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Hi there. I have been birding most of my life and am currently a grad student working on a bird migration study. "A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song."
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"Two endangered whooping cranes mated for life have been found dead in Western Kentucky, the likely victims of an illegal shooter — and officials are offering a reward to catch the perpetrator. 

Federal wildlife authorities have kept quiet about the rare cranes’ deaths last November while they have gathered evidence, but they say they plan to ask for the public’s help today. 

“We are putting together a reward package,” said Tom MacKenzie, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional office in Atlanta.”

"Two endangered whooping cranes mated for life have been found dead in Western Kentucky, the likely victims of an illegal shooter — and officials are offering a reward to catch the perpetrator.

Federal wildlife authorities have kept quiet about the rare cranes’ deaths last November while they have gathered evidence, but they say they plan to ask for the public’s help today.

“We are putting together a reward package,” said Tom MacKenzie, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional office in Atlanta.”

Thursday January 16th // Filed under: whooping cranes, birds, conservation, endangered species, nature, animals, outdoors, wildlife, reward, kentucky,
Red-headed Vulture (Sarcogyps calvus)
The widespread use of the NSAID Diclofenac in veterinary medicine in India has caused its population to collapse in recent years, however. Diclofenac is a compound now known to be extremely poisonous to vultures. The population of this species has essentially halved every other year since the late 1990s, and what once was a plentiful species numbering in the hundreds of thousands has come dangerously close to extinction in less than two decades. Consequently it was uplisted to Critically Endangered in the 2007 IUCN Red List. Several NSAIDs have been found to be harmful to scavenging birds. Diclofenac, carprofen, flunixin, ibuprofen and phenylbutazone were associated with mortality. Meloxicam has thus far been found to be “Vulture-Safe” and its use in veterinary treatment of livestock is being encouraged.
(via Red-headed Vulture)

Red-headed Vulture (Sarcogyps calvus)

The widespread use of the NSAID Diclofenac in veterinary medicine in India has caused its population to collapse in recent years, however. Diclofenac is a compound now known to be extremely poisonous to vultures. The population of this species has essentially halved every other year since the late 1990s, and what once was a plentiful species numbering in the hundreds of thousands has come dangerously close to extinction in less than two decades. Consequently it was uplisted to Critically Endangered in the 2007 IUCN Red List. Several NSAIDs have been found to be harmful to scavenging birds. Diclofenac, carprofen, flunixin, ibuprofen and phenylbutazone were associated with mortality. Meloxicam has thus far been found to be “Vulture-Safe” and its use in veterinary treatment of livestock is being encouraged.

(via Red-headed Vulture)

Sunday September 1st // Filed under: vulture, nature, conservation, threatened species, bird, birding, birds, animals,
Wednesday April 3rd // Filed under: birds, conservation, nature, aves, rare,
Two common starlings perched on a tree stump in the snow. The UK’s garden bird populations have suffered a further decline over the past year.
^We might not like them in North America, but they’re declining in Great Britain. 

Two common starlings perched on a tree stump in the snow. The UK’s garden bird populations have suffered a further decline over the past year.

^We might not like them in North America, but they’re declining in Great Britain. 

(Source: Guardian)

Saturday March 30th // Filed under: starling, conservation, united kingdom, nature, wildlife, animals, birds,
An African fishing eagle carries a fish over Lake Baringo, Kenya. The species is under threat in this area, as local goat farmers have taken to throwing fish laced with poison into the river to kill off crocodiles which eat their cattle. 
^I wish that people would STOP poisoning wildlife.  There’s always a cascade effect.

An African fishing eagle carries a fish over Lake Baringo, Kenya. The species is under threat in this area, as local goat farmers have taken to throwing fish laced with poison into the river to kill off crocodiles which eat their cattle. 

^I wish that people would STOP poisoning wildlife.  There’s always a cascade effect.

