Show notes for Episode 21 “Responsible Development”

Birding at Stillhouse Hollow Lake

  • I watched a male cardinal feed the first clutch comprised of two fledglings
    • not sure if my photography captured it
  • Wearing Off spray…heeding my own advice
  • Question for Austin: When I see a birding hotspot on eBird…does that mean its a hotspot now at this moment of time or has been noted as a hotspot in the past?

Radiolab episode, new miniseries entitled G about intelligence

Book update

Segment:  Are pigeons a sign of things to come?

  • I heard this A LOT from local birders
    • I joke grackles are a great sign of fast food
  • 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
        • Adapters are birds that take advantage of the new foods and nesting opportunities that exist in suburban settings.
          • chickadees, goldfinches, Canada geese,starling,and red-tailed hawks.
      • Exploiters
        • Exploiters are even more in tune with humanity than are the adapters. They often have “house” or “barn” in their name, such as barn swallow, barn owl, cowbird, and house finch. 
      • Avoiders
        • our activities are as deadly as the meteors of the past. 
          • northern spotted owl, Pacific wren,western tanagers, black-throated grey warbler, and Wilson’s warblers
  • Resources

Segment: Birding Focused Restoration Projects

  • Army Corpsof Engineers
    • “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. 
    • Resources


  • Tim: 12 species
    • White-eyed vireo
      • Migration Schedule
        • Apparently they are breeding in Texas
  • Austin:48 species
    • American Kestrel
    • Blue Grosbeak

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