February, 2020

“Birds of Cyprus” field guide review

10,000 Birds

For the last two decades, Europe and the greater Mediterranean have been covered by one of the best field guides anywhere: “Collins Bird Guide” by Lars Svensson et al., published in the US by Princeton as “Birds of Europe”. Not many European countries have their single-country guides (the exception being UK, Spain and a few others with a strong in-country publishing scene).

2020 167

E-bikes vs. standard bicycles

Green (Living) Review

by Michael Smith (Veshengro) While I personally do have an e-bike (a Gtech one) and have been very happy with it, the maintenance of one, especially when it comes to tire repair of the back, this is where the motor is in this one, aside from the fact that the lifespan of the battery is only a few years and then getting a new one seems difficult, the old-fashioned standard, and I stress standard, bicycle has still a great deal going for it. Maybe more so even than it is realized.

2020 147

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Reducing the Speed Limit Won’t Make Roads Safer for Wildlife

Nature Conservancy - Science

Not so fast: reducing speed limits may seem an easy way to reduce wildlife road deaths, but research suggests otherwise. Wildlife Deer TNC Science Urban Conservation

2020 86

Play With Dirt, It’ll Make You Feel Better

Green Prophet

Every gardener who’s spent an hour watering, weeding, or just turning the dirt over, comes indoors feeling more peaceful than when they went out. Every kid that ever came in covered in dirt from outdoor play goes to bed tired and happy (and hopefully, washed). We all know that being active in the sun and fresh air is good for us – but now we’re finding out that contact with dirt itself helps relaxes stressed nerves and may even treat depression.

2020 74

Kindness

The Green Samaritan

As with every snowflake, a kind word or act towards another is as unique and can brighten and beautify any situation. See the full post and more at www.TheGreenSamaritan.com. Green Living

2020 100

Harvard Study Proves Why Are Honeybees Disappearing

Greentumble

Honeybees together with wild bees are the most important pollinators of the vegetables and fruits we eat. They have thrived in amazing harmony on this planet for 50 million years. Out of 100 crop species that make up 90% of our global food supply, 71 are pollinated by bees. How would you like to live without apples, almonds, blueberries, cherries, avocados, cucumbers, onions or oranges? We know, we would not like it either. Bees travel from flower to flower to gather their food.

2020 48

February Birds from Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Growing up in western New York, February was one of the more tedious of winter months. It might be the shortest month but the continuing cold, snow, and dreary weather made it seem like one of the longest. Stomping the slush from winter boots, shoveling the sidewalk, extracting the car from a tomb of snow, those were some memories of February in the 80s.

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50 Fish, 50 States: Razorback Sucker Nursery

Nature Conservancy - Science

A new project in Utah gives endangered fish a fighting chance. Fish & Fisheries 50 Fish, 50 States Conservation Science Fish Fisheries

2020 73

Aviation needs a moonshot: Geoffrey Lipman on greening emissions globally

Green Prophet

The high environmental footprint of air travel is something that most people are by now well aware of. For anyone who is wondering where the aviation industry is headed next and how to feel about it, Geoffrey Lipman, one of the key figures in the global travel and tourism industry provides some insights. .

2020 70

Heart and Earth

The Green Samaritan

Love this quote for the week ?? – author unknown. See the full post and more at www.TheGreenSamaritan.com. Green Living

2020 100

Why Do We Need National Parks & Why Are They Important?

Greentumble

They often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But we would all agree that our world is full of breathtaking views of lush valleys, spectacular mountain tops, pristine rivers and many more. It would be impossible to discount the natural beauty of the landscapes of the Grand Canyon in the U.S.

2020 46

Going Medieval: Waterfowling the Two Towers of Serbia

10,000 Birds

Cover photo : Ram Fortress by Ilija Jacanovic. In the chill morning of late January, I am driving east of Belgrade towards the Two Towers section of the Danube and the best waterfowling bonanza in the whole of Serbia. Actually, I visited the Two Towers twice, had about 50 bird species each time and about 60 in total, so this is sort of a composite tour description. Some two hours later, we are in front of the first tower, the early 14th century but recently restored Golubac Fortress.

2020 167

Late winter gardening tasks

Green (Living) Review

by Michael Smith (Veshengro) Spring is just around the corner here in the UK Mid February 2020 and the way the flowers and trees are slowly – and some quite a bit earlier than usual – are beginning to come to life it is not going to be far off.

2020 140

Do Elk Fear Wolves? Maybe Not

Nature Conservancy - Science

What’s scarier: a wolf or a mountain lion? For prey – and conservation – the answer matters. Wildlife Conservation Science

2020 68

7000 years before Fortnite, multiplayer games were etched onto city walls

Green Prophet

Neolithic game boards from Jordan. In some places like Petra they were carved into walls of the city for leisurely play? The early mancala game we know today is likely from this, but no one really knows the rules of the ancient games. But archeologists do know that they were a way for socializing people through the ages. Ever thought about those new and interesting board games that are popping up? Like the ancient game Mehen , based on an Egyptian god and the path to enlightenment.

2020 69

Do Something Today

The Green Samaritan

Go for that walk, call your Mom, skip the diet soda or take out coffee, eat something green, reduce some plastic, forgo the credit card purchase. The list can go on and on but only you know what it. See the full post and more at www.TheGreenSamaritan.com. Green Living

2020 100

Online loans for bad credit – Is it Safe?

Eco Friendly Daily

When payday advance has been made available to all with little collateral as well as requirements, certain individuals still have a problem obtaining them. Due to the determined scenarios faced by numerous, they have actually been taken into consideration as “Bad Credit scores” to particular online cash advance companies. Their previous track records typically flag them off new financing opportunities.

2020 40

A Growing List of Hummingbirds

10,000 Birds

Most of us are already familiar with hummingbirds, whether in the flesh or in glorious, birdy dreams of lush tropical rainforests. They are one of the most famous families of birds, and for good reason. Buckets of energy crammed into an exceedingly tiny body, they can fly in every imaginable direction, change colour at will and consistently are treading the thin line between life and death.

2020 167

Frozen in time

Green (Living) Review

Your freezer is your friend by Michael Smith (Veshengro) Your freezer can be your greatest friend in the prevention of food waste, whether you have a large family or you a single parent or, simply, single. Save food, money and the planet and move food that’s nearing its ‘use by’ date to your freezer. Reducing your food waste It is estimated that one in five bags of food shopping goes to waste each week. That adds up to a substantial amount of food, but also money wasted.

2020 113

From Drones to Data at Little Jerusalem

Nature Conservancy - Science

Kristen Sikorsky remembers the first time she saw Little Jerusalem. “It It was like looking at a mini-Grand Canyon,” said Sikorsky, a Kansas State University graduate research assistant in the Park Management and Conservation Departments of Horticulture and Natural Resources. A […]. Latest Science

2020 67

Herbalist’s Guide To Avoiding Coronavirus

Green Prophet

We’ve learned from studying the “Spanish flu” of 1918 that a deadly virus can spread world-wide. But we know much more about contamination, containing disease, and treatment today. Countries around the globe are making an historic effort to contain the Corona virus. . Although Coronavirus seems to have started in China, when people ate contaminated animal meat, it now spreads, like the common cold, person-to-person.

2020 69

The Benefits of Pre-Dawn Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

It’s not always easy to get up early. For the early bird people yes but for those who relish some extra sleep, not really. Even when visiting a new place where the possibilities for lifers abound, days do arrive when a birder has to dig for enough will power to drag his or herself out of bed. The exhaustion of early starts and long hot walks adds up until the body demands an easy birding day in lieu of yet another exciting yet tiring birding marathon.

Post Apocalyptic Steampunk Birding

10,000 Birds

Set in an abandoned oil refinery where wildlife is slowly regaining control save for the desperate attempts of golfers to retain all eighteen holes, industrial ghosts loom over rolling freshwater lakes bordered by fifty foot tall trees. Fortunately, throughout the tenure of the refinery many of the older, larger trees were preserved.

2020 166

IDs on the wing

10,000 Birds

I have commented before on the privilege and pain of living in a state (Michoacán, Mexico) which hosts 10 out of the 15 Empidonax Flycatchers , as well as at least 4 of the 22 Myiarchus Flycatchers. But those are not the only taxonomic families in which Michoacán has an embarassment of (difficult) riches. If you are lucky, and very, very obsessive, you can also see 7 different Swifts in my state. As it happens, I have so far only seen five, perhaps six, of these Swifts.

2020 166

Birding in the times of the coronavirus

10,000 Birds

Well, a somewhat obvious title for a blog post from China these days, particularly from somebody who pretends to have at least a basic grasp of world literature (and who has recently watched “Looking for Alaska” with its frequent allusions to another one of Marquez` works). Though Shanghai is not the center of the virus outbreak (that would be Wuhan, about 800 km from here), the impact of the disease is strong.

2020 167

A Japanese twitch.

10,000 Birds

It’s the same the whole world over. A rare bird draws a crowd of optics and men of a certain age. The Tokyo Bay Wild Bird Park was exceptionally busy this morning. Rumour had it that a Bohemian Waxwing had been sighted and it had been noted consorting with 4 Japanese Waxwings. The Japanese Waxwing, Bombycilla japonica , is uncommon and would have been enough to draw a crowd from the Tokyo contingent of birders, but B. garrulus would be top of the bill.

