Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.

Posts about Bird conservation

The complete Audubon report on climate change

Posted by: Jim Williams Updated: September 10, 2014 - 8:21 PM

Here is a link to the complete National Audubon report on climate change and North American birds.

http://climate.audubon.org/article/storm-gathers-north-american-birds

If nothing else, scroll to the end to see the photo of a young Common Loon on the mud in the recently drained pond where it was hatched. 

And this, just in ......

Posted by: Jim Williams Updated: September 9, 2014 - 9:26 PM

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) Tuesday reported that in less than 50  years western states including New Mexico, Utah and Arizona have lost almost half their bird populations.

"Right now, about a third of all bird species in the U.S. are in decline," said Steve Holmer of the ABC. It is one of the 23 organizations that cooperated in preparation of the report.

"The decline points to a very broad-scale problem where we're seeing habitat loss and a variety of threats," he said. "We're particularly concerned about the birds that live in deserts and grasslands in the West.

“These lands are being heavily used and there's a great deal of oil and gas development, so it's created a huge conservation challenge."

Shorebird species also are doing poorly, with near half of them endangered or at risk of becoming so. This includes species such as Ruddy Turnstones, Red Knots and Piping Plovers.

It's worse in Hawaii where we have done great ecological damage. including wholewale introduction of non-native species.

"Hawaii is the extinction capital of the world," said Pete Marra, director of the Smithsonian Institution's Migratory Bird Center. "We've seen about 10 extinctions in the past 40 years and all 33 species of endemic Hawaiian birds are in trouble."

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Add this to the climate problem, and, well ……

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The climate report got posted twice, I think, because the first post was inadvertently lifted word for word from The New York Times; my mistake. I thought the item came from Audubon. I should not do the blog before having morning coffee.

Birds on the climate hot seat

Posted by: Jim Williams Updated: September 9, 2014 - 9:03 PM

National Audubon Monday released the results of a seven-year scientific study of the potential impact of global warming on North American birds. Based on four decades of bird census data, here is what we found:

  • 314 species of North American birds — nearly half of all species — could be severely affected by global warming in the coming years at the current pace of warming. The science shows that these birds could lose half or more of their livable ranges by the year 2080 if nothing is done to stop global warming.
  • Many of those severely threatened are birds like the Rufous Hummingbird or the Baltimore Oriole that we see every day, or love and cherish.
  • Some, like the Trumpeter Swan, Brown-headed Nuthatch, and American Avocet, could lose more than 99 percent of their livable range — which puts them at extreme risk for extinction.
  • The science also pinpoints potential “climate strongholds,” key places that will continue to support bird life in the coming decades and which merit urgent protection.

These are conservative estimates based on cutting-edge science and state-of-the-art climate models. The reality could, in fact, be worse.

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Raise some hell with Congress. Carbon dioxide isn't the only problem.

 

September issue, Birding eBulletin

Posted by: Jim Williams Updated: September 4, 2014 - 1:39 PM

You can access this issue and the archive of past E-bulletins on the
website of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA):
http://refugeassociation.org/news/birding-bulletin/

The September 2014 edition includes the following topics:

RARITY FOCUS
Lower Rio Grande Valley Collared Plover

WHAT WOULD MARTHA DO
the argument that timely conservation really does work

BOOK NOTES: SIBLEY REVISITED
new illustrations includes illustrations of rarities that were
not included in the first edition

TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD: STILL TROUBLED
possible emergency listing of the Tricolored Blackbird on CA
endangered species list

SURPRISE PUERTO RICAN PARROTS HATCHED IN THE WILD
two endangered Puerto Rican parrots were recently hatched for
the first time in 144 years

ACCESS MATTERS: SIMPLE PARKING
every effort should be made to adhere to whatever guidelines
have been established to regulate birder crowd control

IBA NEWS: HATTERAS REPRIEVE
the battle over off-road vehicle (ORV) use at Hatteras National
Seashore (National Park Service) has gone on for years

NEONICS AND NWRs
US FWS bans the use of neonicotinoids at National Wildlife
Refuges

EAGLE "TAKE" PERMIT COULD START A TREND
permit was issued to a wind-power project in northern California

TIP OF THE MONTH: PERSONALIZE YOUR FIELD GUIDE
opportunities to personalize your field guide are practically
endless

LWCF IS 50 THIS MONTH
use the revenues from offshore oil and gas to support the
conservation of land and water - underfunded and must be renewed to be
continued
 

Audubon has made a difference

Posted by: Jim Williams Updated: August 29, 2014 - 6:10 AM

Bird-friendly glass in the new Vikings’ stadium? Audubon Minnesota and Audubon’s national office have been working very hard to get that done. They are unlikely to win this battle, but they certainly have raised national awareness of the war on needless bird death.

They have put the issue on the map. Give them credit. 

The Vikings gave this effort wings even though team officials have said not a word. You can’t challenge a National Football League team without making news. The glass effort was reported in The New York Times,  Washington Post, USA Today, on CBS national news, on sports channels, in magazines serving the glass, construction, and architectural communities, and in local media.

A campaign to specifically address dangers posed to birds by the reflections found in ordinary window glass would not have earned as much national news coverage.

The issue, as you must know by now, is that ordinary window glass reflects the outside environment. Birds fly toward the reflections, hit the glass, and die in large numbers. There is a glass that contains a visible pattern, fritted glass, that is supposed to alert birds to the glass, and prevent collisions. This is the glass that Audubon wants for the stadium.

The Audubon Minnesota team Wednesday delivered to the office of Gov. Mark Dayton the names of 73,000 people supporting the effort. Audubon collected names via its local and national web sites. 

There had been no word from the governor on his thoughts about this.

Matt Anderson, executive director of Audubon Minnesota, said Thursday he still sees a narrow window of opportunity even now, after the stadium glass reportedly has been ordered.

Regardless, Audubon has done more for the bird/glass issue in the past few weeks than has been accomplished in years of trying to make people widely aware of the problem. 

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