2016

There’s a bear! There’s a bear!

10,000 Birds

In the most of Europe, Brown Bear is a mythical creature that lives only in mediaeval tapestries and folk tales. It has become extinct, one may say, but such formulation hides the gruesome fact: it has been exterminated. By us. About a quarter of the world’s Brown Bears live in Europe (including the Russian part of it), some 55,000, divided into nine separate and evermore fragmented populations – some of them dangerously tiny, a dozen or two dozen animals only.

2016 214

"Sample Cover Letter for Journal Manuscript Resubmissions"

Environmental Economics

Academia Obscura: Dear Sir, Madame, or Other: Enclosed is our latest version of Ms # 85-02-22-RRRRR, that is, the re-re-re-revised revision of our paper. Choke on it. We have again rewritten the entire manuscript from start to finish. We even changed the goddamn running head! Hopefully we have suffered enough by now to satisfy even you and your bloodthirsty reviewers. I shall skip the usual point-by-point description of every single change we made in response to the critiques.

2016 172
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6 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Living Green & Saving Energy

Whether you’re looking for small-budget upgrades or total home transformations, there are many methods to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your monthly energy bill. Here are six ways to bring you closer toward your goal of energy savings — Small Details Smart Thermostat The biggest problem with your thermostat is that it has no […]. green home saving energy eco-friendly home energy efficiency

student loan saga

Indigenize

It’s done. I just lovingly placed every paper related to my student loans in the recycling bin. They are paid off. It only took me 14 years. (:-0) My hair is white, just like the jokes say, but by George, they are paid off. The balance due, once over $45,000 USD, is now zero. […]. Adventures Cranky Rants Tales & Blarney education freedom money strategy student loan

Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer

10,000 Birds

Mark Gamin, a Cleveland lawyer, likes cats and birds both. He likes books too, which made him the ideal reviewer for Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer. This is Mark’s first contribution to 10,000 Birds. Agonizing quandaries concerning invasive species are well-known to wildlife biologists. In Oregon, the Barred Owl is taking over Northern Spotted Owl territory and threatening that smaller bird’s survival.

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The Kerkini Lake, Greece: Dipped One, Got One

10,000 Birds

I dipped a bird recently – possibly a lifer. While crossing Gramos Mountain in northern Greece, a Dendrocopos woodpecker flew over the road and landed in a pine tree. First I noticed a red cap – a male, then striped flanks and pale-red undertail, but couldn’t see its wing because some part of the bird remained hidden by a branch at any given time. I had two possibilities, an uncommon Middle Spotted or scarce White-backed Woodpecker – which would have been a lifer for me.

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Birding Balkans: A Play in Two Acts

10,000 Birds

ACT I. SCENE I. Iron Gates (Djerdap) national park, Serbia. Small canyon among wooded hills. Morning. Framed by red Permian sandstone, Eric Hyman is staring into the bare branches of a dead tree, or, to be more precise, into some fluttering t**s. Although the sun has risen, the cliffs around us are still deeply shadowed. The entire geological history of the region, from Palaeozoic to Cenozoic, is written in these exposed rock faces of the Boljetin Canyon.

2016 206

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Little Crane, Very Big Deal: Hope for Sarus Cranes in Thailand

10,000 Birds

The world’s biggest flying bird—the Sarus Crane , with a maximum of height of 6 feet/1.8 meters—has had a rough go of it. Due to habitat encroachment and environmental degradation in its traditional home base of Asia, the bird’s worldwide population has dropped to roughly 20,000 individuals, marking it as a Vulnerable species. But the International Crane Foundation—with the support of some Thai farmers—is slowly but steadily making headway toward restoring the crane in the wild.

Animals of Kruger National Park: A Book Review

10,000 Birds

I’ll never forget my introduction to the mammals of Kruger National Park, South Africa. We –participants of the ABA South Africa Safari—were on a small plane when one Lori Conrad looked out the window and screamed, “There are elephants down there!” and everyone ran to Lori’s side of the plane. It’s a wonder we didn’t go into a tailspin from the sudden weight re-distribution. This is the thing—no matter how devoted you are to birds and birding, once you get to Africa, you can’t resist the mammals.

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Why Hawkwatching is So Awesome

10,000 Birds

Originally from London, England, Luke Tiller transplanted to Connecticut in 2003. Newly surrounded by wildlife, he found his love of birds reignited. A professional hawkwatcher for many seasons, his passion and knowledge saw him invited to join the board of the Hawk Migration Association of North America in 2013. He now lives in Los Angeles, California where he is employed as a natural history tour guide and as a member of the Leica Birding Team.

2016 201

Cry “Havoc!” or a Birding Movie before the Birding Movie

10,000 Birds

Can you remember any birding movie before Schrodinger’s Cat? Probably not. For me, the only “birding” movie that I knew of were the Dogs of War (1980). If you are not familiar with the story, it’s about an Anglo-Irish mercenary, Jamie Shannon (played by Christopher Walken), hired to overthrow the regime in a fictional Western African country (it was actually filmed in Belize, Central America) and prior to the real thing, he was doing a reconnaissance trip posing as a “rare birds photographer”.

