Sunday, March 29, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Birds versus buildings a deadly problem in Toronto

"On Friday, about 40 FLAP volunteers implored the public to really grasp the impact — no pun intended, they said — of the crashes by displaying the bodies of about 1,800 crash victims at their annual bird layout, hosted by the Royal Ontario Museum."

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/03/22/birds-versus-buildings-a-deadly-problem-in-toronto.html
Photo: Aylett L.
America Robin (Signature Engineering Building).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Photos: David Tilson


Reported Golden-crowned Kinglet (Fralin Hall).

One of the many fat and happy cats in the managed feral cat colony in the VTCRC.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring is here

Photo: Caitlin G.
 American Robin (Building 7A).

Our 225th bird-window collision death.

Light pollution influences the seasonal start of bird vocalisations

"A negative impact of artificial night lighting on natural populations is now widely recognised and no longer contested. Artificial light at night attracts nocturnal animals, including migrating birds. This can lead to disorientation and is the cause of death of many birds that crash into the lighted objects."

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-pollution-seasonal-bird-vocalisations.html#jCpA negative impact of artificial night lighting on natural populations is now widely recognised and no longer contested. Artificial light at night attracts nocturnal animals, including migrating birds. This can lead to disorientation and is the cause of death of many birds that crash into the lighted objects.
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Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-pollution-seasonal-bird-vocalisations.html#jCp
A negative impact of artificial night lighting on natural populations is now widely recognised and no longer contested. Artificial light at night attracts nocturnal animals, including migrating birds. This can lead to disorientation and is the cause of death of many birds that crash into the lighted objects.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-pollution-seasonal-bird-vocalisations.html#jCp

A negative impact of artificial night lighting on natural populations is now widely recognised and no longer contested. Artificial light at night attracts nocturnal animals, including migrating birds. This can lead to disorientation and is the cause of death of many birds that crash into the lighted objects.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-pollution-seasonal-bird-vocalisations.html#jCp
A negative impact of artificial night lighting on natural populations is now widely recognised and no longer contested. Artificial light at night attracts nocturnal animals, including migrating birds. This can lead to disorientation and is the cause of death of many birds that crash into the lighted objects.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-pollution-seasonal-bird-vocalisations.html#jCp
Full article here:
http://phys.org/news/2015-03-pollution-seasonal-bird-vocalisations.html

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How US cities woke up to urban wildlife

I wouldn't say they are awake yet though...


"Though it may be too soon to call it an urban wildlife movement, initiatives focused on urban biodiversity seem to be catching on."

"A new study in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning also looks at better ways of understanding urban wildlife and habitat in combination. The study uses birds as bio-indicators for other wildlife types because they are easier to count than shy, often nocturnal, mammals, and because they are more broadly familiar to the public. "They’re active during the day, they’re colorful, they sing," says Susannah Lerman, a University of Massachusetts ornithologist and lead author of the new study. "So even if most people know nothing about wildlife, they know something about birds."

"Accommodating wildlife in cities doesn’t necessarily require massive investment, says Lerman. You can bring in more birds, she says, just by breaking up endless lawns with the right kinds of shrubs, to create structure and variety. Mowing those lawns a little less often — not weekly but every two or three weeks — will increase the population of native bees and other pollinators. As for bird feeders, they don’t necessarily increase overall bird populations, but they do present one significant hazard: They can become "ecological traps," luring birds to their deaths in a sort of cat smorgasbord. Just keeping cats indoors, says Lerman, could prevent the loss of billions of birds in the United States every year. "

Read the full article here:  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/06/us-cities-urban-wildlife?CMP=share_btn_fb

Friday, March 13, 2015

"As human populations and resource consumption increase across the New World, it will be  increasingly difficult to maintain most bird populations as we have known them in recent decades. Even an optimal system of parks and reserves across the New World may not protect all species. To attempt to save species that respond negatively to land-use change, we need to develop systems of monitoring population abundance and demography throughout the New World so that species with declining trends can be identified early enough in the process that focused research can determine the causes of these declines and management responses can be developed and implemented. Harder yet will be making decisions about which species we can no longer sustain in future landscapes due to a species’ inability to cope with climate and concomitant environmental
change."

