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Ornithological Newsletter #222 18 October 2014

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Here’s the latest Ornithological Newsletter, published by the Ornithological Societies of North America.

Aleteo #126: Colombian Conservation from ProAves 18 October 2014

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Check out the latest in Colombian Conservation from ProAves.  I never cease to be impressed by the great work these people are doing to conserve biodiversity in one of the earth’s great hot spots.  For example, they just added nearly 500 acres to a preserve that highlights protection of the Blue-billed Curassow.

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Also check out this artwork from some happy schoolkids working to develop a conservation ethic for our global biodiversity:  “Deforestacion:  !!!No!!!”  Love it!

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BirdBlitz! Counting Birds to Save Birds in Ecuador 18 October 2014

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Tim O'Connell:

BioBlitz Ecuador – going on now!

Originally posted on American Bird Conservancy Blog:

Esmeraldas Woodstar feeding at Ayampe Reserve. Photo by Francisco Sornoza

Esmeraldas Woodstar feeding at Ayampe Reserve. Photo by Francisco Sornoza

By Benjamin Skolnik

To celebrate the astonishing bird diversity harbored at Jocotoco Foundation’s reserves, I’m participating in the first “BioBlitz” to be held in Latin America: a “BirdBlitz” to document bird diversity.

Over the course of two 24-hour periods between Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, we will be documenting all the birds we can observe at Jocotoco reserves across Ecuador. The country is home to over 1,500 species of birds, and we hope to see over 500.

Benjamin Skolnik explains why supporting Fundación Jocotoco during the 2014 BirdBlitz is important for bird conservation in Ecuador.

In just the past year, American Bird Conservancy, Jocotoco and other partners added thousands of acres to the Antisanilla Reserve, Narupa Reserve, and Río Canande Reserve. Jocotoco now operates 10 reserves throughout Ecuador, protecting over 50 endangered and threatened birds along…

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Bird Cams eNews, Cornell Lab of Ornithology 18 October 2014

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With the proliferation of live webcams of animal behavior in real time, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has consolidated updates for several popular ones.  I really enjoy that Ontario FeederWatch Cam, for its Ruffed Grouse and northern finchy things.  Here are some Evening Grosbeaks from Wednesday afternoon:

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Great stuff!  I suppose I should rig one of these up so the good folks in Ontario can see all our southern specialties here at my feeders.

Center for Conservation Biology – eNewsletter for late summer 2014 6 October 2014

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The latest newsletter is out from the Center for Conservation Biology, a joint project of the College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University.

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CONSERVATION STORIES

Echoes of the Dough Birds

Like a summer carnival coming to a Midwestern town, wherever Eskimo Curlew went their arrival was the most anticipated event of the year. They were travelers along the Great Circle. From breeding grounds around the Mackenzie River they flew east to the Canadian Maritimes before making a nonstop flight to South America. Incredible numbers wintered on the campos around Bahia Blanca south of Buenos Aires. In the spring they flew north to…. Read more…
CCB NEWS

National Eagle Roost Registry launched

Non-breeding bald eagles are extremely social and frequently roost together near rich food resources. Communal roosts may be ephemeral congregations of birds that form to exploit short-lived food resources or may be used for decades. Roosts may be used by hundreds of birds or just two or three depending on the circumstances and the surrounding landscape structure. Because communal roosts play an important role in the life cycle of bald… Read more…

The Blueberry Birds of Acadia

Over the songs of Swainson’s thrush and white-throated sparrows come the soothing calls of approaching whimbrels. Soon 24 birds in formation appear over the tree line and begin a wide circle over the blueberry field. As they approach the northeast corner of the field, two shots of screamer shells explode from a black truck, leaving white trails of smoke arcing toward the flock. The flock whirls east, rising higher and picking up speed… Read more… (more…)

Handbook of the Birds of the World – newsletter #5 5 October 2014

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HBW Alive, #5, is now live!

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In addition to the spectacular Scarlet-belted Barbet, you can learn about the influence of neonicotinoids on birds, read about the newly described Cryptic Treehunter, watch video of the Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, and much more.

