Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Birds: 'Akiapōlā'au. Stresemann's Bristlefront. Bald Eagle Freed. Arctic Birds in FL. Snowy Owls. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue. BLUE BIRD. BirdNote: The Early Bird, Egrets, and Chickadees ... Marias Massacre.


For “Winged Wednesday”:


“The 'Akiapōlā'au (pronounced ah-kee-ah-POH-LAH-OW) is a member of the highly specialized Hawaiian honeycreeper family. This species is most notable for its mismatched-looking beak that has a long, downward-curving upper mandible, used for probing, and a shorter lower mandible, used as a drill as the bird creeps along tree trunks and branches, probing for arthropods under the bark. It also takes flower nectar and drinks sap from shallow wells it drills in live bark.

Threats include grazing and logging, that have degraded or destroyed much of its habitat; predation by introduced mammals; mosquito-borne avian diseases; and depletion of the birds’ prey by introduced insects. Global climate change could allow mosquitoes to move to higher elevations, further decreasing suitable habitat for the 'Akiapōlā'au and other native Hawaiian passerines.

ABC is involved in a significant conservation project that will benefit the 'Akiapōlā'au and other native birds on the Mauna Kea volcano, where the species disappeared when overgrazing by non-native mammals severely degraded the forest.  Mouflon sheep and goats will be removed following the completion of an ungulate-proof fence that will encircle the mountain, setting the stage for forest regeneration and restoration. Fencing and removal of cattle and pigs has also been successfully employed at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, a key stronghold of the 'Akiapōlā'au.”

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Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!

Listen to a two-minute broadcast about this bird!Photo: Jack Jeffrey; Range Map, ABC


First Nest Ever Discovered of One of the World's Most Endangered Birds

Stresemann's Bristlefront by Ciro Ginez Albano

Stresemann's Bristlefront by Ciro Albano - NE Brazil Birding.

(Washington, D.C., January 17, 2013) “The first known nest of one of the world's rarest birds - the Critically Endangered Stresemann's Bristlefront - has been discovered in Brazil. Of perhaps equal significance is that strong evidence of active nestlings was also found.

The Stresemann's Bristlefront is one of the world's most threatened bird species -- unrecorded for 50 years until it was rediscovered in 1995 near Una, Bahia, in Brazil's Atlantic Forest region. The world population estimate is fewer than 15 individuals. Its population is declining owing to fires, logging, and the clearance of humid valley-floor forest for cattle ranching and agriculture.

On October 30, 2012, Dimas Pioli and Gustavo Malacco, two Brazilian researchers visiting Fundação Biodiversitas’ Mata do Passarinho Reserve discovered the bird’s nesting tunnel entrance, a tennis ball sized hole, located about three feet from the ground in an exposed dirt vertical edge that contained overhanging vegetation. Nesting tunnels are typical for the ground dwelling Tapaculo family, to which the Bristlefront belongs.”  More at:


Eagle hurt in brawl with another eagle released into wild

Video: Eagle hurt in brawl with another eagle released into wild

Credit: West Sound Wildlife Shelter

“A bald eagle hurt in a fight with another eagle in October was released back into the wild on Sunday.
West Sound Wildlife Shelter had been caring for the 10-pound raptor, which is about six years old and was suffering from soft tissue injuries and soreness.”

Watch it hanging on to it’s security ‘blankie’!!

“The West Sound Wildlife Shelter says in 2012 they cared for 1003 animals in need of medical care. 
The West Sound Wildlife Shelter provides injured, orphaned and sick wild animals a second chance at life and promotes the well-being of wildlife through public outreach, education and involvement.”


Dead & dying arctic birds showing up in Florida, possibly due to Hurricane Sandy

NBC NATIONAL NEWS — “Arctic birds that are supposed to be up north are ending up in Southwest Florida. They're about 1,000 miles from where they should be.

They're called razorbills and they look a little like penguins.  They're migrating to Southwest Florida and dying within hours. We found out how Hurricane Sandy might be responsible months after it made landfall.

Walking down the beach near Clam Pass, Ed Selby saw a bird he'd never seen before on the shores of Southwest Florida.  "They look a little bit like penguins. This is the first time I'd ever seen the birds here. In fact, I think it's the first time anyone's seen them here," said Selby, a volunteer with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

He found two dead razorbills - an arctic migratory seabird not native to Florida.  Over the past few weeks wildlife clinics have taken in dozens of the protected birds. Most were already dead; others were found exhausted and starving and died within hours.”   Video and read more:


Thousands of Snowy Owls Migrate South in Unbelievable Wildlife Event

“In "... the most significant wildlife event in decades," thousands of Arctic snowy owls are migrating south to the U.S. this winter. They have been spotted coast-to-coast and as far south as Oklahoma.

Experts believe a snowy owl population boom that followed mating season has forced the birds -- mostly young males -- south in search of less competition for food.

The snowy owl is one of the largest species of owl, with an impressive five foot wing span. These owls have few predators, but their population is thought to be in decline.”

Complete article at:

“Get an intimate look at these white owls from the north through video and photographs captured by the Cornell Lab's, Gerrit Vyn.”:

“Snowy Owls lead nomadic lives and travel vast distances from year to year searching for productive feeding areas. Some years, most recently in the winter of 2011/2012, conditions cause them to come south in great numbers.”


