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Friday, February 13, 2009


Birds in the News

First of all, to all you lovebirds (and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks), Happy Valentine's Day!

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

On to the news. I suspect many of you saw the latest "birds are proof of global climate change news," news which I actually had a (microscopically small) part in:

Driven by a warming climate, North American birds are moving northward and inland, according to new analyses by scientists with the National Audubon Society of 40 years of observations by birdwatchers.

Sophisticated computerized analysis of data gathered during Audubon's Christmas Bird Counts since 1968 show that 58 percent of the 305 widespread species that winter on the continent have shifted north, some by hundreds of miles.
My part, of course, was having been one of tens of thousands of people helping to conduct those counts for a few years.

Then there was this news yesterday, in which we learned that small songbirds are capable of flying as much as 300 miles in a day. But even that didn't compare with the most amazing bird news of the last year:

A Bar-Tailed Godwit has broken the record for the world's longest known non-stop bird flight. Named only 'E7' she flew 7,257 continuous miles across the Pacific Ocean.

The migrating birds' [E7 and others] flights lasted between five and 9.4 days.
Isn't it time you stopped sitting in front of your computer and went for a run? Or at least a walk? ;-)

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