complained about the building around her ranch and how the noise scared away her birds
had a lot of questions
why weren’t the birds stopping at the feeders regardless?
is this a sign of things to come? Will the birds come back?
Cleaning out the Bird bath
Mystery ID from my trip out to Keller Tx
spizella sparrow of some sort, either a Chipping or a Clay-colored
Tim highlights: Loggerhead Shrike, American Kestrel, and yellow warblers (48 birds for the two week span)
American Kestrel facts
Beautiful bird with distinct eye markings, golden breast, and cool gray wings
originally called a Sparrow hawk
prefers beetles and mice over birds (I don’t think the birds know that…)
Austin has plenty of info!
Austin: American Kestrels everywhere, Franklin’s Gulls migrating, Monarch Butterflies
Segment — Is bird camouflage really a thing?
Sparrows – General hypothesis that female sparrows blend in with their nest and immediate surroundings
Penguins – black and white
White – belly helps confuse predators from below (er above if they are in the water)
Black – confuses predators from above
Birds see on a different spectrum
General thought is birds see in ultraviolet
Can hide from predators
Segment — Birds are vanishing from North America Postmortem
All birds across the board — including adapters!
used Christmas counts and breeding bird surveys
Advantages of talking about news a week or so after the news cycle
People can digest information, including scientists
land managers and conservation agencies have actually spent a lot of money to try to drive down or eliminate invasive species
many other species — especially those that thrive on farmland — population numbers may have actually been inflated in 1970, a result of generations of forest clearance and prairie destruction.
species that account for most of the 3 billion figure, whether native or not, are mostly among the most abundant bird species on the continent.
“If you take away the 40 biggest decliners from the dataset, then what’s left behind is hundreds of birds, some of which are declining, some of which are increasing. But, on average, the increases outweigh the declines,”
What it takes to make the Journal Science
Along with the desire to publish good science, they are often vying for a coveted slot in a top journal.
Discuss birding and how its changed for everyone near where they live due to urban development, farming
Segment – Neonicotinoids kill
Neonicotinoids is considered an insecticide and shouldn’t impact organic foods…vegetarians rejoice!
To investigate the potential impacts on wild birds, researchers captured white-throated sparrows during a stopover on their spring migratory route from the U.S. to the boreal region of Canada, which spans the top of the country. Individual sparrows were fed either one very small dose of the most commonly used neonicotinoid, called imidacloprid, or a slightly higher dose, or one with no insecticide.
Seasonal: move between breeding and non-breeding ranges.
Latitudinal: often determined by geographic features, however, such as mountain ranges and available habitats.
Longitudinal: where geographic features encourage birds to move longitudinally rather than latitudinally.
Altitudinal: the move to lower elevations in winter, when harsh weather and deep snowfall may make staying at upper elevations impossible. Birds that use altitudinal migration may not venture far in terms of overall mileage, but just a few hundred feet of elevation can make a great difference in habitats.
Loop: including two distinctly different routes to and from breeding grounds, often taking advantage of varied resources at different times of the year.
rufous hummingbirds follow a coastal route in spring on their way from Mexico to Alaska but take advantage of mountain wildflowers on an interior southbound route in autumn. Loop migration is also common with many seabirds and shorebirds as they use seasonal variations in wind patterns to aid their flight.
Nomadic: This movement is less predictable and can be erratic depending on available food and water resources.
robins, waxwings, phainopeplas, zebra finches and black swans.
Irruptive: large numbers of birds into unusual areas, most often in winter.
redpolls, varied thrushes, evening grosbeaks, crossbills and snowy owls.
Dispersal: juvenile birds are forced away from their hatching grounds and must seek out their territories as their parents continue to use the same range.
Leap Frog: where a northern population will migrate a greater distance to skip over a sedentary(normal residents)population of the same species.
Reverse: when young birds can become confused or disoriented and instead of migrating along the expected route go in the opposite direction.
Molt: Some birds migrate only to accommodate their annual molting periods.
summer tanagers, American Redstart
American Redstart molting on migration
Drift: large numbers of migrating birds have “drifted” away from their typical migration routes, often pushed by storms.