(Source: Guardian)

Saturday March 30th // Filed under: birds, aves, raptor, nature, eagle, animals, conservation,
Endangered garden birds continuing to decline in the UK, RSPB survey shows
Starlings, house sparrows and other threatened garden birds have suffered a further decline in their numbers over the past year, new figures show.
The results from the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch (BGBW),based on half a million people counting birds in their gardens over a weekend in January, also showed an increase in the species that are not commonly seen in back gardens, such as fieldfares and jays, after a freezing start to the year drove them out of the countryside in search of food.
Numbers of starlings, a “red-listed” species of conservation concern which dropped to a record low in last year’s birdwatch, declined by a further 16% this year.
House sparrows – also endangered – fell by 17% on 2012 figures, while bullfinches and dunnock numbers also fell, by 20% and 13% respectively. While green finches have declined by nearly 21% since last year.
Martin Harper, the RSPB's conservation director, said: “We know from the many people who take part in Big Garden Birdwatch every year that garden birds are incredibly precious to us and connect us to nature every day … but several of our familiar and best-loved species have been declining at alarming rates over the 34 years that the RSPB has been running the birdwatch and this year's results show a continuing decline.”
The starling, famous for its winter “murmurations” involving up to hundreds of thousands of birds, has seen a steady decline in numbers since the BGBW survey began in 1979. Losses have been linked to the loss of traditional, established farming pastures, where experts believe that intensively farmed land makes it more difficult for birds to find their favourite food – the cranefly larvae that live in undisturbed soil.
^So bizarre for me to think about Starlings and House Sparrows as being a threatened/declining species anywhere. The article doesn’t specify if these trends are present throughout Europe or only in the UK.  A good example of how many bird species are suffering the effects of climate change and habitat destruction.

Endangered garden birds continuing to decline in the UK, RSPB survey shows

Starlings, house sparrows and other threatened garden birds have suffered a further decline in their numbers over the past year, new figures show.

The results from the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch (BGBW),based on half a million people counting birds in their gardens over a weekend in January, also showed an increase in the species that are not commonly seen in back gardens, such as fieldfares and jays, after a freezing start to the year drove them out of the countryside in search of food.

Numbers of starlings, a “red-listed” species of conservation concern which dropped to a record low in last year’s birdwatch, declined by a further 16% this year.

House sparrows – also endangered – fell by 17% on 2012 figures, while bullfinches and dunnock numbers also fell, by 20% and 13% respectively. While green finches have declined by nearly 21% since last year.

Martin Harper, the RSPB's conservation director, said: “We know from the many people who take part in Big Garden Birdwatch every year that garden birds are incredibly precious to us and connect us to nature every day … but several of our familiar and best-loved species have been declining at alarming rates over the 34 years that the RSPB has been running the birdwatch and this year's results show a continuing decline.”

The starling, famous for its winter “murmurations” involving up to hundreds of thousands of birds, has seen a steady decline in numbers since the BGBW survey began in 1979. Losses have been linked to the loss of traditional, established farming pastures, where experts believe that intensively farmed land makes it more difficult for birds to find their favourite food – the cranefly larvae that live in undisturbed soil.

^So bizarre for me to think about Starlings and House Sparrows as being a threatened/declining species anywhere. The article doesn’t specify if these trends are present throughout Europe or only in the UK.  A good example of how many bird species are suffering the effects of climate change and habitat destruction.

Thursday March 28th // Filed under: endangered species, house sparrow, european starling, decline, animals, conservation, birds, birding,
earthandscience:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is ready to throw out the birdy with the lawsuit.
The federal government’s principal wildlife conservation agency said this week that it wants to withdraw a 16-year old designation of protected habitat for a Pacific Northwest bird species in order to resolve settle an industry lawsuit.
In a proposed consent decree filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Washington, the Obama administration, an Oregon county, a timber industry organization, and a carpenter’s union agreed that a series of court decisions requires that critical habitat for the endangered marbled murrelet be “reconsidered.”
The industry lawsuit alleges that FWS improperly included in the designation land that is not actually needed by the bird species for survival.
A coalition of environmental organizations said that the administration has “given up” in the face of the lawsuit. (via Obama administration wants end to critical habitat for marbled murrelet - National Natural Resources Policy | Examiner.com)

earthandscience:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is ready to throw out the birdy with the lawsuit.

