Author Topic: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl  (Read 7972 times)

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Offline Alison

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News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl
« on: April 17, 2010, 12:34 »
Shorebird flew 14,170 miles to and from Virginia

By Diane Tennant
The Virginian-Pilot

As the poet said, "Hope is the thing with feathers," and as the scientist said, here she comes now.

After a round-trip of 14,170 miles, a shorebird named Hope arrived this week on the Eastern Shore near Machipongo carrying a satellite transmitter that was attached to her 11 months ago at the same location.

"That's amazing to me," said Barry Truitt, senior scientist for The Nature Conservancy, which helped with the transmitter project in conjunction with the Center for Conservation Biology of the College of William and Mary/Virginia Commonwealth University.

Just how far is 14,170 miles? It's more than twice the distance around the moon.

Hope is a whimbrel, a species of long-billed wading birds. Whimbrels spend about three weeks on the Eastern Shore each spring and late summer, feasting on fiddler crabs. Virginia is a rest stop, where they take on fuel, doubling their weight, during their migrations.

Hope took two days to reach Virginia after wintering in the Virgin Islands at a location that has been proposed for construction of a resort-casino. Her presence has helped make a case for preservation of the site.  Whimbrel populations have declined by 50 percent in the past decade. The transmitter project is designed to identify sites important to the birds.  Hope is expected to stay on the Eastern Shore for a while, feeding and rebuilding strength before taking off for her nesting grounds in western Canada, near Alaska.

"This bird actually came back to the exact mudflat where we caught it last year," Truitt said. "How do these birds do that? We don't know yet."


http://hamptonroads.com/2010/04/shorebird-flew-14170-miles-and-virginia
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 16:42 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline Alison

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2010
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 13:16 »
Fears for whooper swan as it disappears into volcanic cloud

Whooper swan Y6K, which is being tracked using satellite technology, seems to have flown into difficulty on its return migration to Iceland. It was last recorded at 10.46 this morning (Friday) heading towards the cloud of ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

WWT researchers noticed the bird’s position on the online tracking map www.wwt.org.uk/whooper. Y6K is approaching Iceland from the south east, which is one of the main landfall areas for swans arriving in the country, but this is very much in line with the fallout from the volcano. The satellite transmitter attached to the bird is due to give a further reading in two days time, so it will be an anxious weekend for researchers and enthusiasts those following its progress online.

Migration to Iceland

Given that this is the main goose migration period, there is also concern for the welfare of greylag geese, pink-footed geese, light-bellied brent geese, Greenland white-fronted
geese and Greenland barnacle geese migrating to or through Iceland at this time.

On Iceland itself, the volcanic eruption is causing concern for the returning waterfowl. A report from WWT’s colleague Dr Olafur Einarsson in Reykjavik confirms that that there is dense ash and total darkness to the southeast of the volcano, near the area dubbed “Whooper Airport” because it is where most of the birds land after their migration.


http://www.surfbirds.com/sbirdsnews/archives/2010/04/fears_for_whoop.html
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 16:32 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline Alison

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2010
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2010, 17:05 »
N.J.'s Raptor Trust heals Canada goose injured by arrow

MILLINGTON -- A Canada goose with a hunter's 26-inch arrow sticking out of its chest picked the right place to land.

"This is a smart goose," said Bernard Levine, the retired veterinarian in whose Toms River backyard the wounded bird showed up a few weeks ago. "He happened to come into the yard of a veterinarian that could take care of him."

So Levine, 82, fed the goose, helped capture it, performed lifesaving surgery and transported it to the state's largest bird rehabilitation facility, The Raptor Trust.  All patched up after a three-week stay at The Raptor Trust, the goose was released last week into a stream in a wooded area on the trust's property with Levine witnessing the payoff for his kindness.

"It feels great to see him free and liberated, enjoying life the way a goose should," Levine said, as the goose preened and waded downstream.

