Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Worm-eating Warbler. Bird-Friendly Building. We’re Losing Birds. Birds at Risk. Starving Birds. Red-faced Warbler. Birds Making Fireworks? Gettysburg. Idaho. Andy Griffith.


For “Winged Wednesday”:

Worm-eating Warbler

“An insect-like trill sounds repeatedly as you hike along the foot of a steep forested slope. But it’s no insect sounding off. If you wait patiently and quietly, you may see the singer: a handsome, buff-colored little warbler with a striking head pattern of alternating black and buff.

Contrary to its name, the Worm-eating Warbler doesn’t eat earthworms, but it does eat worm-like caterpillars, along with many other insects and spiders. Its most characteristic foraging behavior is “dead-leafing”—investigating and apart clumps of dead leaves hung up in branches and vines in search of the prey hiding there. They also glean among green leaves and the bark of trees and shrubs, like many other warbler species.

Forest fragmentation is the greatest threat facing the Worm-eating Warbler, both on its breeding grounds, where habitat loss exposes this ground-nesting species to nest predation and cowbird parasitism, and on its wintering grounds, where deforestation continues to reduce this bird’s wintering habitat.”     Photo by Eleanor Briccetti; Range Map by NatureServe


“More than five billion migratory birds are returning to their nesting grounds in North America. What will they find? Intact and healthy habitats, or lost breeding grounds?

One-third of bird species in the United States are declining as their habitats are lost or degraded to the point of being unproductive. Help us turn the tide in our top 10 bird habitats, from the Native Forests of Hawai’i to the Eastern Deciduous Forests.

Bird MontageYour gift today will provide twice as much funding for habitat projects happening right now, thanks to a generous dollar-for-dollar match up to $100,000 offered by renowned author Jon Franzen and investment banker Bob Wilson. The match is good only through July 31, so please act now!” can help by joining our ongoing Spring 2013 Fundraising Challenge. We urgently need your support to conserve eastern deciduous forests and other critical bird habitats!  Can't click the link? Copy and paste this URL: 


Minnesota and Oakland, Calif. Adopt Bird-Friendly Building Requirements

Adoption Follows Trend in San Francisco, Ontario, and Other Locations

Census complex by Esther Langan

The U.S. Census Complex, in Suitland, MD, illustrates a strategy that controls heat and light but also makes glass safe for birds. Windows are fronted by a 'brise soleil' or sunshade, that also makes the building very handsome. Photo by Esther Langan.

“The state of Minnesota and the city of Oakland, Calif., are the latest local or state governments to approve bird-friendly building design requirements. Oakland has adopted requirements similar to those established in neighboring San imagesCAXBSS8OFrancisco, Calif. in 2011, while Minnesota followed LEED’s (Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design) “Reducing Bird Collisions” program. In Illinois, several jurisdictions—Cook County, Highland Park, Lake County, and Evansville—have existing or pending guidelines while national legislation has been proposed in Congress.

images[6]“There is a growing awareness of and alarm about the very significant bird mortality that is occurring across the United States as a result of bird collisions with buildings” buildings,” 

“Studies suggest that as many as one billion birds die from such collisions each year. As ABC and other groups have raised awareness of the problem, we are seeing increasing interest among local governments, architects, and developers regarding bird-friendly building design and how to foster it through mandatory and voluntary regulatory processes.” More at:


One in eight world bird species at threat of extinction, report says

One in eight world bird species at threat of extinction, report saysA California condor is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Marvin Hyett

VANCOUVER - “The world's birds are literally the canaries in the coal mine and their ongoing decline should serve as a warning signal of a global environment in peril, says an international report on the state of the world's birds.

Globally, one in eight species — 1,313 — are considered at threat of extinction, said the report by U.K.-based BirdLife International. Of these, 200 are considered on the brink.

Nature is a crucial part of Earth's life support system, said Leon Bennun, the group's director of science, policy and information, and the numbers don't bode well.   "Birds are a great window into nature. They're a wonderful indicator of the wider environment," Bennun said.  "Our assessment, unfortunately, shows us that birds are in decline, an indicator that nature itself is not in good shape."”    Read more at:


Habitat loss puts grassland birds at risk

The male bobolink is distinctive in the spring. His striking black, white, and yellow colours become somewhat drab after breeding season. (Paul Nicholson, Special to QMI Agency)“In last year’s The State of Canada’s Birds publication, it was noted that grassland birds showed a major decline. The report stated that “the population is down to about half what it was 20 years ago.” The biggest challenge they face is habitat loss.

Creating and preserving grassland habitats is challenging. Natural grasslands would end up with saplings springing up over time. In farmed areas, there has been a decrease in hay fields.

Organizations such as Ontario Nature have developed bird-friendly strategies with farmers. Approaches such as rotational grazing and timing the cutting of hay can mitigate some of the risks.”   More at:


Biologists worried by starving migratory birds, seen as tied to climate change

Existence by delicate timing

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Existence by delicate timing

“What’s happening to migratory seabirds? Biologists are worried about a twofold problem: Commercial fishing is reducing their food source, and climate change is causing fish to seek colder waters, according to a bulletin released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“We’ve seen a 40 percent decline of Arctic terns in the last 10 years,” said Linda Welch, a Fish and Wildlife Service biologist at the refuge. Arctic tern pairs in Maine have fallen from 4,224 pairs in 2008 to 2,467 pairs last year, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Biologists at the Maine refuge are not sure whether herring sought colder waters elsewhere or went deeper, but they are no longer on the surface, from which Arctic terns pluck them. While other birds can dive deep for food, Arctic terns cannot.

