For many years large fleets from Europe, primarily from Portugal, fished off the coasts of New England and Canada and harvested huge catches of cod which was salted and brought back to Europe. In the days
of the Clipper Ships, salt cod was important to New England’s economy and was exported to the Caribbean and beyond. Salt cod remains a staple on Portugal, Spain, Italy and Mediterranean France and is still widely available in New England.
Wildlife photographer and nature writer Marie Read offers five tips on improving your own wildlife photographs both in the field and in your backyard.
Widely published, Read’s images have appeared in magazines, books, calendars, websites, and product packaging. She is the author of Secret Lives of Common Birds: Enjoying Bird Behavior Through the Seasons (Houghton Mifflin, 2005).View full post
The Toucan family is comprised of 37 species, concentrated in South America, but found as far north as Mexico. Toucans are very noisy members of the jungle population. They live in small communities and loudly make noises that sound like the croaks of frogs. They nest in tree holes, laying two to four eggs, which are incubated by both parents.
Toucans are herbivores, eating mostly berries and seeds. The Toucan’s enormous bill, is not used as a weapon, nor does it offer them an advantage when gathering food. The meaning and use of the toucan’s bill remains a mystery to scientists.
Strange fact about Toucans – in Central and South America they are associated with evil spirits, with some believing the the birds to be the incarnation of demons.View full post
The key to attracting Bluebirds to nest in your yard is having plenty of potential nesting locations, food, and water. Bluebirds prefer more “open area” so if your yard is heavily wooded you’ll enjoy many other nesting birds, but probably not Bluebirds.
In the U.S. there are three different types of Bluebirds. The Eastern Bluebird that occurs East of the Rockies is by far the most numerous. Across the Western one-third of the U.S.A. you will also find Mountain Bluebirds and Western Bluebirds.
All Bluebirds are cavity nesters. Once common in rural and suburban areas, Bluebird populations declined by as much as 90% from 1920-1970. The decline was due to two things: The loss of nesting habitats, such as tree holes, rotted out fence posts and old orchards; and the introduction of the starling and house sparrow in the last half of the 1800’s.
These two species, introduced from Europe, competed heavily with the Bluebirds for existing nesting cavities. Utilization of a sparrow trap is often critical to Bluebird breeding success.View full post
Scientific Name: Poecile atricapilla
The state bird of Maine and Massachusetts, the Black-Capped Chickadee is a small, common songbird in the Tit family generally found throughout Alaska, Canada and the northern United States.View full post
A University of Colorado at Boulder study shows strong evidence that noise pollution negatively influences bird populations by reducing species diversity and increasing reproductive success of the birds in noisy areas.
The study published June 23rd in Current Biology, is the first to indicate that at least some bird species opt for noisy areas over quiet ones, perhaps because of their vocalization pitches, a reduction in predators and reduced competition from other songbirds that prefer quiet environments.View full post
An odd songbird with a bald head living in a rugged region in Laos has been discovered by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Melbourne, as part of a project funded and managed by the mining company MMG (Minerals and Metals Group) that operates the Sepon copper and gold project in the region..
Dubbed the “Bare-faced Bulbul” because of the lack of feathers on its face and part of its head, it is the only example of a bald songbird in mainland Asia according to scientists. It is the first new species of bulbul – a family of about 130 species – described in Asia in over 100 years.
A description of the new species is published in the July issue of the Oriental Bird Club’s journal Forktail. Authors include Iain Woxvold of the University of Melbourne, along with Wildlife Conservation Society researchers Will Duckworth and Rob Timmins.View full post
Mention pollen and you may think allergies, but did you know that our survival actually depends on the stuff. 80% of the world’s crop plants depend on pollination. Pollinators are responsible for an estimated 1 out of every 3 mouthfuls of our food. They are essential to the fibers we use, the medicines that keep us healthy, and more than half of the world’s diet of fats and oils. Insect pollinators, including honey bees, pollinate products amounting to $20 billion annually in the U.S. alone.View full post
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The rule implements federal protections provided by the ESA for the Cantabrian capercaillie, Marquesan imperial pigeon, Eiao Marquesas reed-warbler, greater adjutant, Jerdon’s courser, and slender-billed curlew.
If the pair’s breeding effort is successful at Midway Atoll Refuge, it would mark the first confirmed hatching of a short-tailed albatross outside of Japan in modern history.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed a report recommending closing human access to caves and mines where bats with white-nose syndrome are hibernating in an area more than 250 miles from other WNS-affected caves and mines.
The oldest known U.S. wild bird – a coyly conservative 60 — is a new mother. The bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, was …
Damage to bat wings from the fungus associated with white-nose syndrome (WNS) may cause catastrophic imbalance in life-support processes, according to newly published research. …
Researchers found that deforestation in the New England area at that time produced significant soil erosion, increasing sediment delivery rates — the natural flow of sand and soil in water systems. The large amounts of sediment traveling in rivers and streams to the coastline spurred a significant period of wetland growth, leading to marshes lining the coast of New England that today are abnormally large.