John Faaborg, Richard T. Holmes, Angela D. Anders, Keith L. Bildstein, Katie M. Dugger, Sidney A. Gauthreaux Jr., Patricia Heglund, Keith A. Hobson, Alex E. Jahn, Douglas H. Johnson, Steven C. Latta, Douglas J. Levey, Peter P. Marra, Christopher L. Merkord, Erica Nol, Stephen I. Rothstein, Thomas W. Sherry, T. Scott Sillett, Frank R. Thompson III, and Nils Warnock 2010. Conserving migratory land birds in the New World: Do we know enough? Ecological Applications 20:398–418. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/09-0397.1

Thursday, March 12, 2015


“It's not worth doing something 
unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it.” 

-Terry Pratchett 

Birds are awesome. Reason #2.

Check out this extraordinary photo of a Bald Eagle and White Pelican!

"A White Pelican was so hungry that she was fighting with a Bald Eagle for a fish, apparently she lost the game from the very beginning..." -ZS Li

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/3957414/?source=gallery

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Birds are awesome. Reason #1

Eagle stays on nest during snowstorm.

Photographs captured from the Pennsylvania Game Commission's eagle camera at Codorus State Park on March 5.

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1592549&mode=2

Largest City in Northern California to Adopt Bird-Friendly Building Guidelines



MEDIA RELEASE
Contact:
Robert Johns, 202 888 7472, bjohns@abcbirds.org
Shani Kleinhaus, 650 868 2114, shani@scvas.org

(Washington, D.C. and Cupertino, CA, March 5, 2015) -- San José, the capital of Silicon Valley, has become the fourth and largest California city to enact bird-friendly building guidelines. Previously, ordinances were adopted by San Francisco in 2011 and Oakland in 2013, while guidelines were adopted by Sunnyvale in 2014.

“Without question, bird collisions are one of the most significant causes of bird mortality worldwide. It’s a problem that is probably escalating every year,” said Dr. Christine Sheppard, Birds Collisions Campaign Manager for American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and one of the world’s leading experts on the issue. 

San José Environmental Services Department (ESD) staff have developed a factsheet and checklist that provide information on bird-safe design and outline voluntary bird-safe building measures, such as recommendations to:

  • Reduce large areas of transparent or reflective glass.
  • Avoid transparent glass skyways, walkways, and entryways, as well as free-standing glass walls and transparent building corners.
  • Avoid the funneling of open space toward a building façade.
  • Strategically place landscaping to reduce reflection and views of foliage through glass.
  • Reduce or eliminate up-lighting and spotlights on buildings.
  • Turn non-emergency lighting off at night, especially during bird migration season (February-May and August-November).

In Silicon Valley, companies such as Facebook and Intuit are applying bird-friendly frit to glass windows and facades in their new campuses.

While bird conservationists have long known that a large number of birds are killed each year by glass, the issue of fatal bird collisions gained national attention following release of the most comprehensive study of its kind, the peer-reviewed, “Bird–building Collisions in the United States: Estimates of Annual Mortality and Species Vulnerability.” The study was authored by federal scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It found that between 365 and 988 million birds are likely killed in the United States each year as a result of collisions with buildings.
  
Some species seem disproportionately vulnerable to collision with buildings.  In San José, vulnerable species include: Anna’s Hummingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Lesser Goldfinch, Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush, American Robin, and Cooper’s Hawk.

In July 2014, Dr. Kleinhaus submitted an opinion letter that was published in the San José Mercury News titled, “Birds and glass: San José can prevent needless deaths of birds with building rules.

Vivid photos showing bird-window collisions


What a stunning way to portray this problem.  Thank you Miranda.

Photo: Miranda Brandon
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/blogs/292994951.html

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” 

― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax