March 22 Postings
Index of postings on this page
- ASTRONOMY Magazine
reports that 107 Camilla is the latest asteroid (the small,
irregular bodies that orbit between Mars and Jupiter) to
reveal the presence of a satellite. A growing number of
these tiny planets have been found to have even smaller companion
asteroids orbiting them. Camilla is about 250 kilometers
in diameter and it's moon is about 10 kilometers in size.
The phenomenon of asteroid moons has been known only since
1993 when the Galileo spacecraft discovered a moon since named
Dactyl orbiting 243 Ida.
- BIRDER'S WORLD
reports that the recent oil spill may not be the greatest
threat to the ecological integrity of the Islands which
are known for the high incidence of endemic species (species
not found anywhere else). Conflict between a growing population
seeking economic opportunities in tourism and fishing and ecological and
scientific interests (the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station)
escalated to violence recently, though that situation has
quieted down. The immigration is accompanied inevitably by
introduced species from the continent, which, along with
the periodic El Nino phenomenon causes severe stress on
fragile and unique ecosystems.
- Also from BIRDER'S
WORLD: "Hosted by BIRDER'S WORLD magazine, EAGLE OPTICS, and the
WISCONSIN SOCIETY FOR ORNITHOLOGY...[the Midwest Birding Symposium]
will be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin, from
Thursday, August 30, through Sunday, September 2, 2001 at the
Regency Suites Hotel and KI Convention Center. This seventh
biennial birding event will offer a varied menu of 28 speakers,
workshops and varied field trips for birders of all levels of
expertise. Located in the northeast portion of the state,
Green Bay is surrounded by wetlands that vary from Lake
Michigan shoreline to cattail marsh and sedge meadow.
The area lies along major pathways for fall migrants."
Editor's note: The online registration forms are in Adobe
Acrobat form which will not work with any browsers/screen readers
I know about. So if you are interested in registering,
let me know, and I will get something usable to you.
- From BIRDER'S WORLD
archives, November, 2000: It's Good Weather for Ducks.
For the past four years, breeding duck populations in the Great
Plains states and prairie provinces have been at or near all-time
highs. Waterfowl biologists have been systematically tracking breeding duck
populations in these highly productive areas for the past 45 years.
Populations were high in the 1950s and 1970s and low in the 1960s and
1980s. Populations remained low through 1993, but after that year wet
conditions in the prime breeding areas produced a surge in duck numbers,
which have remained high.
- From BIRD WATCHER'S DIGEST:
Urban myths are persisent stories that are widely believed but which have
no basis in truth. Examples are alligators in the sewers and babies/pets
in the microwave. The magazine details some of the persistent ones
about birds and birding.
Myth: You should take down your bird feeders in the fall because they keep
birds from migrating and these birds will freeze to death.
Truth: Birds migrate according to genetic and environmental forces having
nothing to do with humans and feeders. If a genetic glitch keeps a bird
from migrating, the feeder may actually prolong its life by a small
amount. Actually, migration occurs when natural food is abundant for
many species. So don't worry about the feeders.
Myth: Hummingbirds migrate by riding on the back of geese.
Truth: Nope. Geese aren't that generous, and anyway migration patterns
don't overlap much.
Editor's note: There are a bunch more on the page referenced, including
exploding gulls, and why you shouldn't throw rice at a wedding.
Let me know if you have trouble with that page, and I'll summarize a few
more for this site. I think you can get the page, just be patient with
slow graphic downloads.