The federal government’s principal wildlife conservation agency said this week that it wants to withdraw a 16-year old designation of protected habitat for a Pacific Northwest bird species in order to resolve settle an industry lawsuit.

In a proposed consent decree filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Washington, the Obama administration, an Oregon county, a timber industry organization, and a carpenter’s union agreed that a series of court decisions requires that critical habitat for the endangered marbled murrelet be “reconsidered.”

The industry lawsuit alleges that FWS improperly included in the designation land that is not actually needed by the bird species for survival.

A coalition of environmental organizations said that the administration has “given up” in the face of the lawsuit. (via Obama administration wants end to critical habitat for marbled murrelet - National Natural Resources Policy | Examiner.com)

Sunday October 28th // Filed under: animals, birds, endangered, esa, money, industry, conservation,
rhamphotheca:

Lesser Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus)
The Lesser Prairie Chicken is an upland bird found in mixed grass, sand-sage and shinnery oak prairies of western Thumbnail of Lesser Prairie ChickenKansas, southeast Colorado, northwest Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and eastern New Mexico. Once widely distributed, the bird has experienced dramatic reductions in population and is now a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Biologists estimate that only about 50,000 breeding birds remain…
(read more: USDA NRCS)          (Photo by USFWS)

rhamphotheca:

Lesser Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus)

The Lesser Prairie Chicken is an upland bird found in mixed grass, sand-sage and shinnery oak prairies of western Thumbnail of Lesser Prairie ChickenKansas, southeast Colorado, northwest Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and eastern New Mexico. Once widely distributed, the bird has experienced dramatic reductions in population and is now a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Biologists estimate that only about 50,000 breeding birds remain…

(read more: USDA NRCS)          (Photo by USFWS)

Saturday September 22nd // Filed under: prairie chicken, galliform, bird, conservation, north america,
A male Robinson Crusoe firecrown perched on a branch on Robinson Crusoe Island. Invasive species are crowding out the unique native plants and birds that evolved during more than a million years of isolation before the first people moved into the Juan Fernández archipelago, composed of three remote islands; Robinson Crusoe, Alejandro Selkirk and Santa Clara, about 416 miles west of the Chilean mainland.

A male Robinson Crusoe firecrown perched on a branch on Robinson Crusoe Island. Invasive species are crowding out the unique native plants and birds that evolved during more than a million years of isolation before the first people moved into the Juan Fernández archipelago, composed of three remote islands; Robinson Crusoe, Alejandro Selkirk and Santa Clara, about 416 miles west of the Chilean mainland.

Saturday September 22nd // Filed under: animals, nature, birds, aves, hummingbird, cute, threatened, conservation,
earthandscience:

The arrival of warm, sunny conditions has come too late to help one of the UK’s most well-known summer birds, the swift, which has been hit by this year’s miserable weather. Flocks of swifts are already starting to head back to Africa, where they spend the winter, following a ‘disastrous’ breeding season, conservationists said.

earthandscience:

The arrival of warm, sunny conditions has come too late to help one of the UK’s most well-known summer birds, the swift, which has been hit by this year’s miserable weather. Flocks of swifts are already starting to head back to Africa, where they spend the winter, following a ‘disastrous’ breeding season, conservationists said.

