North America Has Lost 3 Billion Birds, Scientists Say

Exposing the Big Game

Migrating shorebirds at Kimbles Beach, N.J. Researchers estimate that the population of North American shorebirds alone has fallen by more than a third since 1970.

Jacqueline Larma/AP

Over the past half-century, North America has lost more than a quarter of its entire bird population, or around 3 billion birds.

That’s according to a new estimate published in the journal Science by researchers who brought together a variety of information that has been collected on 529 bird species since 1970.

“We saw this tremendous net loss across the entire bird community,” says Ken Rosenberg, an applied conservation scientist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y. “By our estimates, it’s a 30% loss in the total number of breeding birds.”

Rosenberg and his colleagues already knew that a number of…

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Terschelling island birds, first day

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 19 May 2019 video says about itself:

Compilation of common birds on the beautiful Island of Terschelling, the Netherlands

On 16 September 2019, we went to Terschelling.

A great cormorant and jackdaws flying over Harlingen harbour.

As the ship approached Terschelling, a lesser black-backed gull swimming alongside it.

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Here’s How North Carolina’s Wild Horses Have Survived Hurricanes

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Kareena Koirala as published on

Hurricane Dorian struck with tragic devastation. However, the majestic breed of wild horses living in North Carolina’s Outer Banks used their natural defenses against the storm.

According to Corolla Wild Horse Fund, which looks after the herd of wild horses in the area, the animals are more adept at dealing with the hurricane than human beings.

“They’ll likely ride out winds and rain as their ancestors did before them — in huddles, butts to the wind,” said the organization.

It also stated that the wild horses have a trick that they have been carrying out for over 500 years to protect themselves against such disasters.

The herd moves to the higher grounds and gather under strong oak trees to survive the storm.

According to the authorities, the animals sensed the danger in days prior to the storm due to a change…

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Trump Auctions Off 150,000 Acres of Public Lands for Fracking Near Utah National Parks

The Extinction Chronicles

Arches National Park. Chris Dodds / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
On Tuesday the Trump administration offered more than 150,000 acres of public lands for fossil-fuel extraction near some of Utah’s most iconic landscapes, including Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

Dozens of Utahns gathered at the state Capitol to protest the lease sale, which included lands within 10 miles of internationally known protected areas. In addition to Arches and Canyonlands, the Bureau of Land Management leased public lands for fracking near Bears Ears, Canyons of the Ancients and Hovenweep national monuments and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

“Utahns have demonstrated their commitment to transition away from dirty fossil fuels through clean energy resolutions passed in municipalities across our state. Yet, these commitments continue to be undermined by rampant oil and gas lease sales, which threaten our public health…

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Researchers unearth ‘new’ extinction

The Extinction Chronicles

A team of scientists has concluded that earth experienced a previously underestimated severe mass-extinction event, which occurred about 260 million years ago, raising the total of major mass extinctions in the geologic record to six.

“It is crucial that we know the number of severe mass extinctions and their timing in order to investigate their causes,” explains Michael Rampino, a professor in New York University’s Department of Biology and a co-author of the analysis, which appears in the journal Historical Biology. “Notably, all six major mass extinctions are correlated with devastating environmental upheavals—specifically, massive flood-basalt eruptions, each covering more than a million square kilometers with thick lava flows.”

Scientists had previously determined that there were five major mass-extinction events, wiping out large numbers of species and defining the ends of geological periods: the end of the Ordovician (443 million…

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The Amazon is burning because the world eats so much meat

Exposing the Big Game

(CNN)While the wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest may constitute an “international crisis,” they are hardly an accident.

The vast majority of the fires have been set by loggers and ranchers to clear land for cattle. The practice is on the rise, encouraged by Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s populist pro-business president, who is backed by the country’s so-called “beef caucus.”
While this may be business as usual for Brazil’s beef farmers, the rest of the world is looking on in horror.
So, for those wondering how they could help save the rainforest, known as “the planet’s lungs” for producing about 20% of the world’s oxygen, the answer may be simple. Eat less meat.
It’s an idea that Finland has already floated. On Friday, the Nordic country’s finance minister called for the European Union to “urgently review…

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NASA’s Investigating the Impact of Arctic Wildfires on Earth. Here’s Why

The Extinction Chronicles

Using a combination of field and laboratory work, as well as satellite and airborne observations, NASA is launching a study of the effects of Arctic wildfires in Alaska on the surrounding habitat and people’s health, as well as how the increased frequency of these events affects climate forecasting.

Wildfires in the Arctic are usually started by lightning strikes and left to burn unless they get too close to infrastructure or people, according to a statement by NASA. However, as a result, the fires tend to spread out and consume large areas of vegetation.

“Fires are a natural part of the ecosystem, but what we’re seeing is an accelerated fire cycle: we are getting more frequent and severe fires and larger burned areas,” Liz Hoy…

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August Tonics.

Hethersett Birdlife

August is with us and it is a time when birds become harder to find with many starting to moult and hide away skulking in the hedgerows. Now you need to get up with the lark for the best chance to catch up with our feathered friends as they are more active at the break of day. This week I took a number of young assistants for a camp out on Beckhithe Meadow to make the most of the dawn activity as well as the nocturnal stuff. Our first surprise was no however a bird but a very striking spider.

Wasp Spider.JPGWasp spider unmistakeable but harmless.

The wasp spider is a relative newcomer to the UK and is spreading slowly North but predominantly found in the South of the country. Male wasp spiders are smaller than this female and have to tread carefully around their mate choosing only to mate when…

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Point Reyes

Jet Eliot

Point Reyes, Tomales Point, Pacific Ocean side

Tule elks (male), Point Reyes

Pt. Reyes from Tomales Point Trail. McClure’s Beach.

About a two-hour drive north of San Francisco is an expansive park called Point Reyes. Geologically it is a large cape that extends off the Pacific coast. Technically it is Point Reyes National Seashore…locals call it Point Reyes.

It is an entire peninsula with ocean coastline, beaches, and dunes; rolling hills; forests; dairy ranches; hiking trails and more. The land area is 70,000 acres (283 sq. km). It is my favorite of all places to hike in Northern California.

Point Reyes Wikipedia

Point Reyes is home to 490 bird species, 40 species of land animals, and a dozen species of marine mammals. Pods of California gray whale migrate through here. Two resident mammal species nearly went extinct: tule elk and elephant seals.

A breeding colony of elephant seals can be…

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