For “Winged Wednesday”:
“The Allpahuayo Antbird was described as a new species in 2001. Males are mainly dark gray with a black throat patch, blackish wings with white wing bars, and a pale iris; females have tawny and white underparts. This antbird is a habitat specialist, only occurring in the dense understory of white sand forests and palm thickets in Peru’s northern Amazon.
This bird is a challenge to see at its stronghold, the Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, since it stays in dense undergrowth were visibility is limited. Its loud song – a series of whistles – reveals its presence among dense ground cover.
Its small population is threatened by deforestation for agriculture and logging. ABC and ProNaturaleza have worked together at the Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve to improve management and protection of white-sand forests for the Allpahuayo Antbird and other rare, white-sand forest bird speciess. As of November 2012, over 2,000 acres of private inholdings inside the reserve boundary have been donated to the Peruvian national government agency in charge of protected areas.
ABC and ProNaturaleza have also financed the construction and furnishing of two new guard stations in the reserve, initiated educational campaigns with local communities to teach them the importance of protecting the forest habitat, led training programs for reserve staff, and conducted bird surveys.
Photo: Emma Shelly; Range Map, NatureServe
“A Canadian woman named Karen Gwillim was driving through the village of Craven, Saskatchewan back in September when she came across a cormorant (perhaps like the one on left) standing in the middle of the road. Seeing that it was struggling, Gwillim got out of her car to take a closer look, and found that there was a silver digital camera hanging from the bird’s neck. After taking the camera off — or stealing the camera from the bird, depending on how you look at it — Gwillim took the gear home to investigate.
Once she had removed the SD card from the point-and-shoot camera and dried it out, she stuck it into her card reader to see if it was still readable. Lo and behold, there were 239 photos preserved on the card, with many of them showing a group of guys holding up big fish while on a fishing trip.” Read more at: http://www.petapixel.com/2012/11/14/lost-camera-found-around-birds-neck-with-photos-intact/
Extinction fears spur push to breed Florida grasshopper sparrow
“Fearing that the Florida grasshopper sparrow might go extinct in as little as two years, wildlife advocates have begun pressing federal officials to approve an emergency effort to capture some of the birds and breed them in captivity.
The Central Florida bird is a subspecies of the grasshopper sparrow found only in vast, treeless prairies south of the Orlando area, including the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area in Osceola County, where the largest group of the sparrows clings to survival.” More at: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-11-14/news/os-audubon-emergency-bird-request-20121114_1_grasshopper-sparrow-dusky-seaside-sparrow-bird
Lear's Macaws, The Rarest Birds in the Americas!
Photo: Lear's Macaw pair by Ciro Ginez Albano
“The Endangered Lear's Macaw occurs only in northern Bahia State, Brazil, where it roosts and nests in narrow, red sandstone canyons. Although it had first been illustrated a century earlier and individuals had been kept in zoos, the macaw was only rediscovered and recognized as a species in 1978. Its population is small, with recent estimates (July 2008) of only 962 individuals, and it is only known to nest and roost at two sites, with the largest number at Canudos Biological Station and a smaller group at Serra Branca Farm about 50 miles away. The macaw feeds mainly on licuri palm fruits and maize.
This large blue macaw faces several severe threats to its continued existence in the wild. It requires constant protection from the illegal wild bird trade, while the licuri palm on which the bird depends is becoming increasingly scarce due to over-exploitation for cattle fodder and destruction of its seedlings by the overgrazing of goats and pasture burning. The most critical habitat for the birds is the sandstone cliffs in the region in which it roosts and nests, and where it is vulnerable to illegal trappers.” More at: http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/international/LearsMacaw.html
Hawaiian sea birds misled by lights
“Oahu residents are being urged to keep an eye out for native Hawaiian sea birds during this critical time of year. From November to December recently hatched Wedged-tail Shearwater birds are taken in by Seal Life Park's Seabird Rehabilitation Center and treated for injury, exhaustion or illness.
"The most common injury right now is they are young, tired, they've been flying a lot they get disoriented," says Sandra Bingham, Sea Life Park Wings Team Leader.
These young birds are just learning to fly, and they use the stars and the moon for navigation. "But there are so many street lights, stadium lights, people's back yard lights anything can draw those birds in," she says.
The birds then follow those lights and continue flying until they become exhausted and fall to the ground, taking up a place to hide, and that could mean your backyard. And if not helped, they could die or become easy prey for other animals.” More at: http://www.khon2.com/news/local/story/Hawaiian-sea-birds-misled-by-lights/zgLSXrAN30ij0QJvD9t6yA.cspx
Trapped Bald Eagle Rescued By Police
A bald eagle found caught in a hunter’s trap was released — very carefully — by a New Hampshire police sergeant.
“The bird was discovered by a pair of hunters who contacted police in Salem, N.H.
“I was on on call and spoke to the hunter,” Sgt. Mike Wagner told ABCNews.com. “But I didn’t believe it was an eagle. In my 41 years on Earth I’ve never seen a bald eagle in the wild.” Wagner arrived at the scene and found a bald eagle stuck in a snap-type trap. “I threw a blanket over it and it seemed to calm down. Then we unsprung the spring-loaded trap and got the bird’s talon out,” the sergeant said. The eagle seemed largely unharmed, Wagner said, and as soon as soon as it was pried loose from the trap it flew away.” More at: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/11/trapped-bald-eagle-rescued-by-police/
Photo: David Cook Wildlife Photography
“Australian female fairy-wrens don’t even wait until their young are hatched before starting to teach them life skills. The birds sing to their eggs, imparting the embryo inside with a “password”—a unique note that nestlings must later incorporate into their begging calls in order to get food, Nature News reports.