Rescue U - Final day at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

From me: One of the ways you helped with your clicks every day:

“The Rescue U team rolled into North Carolina in January 2013 to help Carolina Water Fowl Rescue rebuild and expand their facilities after being hit by severe storms in 2012. This $60,000 project was made possible by Gifts That Give More at The Animal Rescue Site and the many college volunteers who gave up their vacations to help.”

“As always, a huge THANK YOU is owed to all of the college student volunteers of Rescue U. They provided the woman and man power to make it happen!”



images[4]“It's Friggin' Freezing.  There's snow up my ass, all the food's covered with 3 feet of this white shit, and you want ME to images[5]sing?”









BirdNote Weekly Preview: The Early Bird, Egrets, and Chickadees ...


Upcoming Shows

Sooty Tern

SUNDAY  Sooty Tern  by Dennis Paulson   LISTEN NOW

MONDAY  A New Year Dawns featuring the recordings of Gordon Hempton LISTEN NOW

American Robin

TUESDAY The Early Bird? by Bob Sundstrom LISTEN NOW

Reddish Egret

WEDNESDAY Reddish Egret - Lagoon Dancer by Bob Sundstrom LISTEN NOW

King of Saxony  Bird of Paradise

THURSDAY The Birds of Papua New Guinea featuring Alexandra Freeman LISTEN NOW

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

FRIDAY Why Do Chickadees Come and Go? by Dennis Paulson LISTEN NOW

American Crow

SATURDAY Tale of a Rascal Crow by Frances Wood LISTEN


On This Day:

Soldiers massacre the wrong camp of Indians, Jan 23, 1870:

“Declaring he did not care whether or not it was the rebellious band of Indians he had been searching for, Colonel Eugene Baker orders his men to attack a sleeping camp of peaceful Blackfeet along the Marias River in northern Montana.

The previous fall, Malcolm Clarke, an influential Montana rancher, had accused a Blackfeet warrior named Owl Child of stealing some of his horses; he punished the proud brave with a brutal whipping. In retribution, Owl Child and several allies murdered Clarke and his son at their home near Helena, and then fled north to join a band of rebellious Blackfeet under the leadership of Mountain Chief. Outraged and frightened, Montanans demanded that Owl Child and his followers be punished, and the government responded by ordering the forces garrisoned under Major Eugene Baker at Fort Ellis (near modern-day Bozeman, Montana) to strike back.

Strengthening his cavalry units with two infantry groups from Fort Shaw near Great Falls, Baker led his troops out into sub-zero winter weather and headed north in search of Mountain Chief's band. Soldiers later reported that Baker drank a great deal throughout the march. On January 22, Baker discovered an Indian village along the Marias River, and, postponing his attack until the following morning, spent the evening drinking heavily.

At daybreak on the morning of January 23, 1870, Baker ordered his men to surround the camp in preparation for attack. As the darkness faded, Baker's scout, Joe Kipp, recognized that the painted designs on the buffalo-skin lodges were those of a peaceful band of Blackfeet led by Heavy Runner. Mountain Chief and Owl Child, Kipp quickly realized, must have gotten wind of the approaching soldiers and moved their winter camp elsewhere. Kipp rushed to tell Baker that they had the wrong Indians, but Baker reportedly replied, "That makes no difference, one band or another of them; they are all Piegans [Blackfeet] and we will attack them." Baker then ordered a sergeant to shoot Kipp if he tried to warn the sleeping camp of Blackfeet and gave the command to attack.

Baker's soldiers began blindly firing into the village, catching the peaceful Indians utterly unaware and defenseless. By the time the brutal attack was over, Baker and his men had, by the best estimate, murdered 37 men, 90 women, and 50 children. Knocking down lodges with frightened survivors inside, the soldiers set them on fire, burnt some of the Blackfeet alive, and then burned the band's meager supplies of food for the winter. Baker initially captured about 140 women and children as prisoners to take back to Fort Ellis, but when he discovered many were ill with smallpox, he abandoned them to face the deadly winter without food or shelter.

When word of the Baker Massacre (now known as the Marias Massacre) reached the east, many Americans were outraged. One angry congressman denounced Baker, saying "civilization shudders at horrors like this." Baker's superiors, however, supported his actions, as did the people of Montana, with one journalist calling Baker's critics "namby-pamby, sniffling old maid sentimentalists." Neither Baker nor his men faced a court martial or any other disciplinary actions. However, the public outrage over the massacre did derail the growing movement to transfer control of Indian affairs from the Department of Interior to the War Department--President Ulysses S. Grant decreed that henceforth all Indian agents would be civilians rather than soldiers.”



Jay called wanting to work, so Misty and I went to get him and had our walk down there, while we waited for him.

Jay and I moved all the remnants of the back wall of the RVport that we had torn down on that cold day last week.  We were just too cold to do that at the time.  The lumber was cleaned (that means the old nails were removed), and stacked on the other side of the house.  But we kept one 10’ 2x6 and screwed it between two side posts in the area in front of where the Puddle Jumper is parked.   This is a covered area between that carport and the storeroom, with one open side.  Before, it had been protected by the RVport roof. We screwed two of the panels that were on the back of the RVport onto the 10’ 2x6, so now that side is weather protected, temporarily. 

It was a lovely warm day, and it was great to be outside again.

Jim, the mechanic brought my van back after the tune-up.  He said as difficult as some of the plugs were to get to, he doubts if they have ever been changed before. I drove him home, it’s all better now, and drives great, so I can go shopping today.

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