in New York City

Zelda, a Wild Turkey in Battery Park, lower Manhattan, photographed in November 2009 by my mother; at the time, Zelda had lived in NYC for about six years

Zelda, a Wild Turkey in Battery Park, lower Manhattan, photographed in November 2009 by my mother; at the time, Zelda had lived in NYC for about six years

:: Bird brains need testosterone for strong song in the mating season

:: Speaking of the role of song in mating, scientists are studying the mutated language gene, FoxP2, in Zebra Finches’ courtship singing

:: Many of Ireland’s birds are facing extinction

:: Rapid construction and new development projects in the Indian city of Kolhapur has meant a loss of trees and green cover, leading to fewer birds and more insects.

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Dan at Bird CanadaCanada’s Shrikes, a tale of two seasons

:: From Ethan at Bird BoyPerplexing Plumage – How to tell a female Mallard from a female Gadwall

:: From Aidan at The EyrieBook Review: The Warbler Guide

:: From Laurence at Butler’s BirdsLight Birding and a Feat of Swallowing

:: From Eileen at Viewing nature with EileenGambel’s Quail lifer

:: From Alex at Flight of the Scrub-Jay11/2 – Litchfield County – Barnacle Goose

:: From Stewart at Paying Ready AttentionWild Bird Wednesday 71 – King Parrots

:: From Sharon at Birdchick: the latest Birdchick podcast

Birding News #43

:: 14-year-old Khalid Boudreau has discovered British Columbia’s second-known breeding grounds of the endangered American White Pelican.

:: A study by some Idaho scientists shows that traffic noise has more of an effect on birds than previously thought.

:: Climate change is changing the timing of bird migration, especially in long distance migrants

:: There is a new Young Birders Club in Burgos, Spain

:: An article from National Geographic about how albatrosses are such efficient flyers

:: Rome is being overwhelmed by the amount of droppings around the city from millions of migrating starlings

:: A cooling spell in Antarctica 10 million years ago may have spurred penguin evolution

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Jacob at The EyrieBobolink Conservation

:: From Chris at Birding is FunSanderling – a “True” Sandpiper

:: From Tim at Bird Canada: The American Dipper – a photo essay

:: From Rick at Wader QuestRecurvirostridae, avocets and stilts; what a beautiful family! 

:: From Dragon at 10,000 Birds: The Search for The Holy Grail

:: From Larry at the Brownstone Birding BlogChecking Out Some CT Lucky Duck Ponds

:: From Eileen at Viewing nature with EileenMore Bosque Del Apache NWR

Birding News #42

:: Rarity season has begun! Canada Rare Bird Alert: A Tundra/Taiga Bean-Goose  (Code 3/4) was found in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, on November 8th. This is a first record for Nova Scotia.

Canada Rare Bird Alert: A Calliope Hummingbird showed up at a feeder in Selkirk, Manitoba. The Calliope Hummingbird is a record first for the province.

ABA Rare Bird Alert: An Amazon Kingfisher (Code 5) was found during the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Texas near San Benito in Cameron County on the 9th. This is the second record for this species in the ABA area.

:: An interesting article about a Finnish kayaker who rescued a Northern Hawk-Owl that was found exhausted in Lake Tuusula.

:: After a national poll, the Superb Fairy-Wren is the official bird of Australia, with the Australian Magpie coming in a close second.

:: Will culling birds near airports solve the problem of birdstrikes to aircraft?

:: The Wrentit just got protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

:: eBird has changed the way users report Rock Pigeons

:: Read about the 11 Rules for the Twenty-Something Birdwatcher

:: The Beaverhill Bird Observatory in Alberta has applied for a grant from Shell’s “Fueling Change” program to help fund their Tree Swallow monitoring program, but they need votes to get the funding. So please vote for the BBO! (Full disclosure: I’m a member.)

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Josiah at Birding in Your BackyardHow To Make Suet Step By Step with pictures

:: From Andrew at Birding Dude: Peregrines are PUNKS!!!

:: From Steve at Bourbon, Bastards, and BirdsA Birder’s Guide To Rare Bird Reporting

:: From Cory at 10,000 Birds: Win a Book From Across The Pond The Crossley ID Guide Britain & Ireland

:: From Kathie at Birding is Fun: Portrait of a Wild Turkey

:: From Mia at On the Wing PhotographyAdult Roseate Spoonbill on the Gulf Coast