Although birders generally praise Levine's efforts, some say saving geese is not an imperative because the birds have long been an overly abundant nuisance, according to Peter Bacinski, director of the Sandy Hook Bird Observatory and a New Jersey Audubon member.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists estimated the population of Canada geese in 2009 to be about 1.1 million in eastern North America from Quebec to South Carolina, an 11 percent decline from 2008 because the geese built fewer nests. Colder May temperatures in 2009 and the resulting snowmelt delayed prolonged migration to nesting grounds, the biologists concluded.

Ponds created in parks, golf courses and corporate properties have attracted geese, which pollute water and grounds with their excrement, stop traffic on roads and take over public parks, Bacinski said.

"A once regal bird has become a pimple on the rump of society," said Bacinski, a birder for 40 years.

But Raptor Trust founder Len Soucy, who self-financed the facility with his wife in the 1960s, rejects such negative opinions of geese.

"The diversity on this planet keeps us healthy," Soucy said. "To say that one goose doesn't matter, or one eagle doesn't matter, or one human being doesn't matter, I don't subscribe to that. It all matters.''


http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/04/njs_raptor_trust_heals_canada.html
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 16:34 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2010
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010, 16:22 »
After 200 Years, Swans Return To Montana

POSTED: Wednesday, May 5, 2010
UPDATED: 11:51 am CDT May 5, 2010

OVANDO, Mont. -- After nearly 200 years, trumpeter swans have returned to Montana's Blackfoot Valley region.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service workers released eight of the birds back into the wild this week east of Ovando. The birds were born a year ago in Canada, then reared in Wyoming, through a federal effort called the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program.

"Through an effort to bring trumpeter swans back to this great habitat that we have here in the Blackfoot Valley, we began an introduction program," said Greg Neudecker, a Fish and Wildlife Service biologist.

Five years after its start, the program has evolved into a partnership between the core members, as well as teachers and schoolchildren from nearby communities.

"You get to hug a swan for about 15 minutes," said Reid Fleshman, a teacher at Sunset Elementary School. "It's a pretty neat experience to have these birds back here in the Blackfoot Valley."

Fleshman was on hand to witness the release of the trumpeter swans, and said his students are learning more about the birds in the classroom.

"There's several lessons that we do about the habitat that the swan prefers," he said.

The Blackfoot Valley is a pristine area for the yearlings to grow. It has shallow waters, which are perfect for feeding, and a low elevation, which is perfect for breeding.

"Hopefully, we'll have a breeding pair either this year or next year," Neudecker said. "The goal of the program is to release birds until we have seven breeding pairs."
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 20:49 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline Alison

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2010
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 19:42 »
Birds rescued from hail storm

NORMAN, OK -- As the storm rolled in on Sunday afternoon those who could, took cover. But that luxury wasn't available to all. As the Webster family emerged from their shelter to survey the damage, they found tiny victims of the hail. A whole flock of birds hit hard by icy stones littered their neighborhood.

Ashlee Webster says, "These birds were so hurt, that they couldn't even go anywhere. At one point I had three or four in my hands at one time like picking Easter eggs out of the yard. To see them all in one concentrated area, just all come down like as if they were picked from the sky by a hunter or something, it was just really sad."

Half of the flock died during the storm, but 16 made it through.

The family scooped up as many birds as they could, wrapped them in towels and took them to WildCare in Noble.

Rondi Large, WildCare's Director says, "They were very neatly wrapped up in these little towels and very secure. Due to the trauma, it's very important to get these guys to us as soon as possible."

Some have had surgery already and more are planned for later in the week.

Though they are in bad shape, the prognosis is pretty good.

The goal is to release them together.

However, Rondi says if some are ready for release before others, they will be sent off in waves.

WildCare took in about 150 animals after Monday's tornado and the calls just keep coming after this hail storm.

