A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment:Many of our avian winter visitors are beginning to move on now that spring temperatures have arrived in our area, but the Cedar Waxwings are still with us. I photographed this one in my next-door neighbor's pear tree which is just beginning to bloom. A fairly large flock of the waxwings have been enjoying a feast in my yard over the last couple of weeks. Most of the berries that they normally dine on are gone now but when our February freeze came, there were still a large number of oranges on my two orange trees. The freeze spoiled them for human consumption but that hasn't bothered the waxwings. They have been eagerly consuming the fruit. I'm just glad I didn't hurry to clean up after the freeze. Sometimes procrastination pays.
FINALLY! We have an Environmental Protection Agency director who is actually interested in protecting the environment. President Biden's nominee for the post, Michael S. Regan from North Carolina, was confirmed by the Senate this week. He has a huge job ahead of him, but he seems to be up to it.
The last of Ireland’s great oak forests were gone by the end of the seventeenth century. But pockets of this ancient forest linger: on coastal headlands, on old country estates, and in remote valleys. These are among the last remnants of temperate rainforests in Europe.
European Starling murmurations can be quite amazing sights. Here are some that were recorded by an Irish photographer.