March 22 Postings
- Asteroid moons
- Galapagos Islands threatened
- Midwest Birding Symposium
- Great weather for ducks
- Urban myths of birding
- 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.
- 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.
- “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, , 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.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.
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