Rondi says they are expecting a whole slew of songbirds, some ducks, a Peregrine Falcon and some Mississippi Kites.


http://www.kfor.com/news/local/kfor-news-birds-hurt-hail-storm,0,3783138.story

There is a video of some of the birds.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 16:40 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2010
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2010, 09:18 »
Rare ducks stolen from Washington Wetlands Centre (UK)


Only about 10,000 Philippine ducks are thought to remain worldwide Eleven endangered ducks have been stolen from Washington Wetlands Centre.

The rare Philippine ducks were taken from the bird sanctuary at the centre, near Sunderland.  The break-in was reported to police on Bank Holiday Monday but officers say the ducks could have been stolen up to 11 days earlier. The birds have a mostly black and chestnut head with a greyish-brown body. Police are appealing for information.

Neighbourhood beat manager Pc Richard O'Sullivan said: "We'd urge anyone with any information about the whereabouts of the ducks and who is responsible for stealing them to call the police."

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources there are only about 10,000 Philippine ducks left in the world because of over-hunting and the loss of wetland habitats.

'Sought after'
 
Washington Wetland Centre marketing manager Leanne McCormella said: "We are devastated by the loss of these beautiful birds, which were a notable breeding success for WWT Washington this year.

"Different species become valuable to private collectors at different times and Philippine ducks, which are part of the mallard family, are difficult to breed. This breeding season has been a particularly poor one for the species nationally and, unfortunately, this has made them more sought after. We still have our adult breeding stock and there are two remaining ducklings, which are now being transferred to our headquarters at Slimbridge, in Gloucestershire, to become part of their breeding programme."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wear-11153313
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 16:30 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline carly

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2010
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2010, 16:05 »
Oldest Whimbrel Recorded in Shetland

A whimbrel ringed on a Shetland island almost a quarter of a century ago is now believed to be the world's oldest, RSPB Scotland has said.  The bird was ringed on Fetlar in 1986 and has now been identified breeding on the same island.

RSPB Scotland said it was believed to be the oldest surviving ringed whimbrel in the world, more than doubling the typical 11-year lifespan. The previous oldest 16-year-old was shot in France in 1995.

Dr Murray Grant, principal conservation scientist with RSPB Scotland, said: "I first came across this bird 24 years ago during my PhD research on whimbrel in Shetland.

"It was probably at least two or three years old then, as that's when these birds normally start breeding, so it is a great surprise to learn that it is still revisiting Fetlar after so long."  

However he explained: "My pleasure at learning of this record-breaking whimbrel is tempered by the fact that we've only found it because of our research into their population decline on Shetland. When I first encountered this bird there were some 80 pairs of whimbrel breeding on Fetlar, now there are probably fewer than 25. Sadly, it seems that this level of decline is typical of the rest of Shetland, which holds a vast majority of the UK population."

RSPB Scotland has initiated new research on the species. Dr Grant said: "The UK population looks like it may have declined by up to 50% in the last 20 years. "The reasons for these very rapid decreases aren't clear but we hope that our study of the species, which has started this year, will help us understand the difficulties they face.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-11435139
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 18:05 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2011
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 14:42 »
New Seabird Discovered In Chile

A new species of seabird has been hiding in plain sight in coastal Chile.

The small black-and-white bird had been spotted by birders for years, but was only recently recognized as a new species of storm petrel, the first new species of seabird in 55 years, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A new petrel hadn't been spotted in 89 years, Peter Harrison, an ornithologist, told the Los Angeles Times. Harrison is the author of "Seabirds: A Complete Guide to the Seabirds of the World." (Stackpole Books, 1997)

"If we had won the lottery, we could not feel better," Harrison told the Los Angeles Times. The announcement was made at a recent ceremony held by the San Diego Bird Festival/Audubon California Assembly in San Diego.

Harrison may have been the first to photograph the seabird species, back in 1983. He had seen the bird occasionally through the years, but always grouped it with a similar looking storm petrel species.

Harrison said there are thousands of these storm petrels along this stretch of the Chilean coast. Yet they haven't been noticed by all the ships coming and going from the port. Charles Darwin even missed them when he surveyed the area.

