Saturday, September 20, 2014

This week in birds - #126

A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment:

The most ubiquitous gull along the Gulf Coast at most seasons is the raucous Laughing Gull, seen here in flight over Galveston Bay.

*~*~*~*

According to the National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the combined average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces for August 2014 was a record high for the month, at 0.75 degrees C (1.35 degrees F) above the 20th century average of 15.6 degrees C (60.1 degrees F), topping the previous record set in 1998.

*~*~*~*

A new study published in Environmental Science and Technology journal states that the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf in 2010 dumped 22,000 tons of oil on the Gulf Coast, mostly on Louisiana.

*~*~*~*

"The Prairie Ecologist" writes about the effects of fires on the prairie. The frequency of the fires determines to a large extent the effects that will result.

*~*~*~*

A creek is more than just a flowing stream of water. Creeks and rivers are the basis of riparian habitats that provide water, food, shade, cover from (and for) predators, and breeding and nesting sites. Some of the species found there exist nowhere else.

*~*~*~*

No one knows for sure how Monk Parakeets first arrived in New York, but it was most likely through the pet trade. However it happened, the birds have invaded the city and have adapted to life there. They seem to be thriving.

Also on the subject of Monk Parakeets, a new study details the complex social relationships of these birds when they are in captivity.

*~*~*~*

"Birding is Fun" has a post about one of the most beautiful of our shorebirds, the American Avocet.

I photographed this small group of Avocets along a beach at Rockport, TX.

*~*~*~*

What is fracking and what are its benefits and its dangers? We all need to understand it as that practice becomes more common. "From Quarks to Quasars" explains.

*~*~*~*

Many birds in arid lands are in serious decline while many in wetlands are thriving due to more extensive conservation practices for those areas. This was one of the findings outlined in the State of the Birds report that was issued last week.

*~*~*~*

Here are some striking pictures from the Bird Ecology Study Group of the Asian Glossy Starling.

*~*~*~*

"Bug Eric" writes about an amazing insect called the blue-winged grasshopper.

*~*~*~*

In New Jersey, a group of legislators is introducing a bill to increase planting of milkweed in the state, in an effort to aid the seriously declining Monarch butterfly. 

*~*~*~*

The Larsen B ice shelf along the Antarctic Peninsula is likely to collapse because of warming temperatures in the area

*~*~*~*

Around the backyard:

Warblers have been passing through on migration this week. Late Tuesday afternoon, just at dusk, I had the rare pleasure of watching a lovely little Yellow Warbler in its fall feathers enjoying a bath in my little fountain. The bird had been attracted by the sound of the trickling water and it spent several minutes splashing in and out of it. I knew there was some reason I installed that fountain!



No comments:

Post a Comment