Saturday, June 28, 2008

bird conservation and research news

A variety of Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center information is here; links to some recent publications from the Center's biologists is here.


An article about the timing of migration and the influence of a warming climate is here.


The boreal forest, home to millions of breeding birds, is a key area in terms of climate change. Read more and see some maps that help to explain this at this link.

3 new books to recommend

This new "Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America" by Ted Floyd is excellent - I've not liked most bird guides that used photos in the past, but this is extremely well done. I'm using it a lot already.

Another excellent recent book is "Wildflowers of Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest" by Merel Black and Emmet Judziewicz. This is a wonderfully-useful new guide, with many improvements over those previously available for this region. It too is filled with color photos, has a key system, and information about threatened, endangered, and Special Concern plants in WI. It would of course be equally useful for other states in the region. Read more about this book here.

Last but not least is another fine book about climate change - perhps my favorite recent book on this subject. "The Ethics of Climate Change: Right and Wrong in a Warming World" by James Garvey. Garvey is Secretary of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. His book details the facts about climate change in the first chapter, but then travels to the heart of the ethical implications of a changing climate and how it will influence many aspects of life for all people and other species as well. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

thinking about Aldo Leopold

Some folks spend an awful lot of time trying to disprove climate science. I often wonder why. Is it that they would find some satisfaction in deciding that they don't have to change after all, that the no-holds-barred 1950-to 2000 approach to faster and faster use of natural resources, creating wealth without any morality (despite what it does to the global environment and poor people everywhere) is OK after all? For some wisdom to hold up to the light, I suggest reading Aldo Leopold. He didn't talk about climate change at all, yet arrived at almost all the same conclusions back in the 1940s. In fact, his entire body of writing from about 1935 until his death still stands up as being the clearest ever understanding of the natural world and humans' place in it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

news from Am. Bird Conservancy and other sources

To access the BIRD CONSERVATION NEWS TIP-SHEET from 6/20/2008,
go to the ABC news and reports webpage.

If you have questions, contact Steve Holmer, 202/234-7181 ext. 216,


Also find recent news from BirdLife International, here.


And a lot of good stuff at the Madison Audubon website...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

news, and a few observations

View the latest news from the Am. Bird Conservancy at this link.

Today I found some of my favorite bird species while doing surveys in southwestern Grant County: A White-eyed Vireo (near the village of Cassville), and several others after my surveys were completed: Carolina Wren (this one in the village of Cassville itself), and Kentucky Warbler and two Cerulean Warblers in Nelson Dewey State Park. These are all species which I find very infrequently, partly because I almost never "chase" anymore - and that may be partly why I enjoy them as much as I do. My 2008 annual list for WI has not reached 200 yet, and that is a bit unusual - but I don't seem to mind it - my birding has changed, especially in the last few years. I am doing a lot of surveys in all seasons, now...and that may have helped to re-direct my energy and impetus to add to a year list.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

some different kinds of birding news

See updates thus far for the international BIGBY ("big green big year") effort at the BIGBY website. It's much more than just an alternative way to bird, or to deal with high gasoline prices.

While you're at it, you might also like to check in on Malkom Boothroyd and his folks, working on their Bird Year...Malkom has seen 534 species this year, traveling by bicycle, canoe, rowboat, etc.; all muscle-powered conveyances. In the process, he and his supporters have also raised a significant amount of money for bird conservation and raised the bar for the rest of us.

See info about the link between birding and conservation at the 10000 birds blog.


I have not read all the way through this website yet, but the site offers a variety of info on "green" or eco-conscious travel.

And in a similar vein, here is a link to the International Ecotourism Society's website.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

conservation news

News on the recently-passed Farm Bill is a mixed bag for conservation. See a good summary at the American Bird Conservancy page on this topic, here.

Highlights from the Farm Bill include: "The Farm Bill reauthorization will provide $4 billion more for conservation over ten years. This will be split among current programs, fund a new program to pay farmers to conserve wetlands, and add new incentives for endangered species habitat improvement, conservation easements, and forest conservation. The Bill reauthorizes the important Grassland Reserve Program, and expands the popular Conservation Stewardship Program to 80 million acres from the current 16 million."

Read about wetland conservation at the site of Wetlands International, here.

A range of arctic conservation issues are described at WWF's page on this topic - here.