Researchers are analyzing blood and feather samples to learn about the birds' migration and breeding, and to further characterize the seabird as a new species. Storm petrels, 22 species in all, are called "the ballerinas of the sea." They seem to dance on water with their webbed-feet.

The new discovery was made in Puerto Montt, Chile.



http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/new-sea-bird-discovered-110323-1287/

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2011
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2011, 15:02 »
Another gem from Loriann (and the Toronto Sun) ...

Deer stands guard over goose nest in cemetery

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A deer has been standing watch for several days over a female goose nesting in a city cemetery, a scene normally reserved for a children’s movie.

“People always want to turn it into a Disney story and in this case it’s not far off,” said Gina Browning, director of the Erie County SPCA.

For at least four days, the buck stood guard near the nest of a Canada goose as she sits on her eggs inside a large urn at Forest Lawn cemetery, home to the remains of President Millard Fillmore and rock icon Rick James.

“He does appear to be guarding the goose, as it were,” Erie County SPCA Wildlife Administrator Joel Thomas said. “He’s within touching distance of her — there’s no doubt what’s going on.”

The deer, which he said looks like a buck that has shed its antlers, has not strayed from his post. Employees at the cemetery were alerted to the situation after the animal positioned itself between the bird and an employee of a company that traps and relocates geese, which Thomas said have become a messy problem in large numbers.

“When he approached the bird with a net, the deer puts itself between him and the bird, and he’s repeated that behavior for some time,” he said.

Typically positioning himself broadside to any car or passerby who comes near the nest, the deer stares intently until the potential aggressor moves on, he said.  Why exactly the deer has chosen to champion a bird of a different feather is a complicated question, Thomas said. While interdependence among species in the wild is not unheard of, Thomas said whatever is causing this animal kingdom alliance is anybody’s guess.

“From a human standpoint we can fill in a lot of blanks but it doesn’t mean we’re right,” he said. “Does he know she’s nesting? I don’t know. Is he going to leave when the chicks hatch? I don’t know.”

One thing is clear: It could go on for some time.

The gestation period for a Canada goose is up to 31 days, Thomas said, with the nesting season only just beginning. While normally both the male and female share the task of keeping the eggs warm, the expectant mother at Forest Lawn appears not to have that luxury.

“If the deer is determined, he’s going to be on the job for at least three weeks,” Thomas said.

Devotion rather than emotion seems to be driving the buck.

"The deer and the goose are not in love,” Thomas said.


http://www.torontosun.com/news/weird/2011/04/08/17921931.html

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2011
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2011, 10:21 »
Devotion rather than emotion seems to be driving the buck.
"The deer and the goose are not in love,” Thomas said.


LOL! ;D ;) Great story, TPC. Thanks for posting. :)

Offline jadoo

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2011
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 13:19 »
There is a Canada goose nesting at the Hydro Building in downtown Winnipeg - the building has "green" roofs and a pair of Canada geese have been seen sticking around the area for a week or so, chasing off any crows landing in their vicinity...well, the mom has been observed nesting on the northwest green roof, 3 floors up.  Don't know where dad is, but i suspect he's lurking nearby.  I bet the moving of the chicks once (or, if) they hatch will be interesting... :D

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2011
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 13:26 »
Not to mention pedestrians in the area!!!  Its a long walk to the river, may need a fledgewatch all its own to herd them down the streets to the Assiniboine ...

Offline jadoo

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2011
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 14:09 »
...I'm kinda wondering how they'll get down off the 3rd floor roof... :P

Offline jadoo

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2011
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 14:25 »
Not to mention pedestrians in the area!!!  Its a long walk to the river, may need a fledgewatch all its own to herd them down the streets to the Assiniboine ...
...unless they decide to go right down Portage Ave to the Red...(yikes)...

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2011
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 16:45 »
Yikes! :o I wonder if these are the same geese I saw perched on the guard rail in between the traffic when I was driving over the Provencher Bridge the other day?! ::) It was very strange to see this.