Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sincora Antwren. Pigeons. Windows. BirdNote: Millions of Raptors. Carter And The UFO. Radiation Poisoning.


For”Winged Wednesday”:

Sincora Antwren

Sincora Antwren by Nick Athanas

“The Sincora Antwren was once mistaken for the somewhat similar and widespread Rusty-backed Antwren. However, in 2007, the two were designated separate species due to their distinct vocalizations, plumage, and habitat preferences. Like other members of its genus, the Sincora Antwren has a loud, repetitive song and shows strong sexual dichromatism, with plumage color differing between males and females.

The small, long-tailed bird is only found in the Chapada Diamantina National Park in northeast Brazil. With support from ABC, researchers from Associação Baiana para Conservação dos Recursos Naturais (ABCRN) conducted seven bird surveys throughout the park from 2011-2013 to better understand the species’ range, ecology, and conservation needs. Their surveys detected the species at six sites, which extended its known range by around 28 miles. Breeding behavior of the Sincora Antwren was first observed and recorded during this study. Dependent juvenile birds were also seen, confirming successful nesting in the area.

Fires set by farmers and ranchers are the major threat to the habitat of this species, which is likely decreasing across its small range.”

See the Sincora Antwren in action.

Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!

Photo: Nick Athanas; Range Map by ABC


Pigeons: These Unremarkable Birds Are Remarkably Smart

Pigeon“A newly published study conducted by psychologists at the University of Iowa concludes pigeons have the ability to make extremely intelligent choices, and have highly evolved problem-solving skills.

In a classic test of basic intelligence known as the “string task,” pigeons selected the correct string (the one attached to food treats) up to 90 percent of the time. Even more remarkable? The pigeons aced the test “virtually” using a computer touch screen.

According to the lead study author, “The pigeons proved that they could indeed learn this task with a variety of different string configurations—even those that involved crossed strings, the most difficult of all configurations to learn with real strings.” Complete article at:


Preventing Bird Collisions“Glass poses a real hazard to birds. Listen to this series of shows about the problem.

What can you do? Check out these resources from our partner, American Bird Conservancy:
Keep birds from flying in to your windows. Here's how! (PDF)
Learn how to make your windows visible to birds with ABC's BirdTape

Use "Bird-Friendly" Building Design (PDF)”



BirdNote: Millions of Raptors

Upcoming Shows

Violet-green Swallow  SUNDAY Swallows on Wires, Ready to Migrate by Frances Wood   LISTEN NOW

Virginia Rail   MONDAY A Virginia Rail On Michigan Avenue Featuring Annette Prince, Director of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors   LISTEN NOW

migrating raptors  TUESDAY Counting a Million Raptors Over Veracruz, Mexico With Scott Weidensaul, Author of Living on the Wind    LISTEN NOW ►

Willie Wagtail   WEDNESDAY Love and Risk Are Inseparable featuring Gordon Hempton,   LISTEN NOW

Green Heron  THURSDAY Green Heron by Frances Wood  LISTEN NOW

Rocco and the Great Horned Owl  FRIDAY Nurturing a Love of Birds Featuring Emily Czerwonka And the Students Of South Whidbey Elementary LISTEN NOW ►

Large Ground Finch SATURDAY Darwin's Birds by Lyanda Haupt   LISTEN NOW


On This Day:

Carter files report on UFO sighting, Sep 18, 1973:

“On this day in 1973, future President Jimmy Carter files a report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), claiming he had seen an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in October 1969.

During the presidential campaign of 1976, Democratic challenger Carter was forthcoming about his belief that he had seen a UFO. He described waiting outside for a Lion's Club Meeting in Leary, Georgia, to begin, at about 7:30 p.m., when he spotted what he called "the darndest thing I've ever seen" in the sky. Carter, as well as 10 to 12 other people who witnessed the same event, described the object as "very bright [with] changing colors and about the size of the moon." Carter reported that "the object hovered about 30 degrees above the horizon and moved in toward the earth and away before disappearing into the distance." He later told a reporter that, after the experience, he vowed never again to ridicule anyone who claimed to have seen a UFO.

During the presidential campaign of 1976, Carter promised that, if elected president, he would encourage the government release "every piece of information" about UFOs available to the public and to scientists. After winning the presidency, though, Carter backed away from this pledge, saying that the release of some information might have "defense implications" and pose a threat to national security.”"


Accidental poisoning in Brazil, Sep 18, 1987:

“On this day in 1987, cesium-137 is removed from an abandoned cancer-therapy machine in Brazil. Hundreds of people were eventually poisoned by radiation from the substance, highlighting the danger that even relatively small amounts of radiation can pose.

In 1985, the Goiania Institute of Radiotherapy moved to a new location and left behind an obsolete Cesium-137 teletherapy unit in their abandoned headquarters. The institute failed to inform the authorities of the existence of the outdated device and the machine sat in the building in downtown Goiania, 600 miles from Sao Paulo, for over a year before two criminally enterprising men removed the machine.

The men sold it to a local junkyard on September 13. Five days later, workers at the junkyard dismantled the machine, releasing the Cesium-137 that was still inside. Fascinated by the glowing blue stone and completely unaware of its dangers, they distributed pieces to friends, relatives and neighbors. The cesium was spread around so much that contamination was later found 100 miles away.

Days later, the junkyard owner's wife began noticing that her friends and relatives were getting sick. When she sought medical assistance, doctors found that they were suffering from acute radiation poisoning. Four people eventually died from exposure, including one child. Scores were hospitalized and more than 100,000 people in the city had to be monitored for contamination.

More than 40 homes in the city were found to have high levels of contamination and had to be demolished. The after-effects were also serious. Many of the citizens suffered psychologically from their fear of contamination. In fact, fear was so widespread that other cities shunned the people and products of Goiania following the incident.

Following this disaster, Brazil completely overhauled their laws regarding the storage of radiation sources.”



Misty and I went to pick up Jay, and had a fairly long walk as he wasn’t ready, even though he said he was.  Sometimes he has to do last minute things for his mother, but this time he said that he had to do something for their little Yorkie, Maddie.

We ‘tweaked’ the roof over the front porch a bit.  There was one place where the contractors had made it a bit higher, so we took off those roof panels and lowered that part.  Now it looks a lot better.   It didn’t really show as long as my little red maple is there, but that tree will be moved further away from the house this Autumn, when the leaves have fallen.

A while ago, the kitchen light over the sink and stove area went out, so we installed an under-cabinet light.  It just didn’t give enough light, so about three months ago, I bought a new fixture.  What a difference that made when we finally got it installed yesterday.

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