2016 196

"Who will win the Nobel Prize in Economics this coming Monday?"

Environmental Economics

Tyler Cowen: I’ve never once nailed the timing, but I have two predictions. The first is William Baumol, who is I believe ninety-four years old.    His cost-disease hypothesis is very important for understanding the productivity slowdown, see this recent empirical update.    Oddly, the hypothesis is most likely false for the sector where Baumol pushed it hardest — music and the arts.

2016 172

3 Tech Companies With Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Living Green & Saving Energy

Do you know where your e-waste goes? According to Earth911, Americans throw away 9.4 million tons of electronics every year. The electronics you use every day are full of potentially hazardous and toxic materials that are not good for the environment once they are thrown away. Thankfully, many modern companies have started green-minded initiatives and […]. green business practices sustainability Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Square Dance in the Rural West: An Oral History

Indigenize

Check out my new article in the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) online journal. It’s based on interviews with my elders, who can really tell a story, and contains small photos of those faboo 1950s dance outfits. Best of all is getting to witness how community dance like square dance or contra dance forges […].

2016 143

A Wild Bird Rehabber Says Farewell

10,000 Birds

When my book “ Flyaway: How A Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings ” came out in 2009, one of my favorite reviews was by Corey Finger of 10,000 Birds. At that point I didn’t know about 10,000 Birds; I had been a wildlife rehabilitator and mother for years, with no time to surf the net for amazing birding sites. Corey is a birder, not a rehabber, but he understood what I was trying to convey – what makes rehabbers tick, and why we keep going, and why we need help.

2016 196

Can A Hawk Carry Off Your 12-Pound Pet?

10,000 Birds

The answer is: no. No hawk can carry off a 12-pound pet. No hawk can carry off a 3-pound pet. The largest hawk in North America weighs about four pounds, so leaving the ground carrying three – let alone twelve – would be aerodynamically (not to mention logically) impossible. That did not stop a New Jersey animal shelter from publishing this rabble-rousing flyer on Facebook, all written in alarming red capital letters: PARK RANGERS AND VET OFFICES ARE PUTTING OUT WARNINGS.

2016 193

I Remember Elephants

10,000 Birds

Late last month, while searching for bears , woodpeckers and spirits of Greece, I deliberately avoided checking any news, especially from my home country. Every now and then, I need to cut the world off and clear my mind. Nevertheless, only the most important news I did follow, those about the decision-making process on future sales of elephants and their ivory at a global wildlife summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, the first such meeting since 2013.

2016 190

Highlights from the 2016 Arenal, Costa Rica Christmas Count

10,000 Birds

The Christmas Count season has begun! For us birders who partake, this is a big deal. You see, we don’t just go outside and randomly watch birds during a set day in December.

Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Northern Central America: A Book Review

10,000 Birds

Birds know habitat. They don’t read treaties or draw maps or build walls and, as far as we can tell (since we can’t talk to birds, yet), they have no concept of political boundaries. So, if you are going to write a field guide on the birds of the countries south and east of Mexico–Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—it makes the utmost sense that you embrace the whole geographic area.

Everyone loves owls: African edition

10,000 Birds

Who doesn’t love a good owl? There are few families of birds where despite a cosmopolitan distribution I’m always so pleased to see any species of the family. owls aren’t rare, but they are seldom easy. I can spend months in some locations without seeing a single one, in fact in 10 years in New Zealand although I hear them on a monthly basis I have seen them precisely 3, yes three, times. Can you see them? I did!

2016 182

Ingrid Taylar: Bridging the Divide Between Cat and Bird Lovers

10,000 Birds

This blog is written by writer, photographer, and animal advocate Ingrid Taylar. Years ago, I became a wildlife volunteer and advocate because of a cat who caught a bird. A sweet Mourning Dove , his crop stuffed with seeds from a feeder, struck gold when he landed atop a pile of millet and sunflower. Now, he lay frightened and ruffled in my hands, his tail tattered, his feathers damp from the maw of a cat named Puck. I scrambled for a box. The wildlife center was an hour away if I was lucky.

2016 182

Peru is Calling – Win a Birdwatching Adventure!

10,000 Birds

If you read our earlier post , you know that the national tourism office of Peru is giving away a 7-day bird watching adventure for two in Peru, home to over 1,700 species of bird. After two days in the Amazon rainforest, you (assuming you’re the Grand Prize winner) will fly to Cusco, and make your way to your home for the next two nights, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. This rustic boutique hotel is located in the heart of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary.

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Math check: Willingness to pay to combat climate change

Environmental Economics

Michael Greenstone in the NY Times : Respondents were asked if they would support a fee on their monthly electricity bill to combat climate change, and they were offered fees at various levels: $1, $10, $20, $30, $40 and $50. Each household was asked about only one of these levels.) The responses were that 57 percent would pay at least $1; 39 percent would pay at least $10; 29 percent would pay $20; 24 percent would pay $30; 17 percent would pay $40; and 20 percent would pay $50.