“They’re not getting herring, so they bring butterfish that the chicks can’t swallow,” Welch said. “So they starve to death. You have thousands and thousands of chicks dying. It’s very sad.”  More at:


Spiders Take Control as Birds Fade From Guam

“As bird populations plummet worldwide, will Earth become the Planet of the Spiders?
Researchers on Guam, a 30-mile-long U.S. island about 3,800 miles west of Hawaii, found that arachnid populations grew as much as 40-fold in the wake of entire species of insect-eating birds eaten into oblivion by invasive brown treesnakes. One biologist suspects spiders are multiplying also in other regions where birds are in decline.

Guam is the textbook study for what can happen to birds when an ecosystem is devastated by invasive species. After brown treesnakes somehow made their way to island in the 1940s, it took less than half a century for them to extirpate all but two of the island’s dozen native bird species. But as the birds slipped down the gullets of the insatiable nocturnal predators, spider populations proliferated. Did the fall of the birds lead to the rise of the spiders?”    More at:


The Red-faced Warbler Red-faced Warbler has a limited range in the U.S.—just Arizona and New Mexico—but that didn't keep it from attaining five seconds of fame in 2009. It's also one of the least studied warblers in North America, but what is known about its breeding habits is pretty darned interesting. Learn more >>




BirdNote Weekly Preview: Birds Making Fireworks?

Upcoming Shows:

Farallon Islands

Point Reyes Bird Observatory Changing name to Point Blue Conservation Science by Todd Peterson   LISTEN NOW

two cats and one nuthatch 

Keep Your Cats Indoors by Chris Peterson  LISTEN NOW


Shorebirds - Masters of Long-Distance Migration featuring Dennis Paulson, Ph.D., BirdNote's Chief Science Advisor  LISTEN NOW ►

Field Sparrow

Aldo Leopold And the Field Sparrows by Bob Sundstrom

White-bearded Manakin

Manakins Make their Own Fireworks by Bob Sundstrom

Rock Pigeon

Bad Bird Jokes No one willing to take authorship! 

Mexican Free-tailed Bats

A City Learns To Love its Bats featuring Merlin Tuttle


Nature note:

“In 1749 Benjamin Franklin showed remarkable prescience about conservation.

“In New England they once thought blackbirds useless and mischievous to the corn. They made efforts to destroy them . . . The blackbirds were diminished; but a kind of worm, which devoured their grass, and which the blackbirds used to feed on, increased prodigiously . . . They wished again for their blackbirds.””


On This Day:

Battle of Gettysburg ends, Jul 3, 1863:

“On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in disastrous failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.

Both armies, exhausted, held their positions until the night of July 4, when Lee withdrew. The Army of the Potomac was too weak to pursue the Confederates, and Lee led his army out of the North, never to invade it again. The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War, costing the Union 23,000 killed, wounded, or missing in action. The Confederates suffered some 25,000 casualties. On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address during the dedication of a new national cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Civil War effectively ended with the surrender of General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia in April 1865.”


Idaho becomes 43rd state, Jul 3, 1890:

“Idaho, the last of the 50 states to be explored by whites, is admitted to the union.

By 1880, Idaho boasted a population of 32,610. In the southern section of the territory, many settlers were Mormons who had been dispatched from Salt Lake City to found new colonies. Increasingly, Idaho territory became divided between a Mormon-dominated south and an anti-Mormon north. In the mid-1880s, anti-Mormon Republicans used widespread public antipathy toward the Mormon practice of polygamy to pass legislation denying the predominantly Democratic Mormons the vote.

With the Democratic Mormon vote disarmed, Idaho became a Republican-dominated territory. National Republicans eager to increase their influence in the U.S. Congress began to push for Idaho statehood in 1888. The following year, the Idaho territorial legislature approved a strongly anti-Mormon constitution. The U.S. Congress approved the document on this day in 1890, and Idaho became the 43rd state in the Union.”


TV legend Andy Griffith dies, Jul 3, 2012:

“On this day in 2012, Andy Griffith, famous for his role as the good-hearted, small-town sheriff of fictional Mayberry, North Carolina, on the iconic 1960s TV sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show," dies at age 86 at his North Carolina home. The actor also was known for his starring role in the 1980s-1990s TV drama "Matlock," in which he portrayed a shrewd Atlanta defense attorney. The TV legend died of a heart attack on July 3, 2012, at his home on Roanoke Island in North Carolina.”



Misty and I went to get Jay, and we had our walk down there. Misty is very determined about some smells, and pulls me to them.  Of course, I am stronger than she is, but she is pretty strong herself.  I let her think she is stronger than I am, and give in to her, after all, she does have inoperable cancer.

Ray was on my screen porch repotting some plants for me.  Jay and I worked on my front yard gate and built another section of board fence.  

Jay wasn’t griping about the heat for a change, as it was much cooler and less humid.  It was great to be working outside yesterday.

1 comment:

Dizzy-Dick said...

Andy Griffith was one of my most favorite actors. He protrayed some lovable charcters along with Don Knots. If my memory is correct, Don Knots got his start on a soap opra that my Mom use to watch on TV when I was a kid.