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A selection of the latest birdwatching news and blog posts.
How bird feather patterns form According to a new study, the precise patterning of bird feathers relies on signaling through ectodysplasin and its receptor EDAR - the same signaling pathway known to be crucial for the formation of hair follicles, teeth and scales in fish, lizards and mammals.
Recent drought may provide a glimpse of the future for birds in the Sierra Nevada "We know that this was an extreme drought," said Roberts. "However, given that climate models are predicting more droughts like this in the future, it's a bit of a relief to see how resilient many bird species are to these kinds of changes and that the drought did not lead to a widespread loss of biodiversity.
Origins of giant extinct New Zealand bird traced to Africa Scientists have revealed the African origins of New Zealand's most mysterious giant flightless bird - the now extinct adzebill - showing that some of its closest living relatives are the pint-sized flufftails from Madagascar and Africa.
Country diary: what a joy to welcome the much-maligned magpie The current nest has been reused annually, growing as each new pair makes additions. The impressive ball of sticks is now a fortress. This morning, while the cock magpie stood guard on the highest branch, long tail raised, the hen evicted an angry grey squirrel that sat chattering and shaking its tail in fury.
Wintering Piping Plovers in Florida - where are they from? I spent a few days visiting a good friend in North Fort Myers back in late January. While shorebirding on Bunche Beach in Lee County, I noticed several flagged / banded Piping Plovers. I tried to record as many as I could, which ended up being seven birds.
Notes From a Northwestern Ontario Backyard - February 2019 It's been a pretty quiet month so once again, this post will be mainly photos and descriptions. We are so incredibly buried in snow this winter! At least the Polar Vortex is finally leaving us alone. January and the first half of February were incredibly bitter with wind chills near - 55C!
The One-Third Difference Have you ever noticed that there are pairs of birds that look a lot alike but are different sizes? How about Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers? Or Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs. Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers. And Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks.
Our Family Home Now On The Market With Sowerbys! THE NEW SWIFTALERT "BEST IN THE FIELD" RARE BIRD ALERT PAGER!: 2 bedroom property for sale in Holme-next-the-Sea - Offers in excess of Â£295,000: A semi-detached house which occupies an excellent location, well away from the main coast road.
The Quarry Life Award In December, BirdLife's CEO, Patricia Zurita, attended HeidebergCement's fourth Quarry Life Award ceremony - a contest to inspire school children, graduate students and researchers to find new and innovative ways to boost biodiversity in quarries.
Fool's Spring day in Kent A great day out at Shellness and Swale NNR today in bright sunshine and mild conditions. Unfortunately no early migrants but great to see masses of wintering birds in comfortable summer like conditions - Ebird list HERE.
BCR 159: Maresa Pryor-Luzier, Natural History Photographer "A Freelance photographer with a goal of bringing awareness to special places throughout the world." Since 1987, Maresa's involvement in the photographic community includes chapter president of the American Society of Media Photographers of Central Florida, and a founding member of the North American Nature Photographers Association.
Country diary: wigeon come at me like an arrow out of the blue dazzle The birds fling themselves wildly over the river, spooked perhaps by a low plane or hunting harrier. They come hard in one brewing mass, perhaps 200 strong - 120kg of driven fletch - out of the blue dazzle on a bright afternoon, straight at me.
Back in Blighty Been writing up my Ghana trip since I got back last week as life went on back here. Luckily it's been a quiet week so not too much to report on.
Seafood certification scheme needs to step up action on bycatch New report shows that Marine Stewardship Council sustainable seafood certification scheme needs to do more to tackle bycatch of threatened species in certified fisheries.
Watching Sea Birds in Winter 'Through the Lens', Fujingaho Magazine, February, 2019 Click here to view pdf Photos and text: Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado English Translation: Asia Club, a WBSJ Volunteer Group Come October birds migrate to Japan from the north.
Ghana 2019 People pics Final post for Ghana 2019, here's a few holiday snaps. This is how all airlines should be!
Status of Wintering Golden Eagles in CT I've spent a bit of time looking for Golden Eagles in Connecticut this winter. Nothing crazy - a bit of scanning here and there along the lower Connecticut River and the "Northwest Corner" of the state. Golden Eagle is a scarce bird in Connecticut. You've automatically had a good day in the field if you've seen one.
How did the Pink Pigeon bounce back from just nine birds? The Pink Pigeon is no longer Endangered. But how did conservationists achieve this, and is it sustainable? Dr Vikash Tatayah, Conservation Director, Mauritian Wildlife Foundation reports from the field…
Seabirds Oiled By Natural Seep Along California Coast Flood Los Angeles Center Since the beginning of 2019, more than 50 oiled seabirds coated in natural seep have been found stranded on beaches up and down the coast of California, from San Mateo County to Orange County. The rescued birds are being washed and rehabilitated at our Los Angeles wildlife center.
Brian's birding blog We dropped into Lackford Lakes at first light this morning finding Lesser Redpolls and Siskins on the feeders and a pair of Bullfinch in the bramble behind before we moved on to the sailing lake. We'd missed all the larger gulls which had already left the roost but did manage to see a pair of Goldeneye making little Goldeneyes.
Now’s The Time A Tawny Owl hooted from the trees in the next door neighbour's garden: it was very dark with little time to look, but the owl was very close. The owls breed in a nearby copse, our garden on the edge of their territory. This morning was my first ringing trip to Oakenclough for 2019; ahead lay a forty minute drive.
Parents don't pick favorites, at least if you're a Magellanic penguin 23 in the journal Animal Behaviour, when a Magellanic penguin parent returns to its nest with fish, the parent tries to feed each of its two chicks equal portions of food, regardless of the youngsters' differences in age or size.
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Bardsey's Wildlife A total of 420 species of moths have been recorded on the island: 275 species of macro and 145 species of micro-lepidoptera.
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