What To Look For in Eco-Friendly Products

Living Green & Saving Energy

We’re living in an age where just about every company touts itself as green. While many consumers and CEOs would argue that it’s important to be environmentally conscience, it can be hard to tell which companies are actually committed to being green and which are just saying they do to look great. Take a look […]. Eco-Friendly Products green products

Birdwatching in Peru and You

10,000 Birds

For two blog posts now, we’ve been telling you about how you could win an amazing, 7-day bird watching trip for two to Peru. The Grand Prize not only includes roundtrip flights from anywhere in the US on LATAM Airlines, but also accommodations at three fascinating Inkaterra properties. Assuming you’re the Grand Prize winner, your trip to Peru wraps up with two days in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

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Help Queens Birders Save the Forest Park Feeders!

10,000 Birds

Dear readers of 10,000 Birds, I have a small favor to ask of you. It will take you less than a minute, cost you nothing, and make me very happy. Please, please, please head over and sign this petition to restore the feeders to Forest Park. For some unknown bureaucratic reason the New York City Parks Department decided to take down the feeders and not allow them to be restored.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of November 2016)

10,000 Birds

Little things, you may have heard, mean a lot. Montgomery wrote that it’s dreadful what little things lead people to misunderstand each other. That observation hits home this week, but I stand with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who pointed out that the little things are infinitely the most important, not just in solving mysteries but also in our daily lives. If big things are bumming you out, enjoy the little things.

2016 179

The Cutest Birds in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Are all birds created equal? I bet a Common Raven would tell you otherwise, and so would a lot of birders. Blasphemy say ye? Just ask yourself if you feel like giving the same value to a ratty looking Rock Pigeon as a candy-colored Jambu Fruit-Dove.

Win a Birdwatching Adventure in Peru!

10,000 Birds

The people at the Peru national tourist office are giving you the chance to win a 7-day birdwatching adventure for two in Peru. Your trip will take you from the Amazon rainforest into the peaks of the Andes—with plenty of opportunities to take in Peru’s over 1,700 species of bird (the second most of any country) along the way. During your trip, you’ll stay at three spectacular properties run by Inkaterra.

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A Brief Tour of Uganda, The Pearl of Africa

10,000 Birds

By the time this post publishes, I’ll be on an airplane heading back to the United States following a truly remarkable two week visit to Uganda as part of a group of western birders visiting there to promote the inaugural African Birding Expo. In the days leading up to the Expo we’ve been touring the small East African nation, primarily visiting the big national parks in the south and west of the country looking for birds and other amazing wildlife.

Uganda 170

Kaikoura stricken

10,000 Birds

I’m on a fortnightly schedule here now, but I’m submitting a quick story in my off week in the light of recent events. Not that event, I don’t feel like posting five hundred lines of increasingly incoherent swearing, but the 7.5 earthquake that struck South Island just after midnight on Monday morning. That event also had me swearing a lot this week, especially when it struck. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about earthquakes here.

2016 169

We are Just Money Grubbers

10,000 Birds

Out of just under 200 bird species I observed this year in SE Europe, there are 6 threatened species. Some of them were always uncommon in the region, others are highly localised, some are hard to notice among thousands of similar birds, but others were abundant recently and one of them still is, despite the decrease in numbers.

2016 169

Belding’s Yellowthroat, Revisited

10,000 Birds

I recently wrote a short story here on 10,000 Birds about one of our endemic species, the Belding’s Yellowthroat , Geothlypis belding beldingi. and its status on the Threatened Species List. Todos Santo, an ocean side village, is a 56 mile trip, west across the Baja to the Pacific Ocean side. At the edge of the ocean, and town, there is a brackish water lagoon, and this is where our story plays out.

2016 169

Graphic of the Day: Where do you get your news?

Environmental Economics

A pretty cool graphic of one person's views of credible vs incredible news sources : HT: Craig Landry via FB (Craig didn't create the graphic, just reposted). A few thoughts: I'm sure everyone can quibble about placement of some of these, but that kind of misses the point. I'm going to quibble. I venture to guess that liberal thinkers think the graphic is too conservative and conservative thinkers think it is too liberal.  Which probably means it's just about right.

2016 159

How To Clean Nasty Parts of the House Without Chemicals

Living Green & Saving Energy

Do you think that you need chemicals to clean your house? Chemical cleaners may seem like an easier solution, but there are better ways to get the job done out there. However, there are non-toxic, natural cleaners out there! Whether DIY or natural non-toxic buys, anything is better for your health than chemicals. Using natural […]. easy green living tip green living reduce waste clean without chemicals green cleaning

Clean 127

Darkness comes in shades of brown

10,000 Birds

You may have missed it. Birders tend to miss things outside the birding universe, what with being out and about in the woods and using our smartphones to check rare bird alerts and eBird lists rather than the news. Thankfully though, you can always rely on your favourite bird blog to supply you with all the information you should not have missed but did due to your focus on birds: There has been an election recently.

2016 168

Intervention: Stringer Edition

10,000 Birds

There are two types of birders that everyone hates – a s and stringers. Which is worse, I don’t know. But everyone has dealt with their share of a s, for a s are a fact of life. Today, we are here to talk about stringers. Some stringers are inexperienced observers, and some have done it for decades and have no excuse for their birdcrimes.

2016 169