American Ornithologists’ Union – Presidential Report 5 October 2014

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PRESIDENTIAL-REPORT-2014

Birding Community E-Bulletin for October 2014 5 October 2014

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129

The Birding Community E-bulletin is distributed to active and concerned birders, those dedicated to the joys of birding and the protection of birds and their habitats.

This issue is sponsored by the producers of superb quality birding binoculars and scopes, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics:

http://sportsoptics.zeiss.com/nature/en_us/home.html

You can access an archive of past E-bulletins on the website of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA):

http://refugeassociation.org/news/birding-bulletin/

RARITY FOCUS

On Friday, 12 September a Whiskered Tern was found at Bunker Pond in Cape May, New Jersey. The tern was initially associating with a Black Tern, and was first reported by Louise Zemaitis and Alec Humann. Bunker Pond is a body of water at Cape May Point State Park that the famous hawk-watch platform overlooks.

The Whiskered Tern is a widespread Old World species. In North America however, there are only two previous records, both on the NE Atlantic Coast and, surprisingly, both with Cape May connections. One of the previous records involved a bird that was at Cape May for a few days in July, 1993, before it moved to Little Creek, Delaware, where it stayed for over a month. The other Whiskered Tern occurrence was a bird at Cape May for a few days in August, 1998.

Last month’s Whiskered Tern at Cape May often moved back and forth between Bunker Pond and the nearby beach, where it often roosted with Common Terns, Forster’s Terns, and Laughing Gulls. After the first weekend of observations, it also began to be seen near the Coral Avenue jetty and the jetty behind the St. Mary by-the-Sea Retreat Center.

Hundreds of birders came to see the tern through 20 September, which was the final day that the Whiskered Tern was observed.

For a good report from the Atlantic City press, see here:
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/off-course-whiskered-tern-has-excited-birders-heading-to-cape/article_435b8692-3d1b-11e4-a8e5-ff409b496649.html

And for a unique video by Andy McGann, see here:

THE PROBLEM OF LUCISTIC SANDHILL CRANES

In July of last year, researchers with the Wisconsin-based International Crane Foundation (ICF) found a dead radio-tagged Whooping Crane in a Waupaca County wheat field. The bird had been shot. Matthew Kent Larsen, 28, of New London pleaded guilty in federal court in Green Bay for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by killing a protected species. Larsen told authorities he shot the crane because he thought it was an albino Sandhill Crane. Of course, Whooping Cranes are white and Sandhill Cranes are normally gray or reddish brown. Neither bird is legal to be hunted in Wisconsin. You can read more about this issue from the USFWS, a summary of which was released this past summer here:
http://www.fws.gov/midwest/news/730.html
(more…)

Waterthrush Podcast #21: Soy nectar? 21 September 2014

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Episode 21 of the Waterthrush Podcast is now live.

What if we were in the midst of a mass extinction and no one knew it?  What if, every day, a great work of art was lost and no  one could ever again hear something Mozart composed or see something DaVinci painted?  In an unrelated question, does nectar taste like Kool-aid to a hummingbird, or does it taste like a beef stir-fry?

Aleteo #124: Conservation news from Colombia 7 September 2014

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Check out the latest ProAves conservation news from Colombia in Aleteo #124

News
Hope for the last lowland Bears in Colombia.
Recent records of the spectacled bear in ProAves reserves warn about the need to conserve the rainforests with the creation and strengthening of protected areas and the inclusion of the surrounding community.
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In the distant Colombian Orinoco, an educational venue replicates ProAves biological based education
In rural based educational venue, Policarpa Salvarrieta in el Anzuelo, Meta, Luis Alberto Pallares teacher and his rector Jairo Novoa, have shown that the remoteness and lack of resources are not an excuse to manage school activities aimed at conservation.
 

Visit the El Dorado Reserve, a paradise of birds
 El Dorado Bird Reserve, golden afternoons between mountains and sea. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the paradise that every ornithologist and nature lover should visit and enjoy. http://www.eldoradoreserve.org
 

Playa Post Vol. 12, issue 7 – Sep 2014 7 September 2014

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Check out the latest Playa Post, the newsletter of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture.

