February
9
2016

Pelican Deaths

As many as 35 brown pelicans have been found dead on Grand Isle in the past two weeks, prompting an investigation by scientists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. They’ve dismissed suspicions that the birds were shot but have yet to determine the cause of death.

The dead pelicans were first reported to the Grand Isle Police Department, which asked state officials to investigate. “In the wintertime, we always get some calls about dead pelicans, but this seems to be an extraordinary amount,” said Cheryl McCormack, secretary to Police Chief Euris DuBois. “We’re alarmed about the number of them.”

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February
5
2016

Why Do Owls “Bob” Their Heads?

Ever wonder why owls bob their heads from side to side so often? Audubon’s recent “BirdNote” podcast addressed this peculiar behavior, explaining that the animals aren’t intentionally trying to weird you out after all.

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February
2
2016

Unknowable Magic of Owls

What makes owls so captivating? Read more…

 

January
29
2016

Bats Are Dying, Who’s to Blame?

Before 2000, the biggest danger for bats was intentional killing by—you guessed it—humans. In North America and Europe, we killed them because they were a nuisance. In South America, we didn’t like vampire bats. In Asia and Australia, bats ate too much fruit, and in Asia and Africa, we ate the bats. In total, from 1790 to 1999, 39% of MMEs were due to intentional killing by humans.

After 2000, the killing got less intentional, but much more effective. 35% of MMEs have been caused by collisions with wind turbines, although this figure may be “biased by regulatory reporting requirements in North America and Europe,” says the report.

Click here to read the article…

January
27
2016

Airports Have Wide Latitude to Kill Birds

The operator of New York City’s airports has the legal right to kill migratory birds when necessary to protect planes, a federal appeals court said Tuesday as it rejected a challenge from an animal advocacy group.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was within its rights to kill nearly any migratory bird in emergency situations, including when three snowy owls were killed in December 2013. Exceptions include bald eagles, golden eagles or endangered and threatened species.

The appeals court recounted several “near-catastrophes” over the years at LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy Airport, including the 2009 Hudson River emergency landing after Canada geese went into both engines, causing U.S. Airways Flight 1549 to lose power. No one was killed in the accident that was later referred to as The Miracle on the Hudson.

Click here to read the article…

January
17
2016

Birds Create Stunning Formations in Skies over Israel

Arriving like dark clouds, thousands of European starlings swoop and soar through the skies of Israel each winter, with stunning moves that could rival any aerobatics team.

Scientists are not exactly sure how they stay in perfect formation, but bird expert Zachary Slavin with the National Audubon Society says it could be as simple as keeping an eye on their nearest neighbors.

Click here to watch the video…

January
16
2016

Beautiful Hawk Perches on Houston Freeway Camera

A beautiful hawk got its 15 minutes of fame on a Houston freeway camera Thursday morning.

Houston TranStar’s camera on the South Loop at South Wayside recorded the perched bird looking around, possibly on the hunt.

Click here to watch the video…

December
18
2015

Wetland loss, Development Put Kashmir Bird Migration at Risk

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The cackle and cry of Kashmir’s annual bird migration has long been a welcome ruckus for those living in the Indian-controlled Himalayan territory. It signals the summer’s end, the coming snows and the global importance of Kashmir’s environment for species arriving from as far as northern Europe and Japan.

But these days, wildlife experts say they have never seen so few birds — and so few species — feeding and breeding around the wetlands nestled between the region’s mountain peaks and plateaus. A combination of climate change and haphazard urban development are to blame, scientists say.

Colorful birds like the whooper swan, stiff-tailed duck and cotton teal have not been seen in the area in recent years. While there has been little scientific study to quantify the falling numbers, former regional wildlife warden Mohammed Shafi Bacha says he counts only 18 species visiting today out of 28 that came three decades ago.