Sunday April 20, 2014
Four years ago today, the worst offshore oil catastrophe in United States history began when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the Gulf Coast, eventually spill more than 200 million gallons of oil into sensitive marine environments. While the active cleanup phase has recently ended, restoration efforts are continuing to monitor the region's habitats and sensitive species. According to the Global Animal, multiple species - including common loons - are continuing to suffer from the effects of the spill.
What can birders do today? Plenty! Understanding how oil hurts birds is essential, and supporting conservation organizations will help birds recover from future spills. BirdProject Soaps are elegant, artistic gifts that help support the region's recovery, and taking steps to reduce a birding carbon footprint can help reduce dependence on oil overall.
How will you help prevent another catastrophic oil disaster?
Photo © Louisiana GOHSEP
Saturday April 19, 2014
Fishermen are often at odds with fish-eating birds, and the Army Corps of Engineers has announced that it plans to kill up to 2,000 piscivorous birds to protect Washington salmon populations. According to the Dispatch, California gulls, ring-billed gulls and double-crested cormorants are all scheduled for the cull, but overall population numbers will not be significantly affected. Additional non-lethal hazing methods will continue to be used as well.
Do you agree with culling activities to protect other wildlife and promote economic and tourist activities? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Photo © Andrea Westmoreland
Friday April 18, 2014
Canada geese are a problem in many urban and suburban areas where their populations can be considered a nuisance. In Ohio, however, Ohio Geese Control is using multiple techniques not just on land, but also on the water to encourage geese to move away. According to Fox8.com, the 10-year-old company uses trained dogs, radio-controlled boats, false eggs and other techniques to discourage the sometimes aggressive waterfowl with great success. All of the company's tactics are humane, tricking the birds into believing the area is unsafe so they will seek a different territory, but never harming the birds.
Many areas cull undesirable birds, and backyard birders use a variety of techniques to discourage bully birds from their feeders. How do you remove unwanted birds without harming them? Share your techniques in the comments!
Photo © dee2018
Thursday April 17, 2014
This week's featured one is a species I always enjoy - the black-billed magpie is the ultimate jokester, robbing other birds and raising a ruckus. They're also beautiful and are one of only four birds in North America with a tail longer than its body - a clear field mark that makes them easy to identify.
Is the black-billed magpie on your life list? Share your sightings of this corvid in the comments!
Photo © Larry Lamsa