This trick likely evolved as a way to outmaneuver parasitic cuckoos, which frequently infest the fairy-wrens’ nest, often at the cost of the survival of the fairy wrens’ offspring. Though researchers previously knew fairy-wrens could often distinguish their own offspring from invaders based upon calls, no one before understood that the nestlings learned the passwords before emerging from the egg.” More at: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2012/11/mother-birds-teach-their-eggs-a-secret-feed-me-password/
Weekly Preview: December 2, 2012, Upcoming Shows: Hitchcock, Superstorm Sandy, and the Dodo ... A flightless, luckless bird... See and hear them at: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/544840/0bbe87b607/1654002543/b0eaa8d8cc/
On This Day:
Prohibition ends, Dec 5, 1933:
“The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America. At 5:32 p.m. EST, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the requisite three-fourths majority of states' approval. Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified it earlier in the day.
The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies. By the late 19th century, these groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for national liquor abstinence. Several states outlawed the manufacture or sale of alcohol within their own borders. In December 1917, the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes," was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. On January 29, 1919, the 18th Amendment achieved the necessary three-fourths majority of state ratification. Prohibition essentially began in June of that year, but the amendment did not officially take effect until January 29, 1920.
In the meantime, Congress passed the Volstead Act on October 28, 1919, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of Prohibition, including the creation of a special Prohibition unit of the Treasury Department. In its first six months, the unit destroyed thousands of illicit stills run by bootleggers. However, federal agents and police did little more than slow the flow of booze, and organized crime flourished in America. Large-scale bootleggers like Al Capone of Chicago built criminal empires out of illegal distribution efforts, and federal and state governments lost billions in tax revenue. In most urban areas, the individual consumption of alcohol was largely tolerated and drinkers gathered at "speakeasies," the Prohibition-era term for saloons.
Prohibition, failing fully to enforce sobriety and costing billions, rapidly lost popular support in the early 1930s. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, ending national Prohibition. After the repeal of the 18th Amendment, some states continued Prohibition by maintaining statewide temperance laws. Mississippi, the last dry state in the Union, ended Prohibition in 1966.”
Aircraft squadron lost in the Bermuda Triangle, Dec 5, 1945:
“At 2:10 p.m., five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers comprising Flight 19 take off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission. Flight 19 was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base. They never returned.
Two hours after the flight began, the leader of the squadron, who had been flying in the area for more than six months, reported that his compass and back-up compass had failed and that his position was unknown. The other planes experienced similar instrument malfunctions. Radio facilities on land were contacted to find the location of the lost squadron, but none were successful. After two more hours of confused messages from the fliers, a distorted radio transmission from the squadron leader was heard at 6:20 p.m., apparently calling for his men to prepare to ditch their aircraft simultaneously because of lack of fuel.
By this time, several land radar stations finally determined that Flight 19 was somewhere north of the Bahamas and east of the Florida coast, and at 7:27 p.m. a search and rescue Mariner aircraft took off with a 13-man crew. Three minutes later, the Mariner aircraft radioed to its home base that its mission was underway. The Mariner was never heard from again. Later, there was a report from a tanker cruising off the coast of Florida of a visible explosion seen at 7:50 p.m.
The disappearance of the 14 men of Flight 19 and the 13 men of the Mariner led to one of the largest air and seas searches to that date, and hundreds of ships and aircraft combed thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and remote locations within the interior of Florida. No trace of the bodies or aircraft was ever found.
Although naval officials maintained that the remains of the six aircraft and 27 men were not found because stormy weather destroyed the evidence, the story of the "Lost Squadron" helped cement the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, an area of the Atlantic Ocean where ships and aircraft are said to disappear without a trace. The Bermuda Triangle is said to stretch from the southern U.S. coast across to Bermuda and down to the Atlantic coast of Cuba and Santo Domingo.”
It started out with a hurried getting ready to get out the door. The animals wondered why I was feeding them earlier. Jay’s mother wasn’t feeling well, so I was asked to take him to court for his Public Intoxication ticket. Misty and I went to get him, and she had a quick walk-about down there, as he wasn’t ready.
I had been up four times with Misty wanting to go out during the night, so I am surprised that I didn’t oversleep. After she did that the other night, I froze the remainder of some canned food that I had given her. I really thought it was caused by the canned cat food or smoked turkey that she had eaten. She got better, so I thought I would try the dog food again, but it had the same results. It was that cheaper brand of food that was the cause. It’s a well known brand, but it didn’t agree with her. The donor meant well, but Misty is used to really good canned food, or homemade food, not some junk from the grocery store. I hope that was my final night of trying to diagnose what makes her tummy upset.
As my inspection sticker had expired, stealthily I dropped Jay off at the Precinct court, after he had told me take him to the City court, and so we were nearly late. As they try the cases first come, first served, he was going to be there a while. So I just left him there, waited my turn to get the van’s new TX inspection sticker, bought some things at the Dollar General, paid the water bills, then went back to the Precinct, but Jay still had a while to wait his turn. Jay called the man he is working for to have him pick him up at the court, so I could leave.
It was getting really overcast outside, and as tired as I was, I thought I would take a nap after lunch. Wouldn’t you know it, just as I dropped off, HP calls me to make sure I had received the replacement printer. I had just fallen asleep again, when I was awakened by HAIL, so the nap wasn’t going to happen. We haven’t had hail for ages. The hail didn’t last long, and then it was nice and sunny again.
Later in the afternoon, I was drinking some homemade veggie juice made with apple, kale, beets, celery, carrot, and parsley, so it was a dark burgundy-green color. Little Miss Priss, the kitten, tried to see what was in my mug, and dumped it all over my keyboard, desk, chair, the newly shampooed carpet and me. I think I got it all out of the carpet, and chair. My keyboard, being a mechanical keyboard, is easy to clean so it wasn’t a really disastrous day.