PLJV ConocoPhillips Grants Worth More Than Face Value
Grants Fund Restoration at Jamestown WMA and Provide Match for NAWCA Grants
The PLJV ConocoPhillips grant program has supported habitat conservation for nearly 25 years, investing over $2.2 million into more than 260 projects around the PLJV region, with most of those projects providing habitat through traditional restoration or protection activities. Although ConocoPhillips grants are relatively small, $25,000 or less, they can provide greater value when used strategically within a broader plan.

Take a look at Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), for example. Rob Unruh, manager of the Jamestown Wildlife Area, has applied for three PLJV ConocoPhillips grants to help fund discrete projects within Jamestown — and received funding each time. He has also been successful in leveraging those funds by using it as non-federal match for North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants. Read more. (more…)

Birding Community E-Bulletin – September 2014 7 September 2014

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The Birding Community E-bulletin is distributed to active and concerned birders, those dedicated to the joys of birding and the protection of birds and their habitats.
 
This issue is sponsored by the producers of superb quality birding binoculars and scopes, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics:
http://sportsoptics.zeiss.com/nature/en_us/home.html
 
RARITY FOCUS

On 2 August, Dan Jones, a Lower Rio Grande Valley birder, visited the Hargill Playa in Hidalgo County, Texas, located a few miles north-northeast of Edinburg. The idea was to scope out sandpipers and other birds, a few which might be significant for Hidalgo County. Jones was surprised to find what at first appeared to be a Wilson’s Plover, except that it looked odd: the bill seemed too narrow, it had a white forehead, and a black band ran across the head, extending from eye to eye. He had suspicions that the bird might be something else, took some photos, and then returned home to compare them with online photos.

His suspicions were correct. (more…)

6 September 2014 – 2 Wilson’s Warblers amidst a major fallout 6 September 2014

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Originally posted on Avian Window Kills:

Our first decent cold front of the summer came through last night just as the sun was going down, and this one brought some actual rain.  Thus, by about 9:00 pm, conditions were ripe for a major fallout of migrants as the ceiling lowered and the rain and storms moved in.  At time of writing, we’ve now had about 13 hours of steady rain. From Paul Hurtado’s radar ornithology page, these images show the impressive flight underway last night and the rain slicing through central Oklahoma that was forcing birds down.

Composite radar image from just after 9:00 pm last night.  Check out the impressive flight going on especially along the western shore of Lake Michigan.

Composite radar image from just after 9:00 pm last night. Check out the impressive flight going on especially west of Lake Michigan.

In this image from about 7:00 this morning, the rain hasn't really moved but the birds have put down for the day.

In this image from about 7:00 this morning, the rain hasn’t really moved but the birds have largely put down for the day.

While that rain was starting up last night, I heard…

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Sam Noble Museum – newsletter for September 2014 4 September 2014

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219

September 2014 Newsletter of the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History
News
Museum Welcomes Visitors to Bring in Objects
Many people find and collect objects that they recognize but can’t identify. Could it be a rock or a fossil? A piece of mammoth tusk or a mineral? All these questions and more can be answered during Science in Action & Object I.D. Day, a FREE, family-friendly, science-packed day of fun from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 28. Everything from bones and rocks to Native American objects and languages are brought in to the museum on this day for the experts to ponder over, identify and explain.   
 

Programs

Swaptember
Sept. 1-30
Show your membership card from any other the participating organizations to receive $5 off any listed organizations membership! Participating attractions include the Museum of Osteology, Myriad Gardens, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, OKC Museum of Art, OKC Zoo, Oklahoma Historical Society, Sam Noble Museum and Science Museum Oklahoma.

(more…)

The Wildlife Society multibrief 3 September 2014

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Manatees might not be endangered much longer, but have they really recovered well enough to warrant a reclassification under the ESA? To explore this, and other timely issues in wildlife conservation, check out the latest Multibrief newsletter from The Wildlife Society.

BirdWatch Ireland eWings #59 3 September 2014

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BIRDWATCH IRELAND eWINGS

Welcome to the August 2014 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland’s email newsletter.