2020 165

Starting the Year in Birding at Raptor Ridge, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

No matter where you happen to be, you can’t really go wrong when beginning a new year of birding. Birds are everywhere and if you keep the mind open to appreciation, even the most common of familiar birds are incredible, beautiful creatures. That said, more birds are always better and ones infrequently seen even more so.

Birding Breezy Point

10,000 Birds

Breezy Point, the westernmost tip of the barrier islands that protect Long Island’s south shore, is also the southwestern most portion of Queens and one of my favorite locations to look for birds. Being out on the beach is always nice and Breezy Point often gives you the feeling of being one of the last people on earth despite being in a city of over nine million people.

2020 156

Birding with Baby

10,000 Birds

Over a month had gone by since the birth of my first child. When you don’t know anything about babies, the initial 30 days are a crash course in hormones and learning how to take care of a newborn – feeding, diapering, and so much more. I barely had time to shower, let alone take up my favorite pastimes. But time marches on, and by the 5th week I felt like I had my legs under me again.

2020 156

Gang-gang Cockatoos feeding

10,000 Birds

Just before we left Victoria and returned home to Broome I was doing one of my regular walks from Foster to Fish Creek. I walked up to the look-out, which is about half way between the two small towns. I stopped to take in the view one last time. Suddenly there was the familiar odd sound of Gang-gang Cockatoos, which we had encountered on Boxing Day last year. The pair of birds flew directly overhead and on towards Fish Creek. I wrote them down in my notebook and walked back down to the trail.

2020 154

Love “Roller”coaster: Castellare di Castellini Chianti Classico (2016)

10,000 Birds

Today is Valentine’s Day – which means that at this very moment, countless would-be Romeos and hopeful Casanovas are undoubtedly scurrying around at the eleventh hour trying to find that perfect gift, tracking down the last florist in town not already sold out of roses, or perhaps merely struggling to choose a perfect bottle of wine for tonight’s dinner.

2020 153

Birding the Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica

10,000 Birds

Over President’s Day weekend my family and I took a much-needed break in Jamaica. We landed mid-afternoon on the fifteenth of February and flew back out on the nineteenth: enough to enjoy the tropical sun but not long enough to get bored of the Holiday Inn Resort, a middling and older all-inclusive vacation spot outside of Montego Bay, just a bit east of Sangster International Airport.

2020 152

Another post about owls

10,000 Birds

Strange as it may seem, this is not an entry into a “most boring blog headline” contest. Rather, it is derived from an obscure song by a British band (Marc Riley and the Creepers) titled “Another song about motorbikes”. Which I think is quite a clever way of taking a potentially cool topic and making it mundane. For those still reading on after this introduction, this is about Barn Owls I have seen in Germany in summer 2018 and winter 2019 – rural Northern Germany, to be more specific.

2020 151

Best Bird of the Weekend (Fourth of February 2020)

10,000 Birds

Have you ever had one of those weekends where every project you took on failed, perhaps spectacularly? Some weeks, Monday feels more like a respite than a burden. At least I didn’t have to travel far for great birds; my whole family thrilled to the sight of an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk chowing down on an unspecified rodent in our yard. Corey enjoyed his weekend at his parents’ house in the Hudson Valley though he didn’t see too many birds.

2020 149

Hooded Plovers on Squeaky Beach

10,000 Birds

During the recent months we spent in Victoria we were lucky enough to observe a pair of Hooded Plovers. Hooded Plovers are only found in the south of Australia and they are not abundant in any location. There are two populations and our last encounter was in the south of Western Australia almost two years ago. We have also observed them in Tasmania several years ago. Our most recent encounter was at the end of January at Squeaky Beach in the Wilson’s Promontory National Park.

2020 149

Birds in Winter: A Book Review, Written in Winter

10,000 Birds

Here are some of the things I learned reading Birds in Winter: . Birds who store food in advance of winter (corvids, t**s, and nuthatches) have a larger hippocampus (the brain structure that regulates memory) than non-storing birds do. American Avocet, Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plovers feed nocturnally during winter, the same number of hours as they feed during the day; smaller shorebirds feed more at night.

2020 149

My Mexican Birdbath

10,000 Birds

My area of central Mexico has a true monsoon climate. That means that we have little or no rain through the winter months, and almost daily rain during the warm months of June through September, with May and October being transitional months. May is always our hottest month, while our recent rains keep temperatures in October much lower. Días de precipitación = Days of precipitation.

2020 148