Sunday July 29th // Filed under: animals, nature, birds, conservation, climate change, reproduction, swifts, birding,
IT’S a case of habitat well and truly lost for South Florida’s Cape Sable seaside sparrow. It can enjoy only a fraction of the homeland it was promised.
The Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Arizona, has found that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) systematically ignored recommendations to increase habitats for endangered species between 2002 and 2007.
"The sparrow’s habitat is a good example," says Kieran Suckling, executive director of the centre. The sparrow’s proposed home was cut in half by the FWS.
Stuart Pimm of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, says FWS scientists decide what land should be a protected habitat based on a tried and tested formula and peer review. He adds, though, that proposals are almost always cut extensively by the decision-makers.
Read more @ Endangered species rewarded with meagre territory - environment - 12 July 2012

IT’S a case of habitat well and truly lost for South Florida’s Cape Sable seaside sparrow. It can enjoy only a fraction of the homeland it was promised.

The Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Arizona, has found that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) systematically ignored recommendations to increase habitats for endangered species between 2002 and 2007.

"The sparrow’s habitat is a good example," says Kieran Suckling, executive director of the centre. The sparrow’s proposed home was cut in half by the FWS.

Stuart Pimm of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, says FWS scientists decide what land should be a protected habitat based on a tried and tested formula and peer review. He adds, though, that proposals are almost always cut extensively by the decision-makers.

Read more @ Endangered species rewarded with meagre territory - environment - 12 July 2012

Tuesday July 24th // Filed under: birds, conservation, animals, nature, ecology, habitat, USFWS, fail,
rhamphotheca:

California Condor Recovery
Did you know the California condor, once on the brink of complete extinction throughout the West, is making a comeback? Recently, our newest intern Meagan Johnson had the rare opportunity to visit the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wilderness Conservation California condor breeding facility. 
In 1987 California condors were near extinction in California, and the decision was made to bring in the remaining 22 birds from the wild with the goal of breeding them in captivity, something which had never been tried before. Luckily, these amazing birds took to captive breeding quite well, and thanks to the Oregon Zoo’s off-site breeding facility, and similar sites in California, 416 California condors exist today, the majority of which have been released back into the wild. 
Read more: http://www.oregonzoo.org/node/357/media
(via: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - NW Region)

rhamphotheca:

California Condor Recovery

Did you know the California condor, once on the brink of complete extinction throughout the West, is making a comeback? Recently, our newest intern Meagan Johnson had the rare opportunity to visit the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wilderness Conservation California condor breeding facility.

In 1987 California condors were near extinction in California, and the decision was made to bring in the remaining 22 birds from the wild with the goal of breeding them in captivity, something which had never been tried before. Luckily, these amazing birds took to captive breeding quite well, and thanks to the Oregon Zoo’s off-site breeding facility, and similar sites in California, 416 California condors exist today, the majority of which have been released back into the wild.

Read more: http://www.oregonzoo.org/node/357/media

(via: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - NW Region)

Friday July 20th // Filed under: bird, condor, endangered, north america, vulture, conservation,
earthandscience:

30 years ago, efforts began to save the California condor, an iconic species on the brink of extinction. Since then, a lot of progress has been made, and the last count revealed 405 known California condors. The population is split between 179 individuals living in zoos, and 226 living in the wild. But while the progress that has been made so far is encouraging, it’s too early to say that the California condor has been saved.
Key among issues are lead poisoning caused by condors eating animals, or gut piles from animals, shot with lead ammunition.
(via California Condor Population Rebounds to 405 After Near Extinction : TreeHugger)

earthandscience:

30 years ago, efforts began to save the California condor, an iconic species on the brink of extinction. Since then, a lot of progress has been made, and the last count revealed 405 known California condors. The population is split between 179 individuals living in zoos, and 226 living in the wild. But while the progress that has been made so far is encouraging, it’s too early to say that the California condor has been saved.

Key among issues are lead poisoning caused by condors eating animals, or gut piles from animals, shot with lead ammunition.

(via California Condor Population Rebounds to 405 After Near Extinction : TreeHugger)

Tuesday May 29th // Filed under: animals, nature, science, ecology, condor, conservation, recovery, endangered species, united states,
Monday May 21st // Filed under: animals, birds, nature, albatross, midway, atoll, breeding, birding, island, conservation,