Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You'll Get No Direction From Me


Eastern Kingbird. Look how eastern it is.

It's a big world out there, birders. Don't be afraid to pull your head out of binoculars and take a look around once in a while. To facilitate this, here's some news.

BB&B fully supports the shark fin ban that is going through the legislature in California, which looks like it will eventually be passed. You can read about that here. Does it interfere with certain cultural traditions? Yes. Do I care? No. When it comes to dealing with extinction issues, the tradition of a species continuing to exist trumps any kind of popular wedding soup. Sorry.

The Department of the Interior has promised to do a better job handling all aspects of the endangered species act, including dealing with the the long Candidate List that has 261 different plant and animal populations on it. Currently, this list is a kind of limbo that many declining and vulnerable species end up on when an effort is made to get them legal protection. This needs to end. Birds like Sprague's Pipit, Xantus' and Kittlitz's Murrelets, Lesser Prairie-Chicken, Greater and Gunnison Sage-Grouse, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, and Red Knot are on there. From what I know, Red Knot are disappearing more rapidly than any of these other species...but what do I know? I need to ask The Great Ornithologist, Felonious Jive. Anyways, you can read about some of this here. Hopefully something actually comes of it...the press release is surely a response to this court decision. I'm still not sure about Salazar's performance as Secretary of the Interior so far (not listing Bluefin tuna and delisting Gray Wolves stand out as huge mistakes he has so far overseen), but I would still take him over his Bush predecessors, particularly that unbelievably corrupt bitch Gale Norton. Oh yeah....ahem, these are the views of one Seagull Steve and one Felonious Jive (The Great Ornithologist), and do not reflect the views, official or otherwise, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, whose efforts I generally laud.


Blackpoll Warbler. These things are rad.


Magnolia Warbler. One of my favorite yard birds here. Being strictly migrants to the plains, they are on their way to Canada at the moment...soon they'll all be to the north.

Californians will be bummed to learn that seventy (70) state parks will be closed this fall in an effort to balance the budget.

Unsurprising, but depressing nonetheless, is the fact that world CO2 emissions hit a record high in 2010. Shit.

The official public comment period for federal wind-energy guidelines designed to protect wildlife (in particular, bats and birds) has just ended. What FWS decides to do will have huge implications for wildlife for decades to come. You can read about that here.



Blue-winged Teals are everywhere here. They are also correctly named.


Bobolink doing its flight song. I should always live with Bobolinks.


We're finally getting out into the field today for the first time since Thursday. Finally!

As you can see we've got a pretty good mix of birds here, all of which can be seen or heard within walking distance of my fabulous trailer. Now if only the Upland Sandpipers would sit still for a picture.....mmm....Upland Sandpipers....

Yeah. See you soon!


Your friend and mine, the Red-winged Blackbird.

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