Facts: Pigeons were likely the first tamed bird around 4500 BC
They are super comfortable around LOTS of people as we are a source of their food and construction of their habitat in skyscrapers
Pigeon poo is highly acidic and is known to be corrosive
It can cost tens of thousands of dollars
I’m not even going to bore Austin with the details on what it takes to clean up this mess
Contamination from droppings leads to tons of fines
Which makes me wonder if its a government building, the taxpayers are most likely to be the ones to pick up the tab
But just because you see pigeons in your backyard does not necessarily mean its the sign of bird end times
Article dated Jan 4 2017
According to the University of Wisconsin there are three classifications of birds today
Listen up Back Porch Birders! Think about the following categories I’m about to read off and figure out which ones you think you can attract to your feeders
Adapters, Exploiters, Avoiders
Researchers from the University of Washington say as forests turn into subdivisions, certain species of human-shy songbirds – dubbed “avoiders” – are losing their mates as they flee for more propitious territory, causing some to miss as much as half of their breeding years
Adapters are birds that take advantage of the new foods and nesting opportunities that exist in suburban settings.
“It is we engineers who hold most of the keys to the solutions of the world’s environmental problems” – Lt. General Henry Hatch
Exampleof how prolific the army core of engineers are from the past and to today
1990-1991 included roughly $1 billion for environmental restoration projects, which ranged from hazardous waste cleanups at military bases to the creation of wetlands.
Environmental enhancement and restoration projects comprise one-third of new Corps projects (including reconnaissance “surveys”) proposed for FY 2004 (U.S. Department of the Army, 2003).
Ecological engineering is relatively new
Ecosystems are inherently self-designing, and restoration efforts should recognize this process through the application of sound environmental engineering principles. Traditionally, restoration efforts have focused on improving land and water resources for specific plant and animal species and have not taken a holistic approach to planning and management.
Tips for birders moving from one climate to another
Segment – Digiscoping
What is it?
How did Clay get into it
Average price to entry
Segment – Birding versus counting versus bird photography
Thoughts on eBird / Merlin / and traditional record keeping
Changes in birding over the years
Checklists Description: This is time where we discuss the birds we saw for the week. Highlighted birds are reserved for lifers, birds showing unusual observed activity, or anything else about the bird we believe our listeners would be interested in
Tim (10): dove with what appears to have a deformed beak Austin(25): Redhead (lifer), American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt
What does Hitchcock’s movie The Birds have in common with the closing of all Mississippi beaches?
Blue-green algae blooms have invaded Mississippi beaches
Cyanobacteria are toxic blue-green algae blooms which threaten most of what it touches
green when metabolising and turn bluish when the scums are dying
Hard to identify one toxic algae bloom from another
domoic acid and BMAA (a neurotoxin) are released as the bloom dies and the cells become . Domoic acid has been implicated in serious food poisonings, even deaths associated with shellfish and BMAA in neurodegeneration such as Alzheimerâ€™s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrigâ€™s disease) and an ALS/Pakinsonism-dementia complex of Guam (Guamâ€™s disease).
Santa Cruz August 17 1961
In the early morning hours of August 17, 1961, residents of Santa Cruz were invaded by a massive flight of sooty shearwaters slamming into their homes and littering the streets and town. The Santa Cruz Sentinel Sentinel reported the incident under the headline; â€˜Seabird Invasion Hits Coastal Homesâ€™
Hitchcock later called the paper letting them know that he was going to use the newspaper article for research.Â It is said that the movie The Birds was going to be shot in England but Hitchcock was so inspired by the event he shot the movie in California.
Now what do toxic algae blooms have in common with Du Maurierâ€™s book The Birds and Hitchcockâ€™s famous adaptation?
It is said that the Sooty Shearwater attack was due to toxic blooms from algae.
Evidence for a role for algal bloom poisoning in a mass disorientation and death of sea birds was presented in 1991, when a similar incident of unusual bird behaviour was observed around Monterey Bay in California. Studies of the dead birds, including brown pelicans and Brandtâ€™s cormorants showed they were poisoned by domoic acid, probably from the anchovies that the birds fed on.
Scientists believe the algae feeds off of nitrogen from agricultural runoff which is also the number one water polluter
How long will this last?
Until the spillway is closed.Â Hurricane Barry will prevent the spillway from closing preventing freshwater from entering the Mississippi.
Congrats to Sarah Winnicki on defending her thesis!
AOS is going on in Alaska right now and if any listeners are there I hope you checked out Dylan Smith’s poster about the effects of drought on grassland birds, great info, great visual, and my name is even on it!