As a charity, BirdWatch Ireland relies on the public for support. A great new way to help us to carry out our vital conservation work is to sign up as an official Business Supporter of BirdWatch Ireland. It’s the perfect way for companies, partnerships and other businesses to provide financial and moral support for Ireland’s leading environmental NGO. At the same time, it provides a wide range of benefits for your business, your staff and your customers, and there may also be significant tax advantages.

We have just launched our new range of Business Supporter packages, which can be tailored to best suit the needs of your business, large or small. Whether you’re a CEO looking for a charity to partner with, or you work for a company which shares our concern for Ireland’s natural heritage, we would love to talk to you. For more information, please have a look at the new Business Supporter section on our website.

To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.

        

ARTICLES

    
    
Extract from Wings magazine: focus on Ireland’s Woodcocks

The Woodcock is one of Ireland’s most enigmatic and cherished waders, so the news that the species is now on the Red List of endangered birds in Ireland came as a shock to many. In an exclusive extract from the August 2014 edition of Wings, BirdWatch Ireland’s quarterly members’ magazine, Sinéad Cummins tells us more about this fascinating bird.

Don’t forget that the only way to receive Wings is to become a BirdWatch Ireland member.

Learn more about Ireland’s Woodcocks in Sinéad’s exclusive Wings article (PDF: 799KB)

    
Jellyfish on the increase in Irish waters?

Jellyfish are very interesting creatures indeed, and there have been many reports of unusally large numbers of them in Irish coastal waters this summer. Why might this be, and what might it be telling us about the health of our marine environment? Melanie Gomes, BirdWatch Ireland’s Marine and Fisheries Policy Officer, fills us in. (more…)

The Waterthrush Podcast #20: Little Martha 1 September 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in animal behavior, birding, birds/nature, Christmas Bird Count, deforestation, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, history, IUCN, Links, migrants, monarch butterfly, overpopulation, skepticism and science, The Waterthrush Podcast, wildlife.
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Today, 1 September 2014, is the centenary of the death of Martha, the very last Passenger Pigeon.  In an op-ed published today by the New York Times, executive director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology John Fitzpatrick shares his thoughts to mark this sad occasion, and challenges us to recognize the other “passenger pigeons” disappearing before our eyes today. I read Fitzpatrick’s essay for the Waterthrush Podcast #20: Little Martha.

A Sad Centennial 1 September 2014

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Originally posted on Vermont Center for Ecostudies:

Passenger Pigeon

Passenger Pigeon

A sad 100th anniversary tomorrow. On September 1, 1914, the last passenger pigeon in the world, Martha, died in the Cincinnati Zoo; her death cemented the extinction of the passenger pigeon species, whose population numbers were once in the billions.

“The number of pigeons [at Clarendon, Vt.] was immense . . . For an hundred acres together, the ground was covered with their dung, to the dept of two inches. Their noise in the evening was extremely troublesome, and so great that the traveler could not get any sleep, where their nests were thick. About two hours after sunrise, they rose in such numbers as to darken the air.”
-William Samuel, The Natural and Civil History of Vermont, 1794.

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After 90 Percent Decline, Federal Protection Sought for Monarch Butterfly 28 August 2014

Posted by Tim O'Connell in birds/nature, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, IUCN, life, Links, migrants, monarch butterfly, weather, wildlife.
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Tim O'Connell:

Thanks to K. P. McFarland for this important post from 26 Aug. 2014.  I have been following this story for years, but even I was surprised to learn that things had gotten so grave so quickly.

 

Originally posted on Vermont Center for Ecostudies:

MonarchsWASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety as co-lead petitioners joined by the Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower filed a legal petition today to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for monarch butterflies, which have declined by more than 90 percent in under 20 years. During the same period it is estimated that these once-common iconic orange and black butterflies may have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat — an area about the size of Texas — including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds.

“Monarchs are in a deadly free fall and the threats they face are now so large in scale that Endangered Species Act protection is needed sooner rather than later, while there is still time to reverse the severe decline in the heart of their range,” said Lincoln Brower, preeminent…

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500 Million Records – eBird! 25 August 2014

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Among several other cool announcements in the latest eBird News newsletter is this piece:  eBird has now surpassed 500 million records in its database.

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