Versatile Blogger Award, thank you bellnight!


Versatile Blogger Award

Bell Night has been so kind to nominate Dear Kitty. Some blog for the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you so much, Bell Night, all my best wishes for you and your blog!

Rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.

Seven things about me:

1. Today, the visitors of my blog so far came from:

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 132
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 28
Greece FlagGreece 18
France FlagFrance 12
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 12
Canada FlagCanada 10
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 10
Australia FlagAustralia 10
Armenia FlagArmenia 5
India FlagIndia 5
Germany FlagGermany 5
Belgium FlagBelgium 4
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 3

2. The pages with most visits today so far are:

Title Views
Home page / Archives 37
Bahraini king’s sexual harassment of Lebanese singer 9
United States butterflies and climate change 8
Siskins and robin on the balcony 8
Bahamas whitetip sharks new research 7
Male eagle-owl feeds female, video 7
Siskins and blue tit update 7
‘Child abuse cover-up cardinals should not elect pope’ 6
Priests abused ten thousands of Dutch children 6
Black-tailed godwit migration on the Internet 5
Other posts 211

3. Most popular topics of my blog:

Topic Views
Economic, social, trade union, etc. 665
Human rights 650
Environment 572
Biology 508
Crime 363
UK 342
Mammals 341
Peace and war 331
history 286

If you tag your posts effectively, this panel will show you which topics get the most traffic. Snapshot generated from your top posts over the past week.

4. I often walk in cities. I prefer it to cycling there.

5. When I was small, my parents had an aquarium with goldfish and guppies.

6. Once, there was a jackdaw nest in our chimney.

7. Once, there was a sparrowhawk in our garden.

My fifteen nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Doli Siregar ~ Photography

2. euzicasa

3. SCHTIEL

4. Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors

5.♡ The Tale Of My Heart ♡

6. oahuhiking

7. Interior Stockholm

8. A Nature Mom

9. mothergrogan

10. HAPPI ANARKY

11. retireediary

12. Mathangi Jeyabaul

13. Crazy Train To Tinky Town

14. Victor Travel Blog

15. Maria Precioso

Sperm whales off Scotland


This video says about itself:

A baby sperm whale learns to swim alone while its mother hunts deep below.

From Wildlife Extra:

A pod of five sperm whales sighted inshore off North West Scotland

Giants of the sea enjoy Scotland’s warming waters

February 2013. An extraordinary winter sighting of five Sperm whales off the coast of North West Scotland this week could be a reflection of climate change and warming sea temperatures, says a leading marine scientist.

The Sperm whales – one of the true giants of the oceans – were first seen by creel fishermen between Loch Torridon and South Rona on Monday. They initially thought they were Humpback whales and alerted boat operator Nick Davies from Hebridean Whale Cruises, based at Gairloch, who is involved in a project collecting cetacean (whale, dolphin and porpoise) data for Sea Watch.

First sighting

He went out to the location, and when he arrived was astonished to recognise Sperm whales diving together for food – the first time he has ever seen them.

Dr Peter Evans, director of marine conservation research charity Sea Watch, was able to confirm the sighting from his photographs and says: ” In past decades, most records of Sperm whales in British waters have been of lone adult males around Scotland mainly off the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. Increasingly, however, adolescent males have occurred in our waters, sometimes in groups of 5-10 individuals.

Inshore

“Sightings of groups of Sperm whales have tended to occur mainly in summer so this winter sighting of a group is notable not just for the time of year but for its inshore location. The species normally lives in waters of 1,000 metres or more depth, beyond the continental shelf edge. Here they have sought out the deepest area of NW Scotland – the Inner Sound.”

“The increased occurrence of winter sightings in Scottish waters could be a reflection of climate change, with their main prey, squid, becoming more abundant locally in recent years, resulting in animals staying through the winter to feed rather than travelling into lower warmer latitudes.”

Sperm whales

Sperm whales are amongst the largest mammal species in the world. Adult males can weigh in at up to 45 tonnes – the iconic London Routemaster double decker bus weighs less than 8 tons, unladen!

Nick Davies explains: “I was excited at the prospect of Humpback whales, but never expected to see Sperm whales.

“When I was about 8-9 miles away I could see their spouts – it looked like a flotilla of yachts and as I got nearer it was obvious from their flukes (tails), that they were Sperm whales. There was one enormous animal and four smaller ones, and they were synchronised diving, going down for 30 minutes or so at a time.

“Fishermen have been telling me that for the past four or five years they have been seeing increasing amounts of squid in their nets, and it seems that this was perfect for the Sperm whale.”

The sightings, made on Monday February 18th were in waters one mile east of Caol Rona in the Inner Sound between the islands of Rona and Raasay – close to an area where the in-shore waters are at their deepest at 1,000 ft.

Sperm whale ID

Sea Watch is now analysing Nick’s photographs to see if they can be match the tail fluke markings in the trailing edge to any individuals included in a North Atlantic catalogue of individuals photographed from locations as far apart as the Azores and Madeira to Iceland and Norway. Matching of individuals between locations gives us a better idea of the movements of this wide-ranging species. Individuals have already been matched between the Azores and Norway (Andenes and Tromsø). And in 1997, a photo image from Andenes matched a male stranded on the west coast of Ireland.

According to Sea Watch’s national database, there have been just 94 separate sightings in British waters since 1974, with the largest group on record being of 20 animals seen off Mousa in the Shetland Islands in 2007.

Sperm whale facts

Length: Newborn calves are 3.5-4.0m long. Adult females are 8.3-11.0(15.0)m 27.4- 36.3(49.5)ft and can weigh up to 14 tons. Males grow to around 11.0-15.8(20.5) m / 36.3-52.1(67.6) ft (adult male) and can weigh 35-45 tonnes.
Head: The sperm whale has a huge square head (up to one-third total length in male), and under-slung lower jaw.
Fin and Markings: No fin but distinct triangular or dorsal hump two-thirds along body, followed by spinal ridge. Corrugations on skin gives the sperm whale a shrivelled appearance. Dark brown or grey in colour.
ID: The bushy blow of a sperm whale is directed forwards and to left – 1.5-5.0m high; the species may lie log-like on the surface; broad, triangular and deeply notched tail flukes thrown into air.
Lives: up to 70 years.
Feeds: on squid, octopus and other fish.

February 2013. The ships of the Sea Shepherd Society, currently in the southern ocean doing their best to disrupt and halt the Japanese whalers, have clashed with the Japanese whaling factory ship, the Nisshin Maru: here.

Scientists are delving deep into the travels of whales – thanks to high-tech tracking devices – to try to help protect them: here.

Bird houses in your own home


This video is called British Garden Birds Feeding.

From Wildlife Extra:

New bird houses can be built into your walls

February 2013. Having worked for many years as a builder, Duncan McCutchan was frustrated by the lack of opportunities to incorporate nesting sites into housing developments which are increasingly happening on green sites.

So he decided to do something himself, and he started to build nesting sites into walls. He has now built on his knowledge and experience to produce nesting boxes which are designed to be incorporated into buildings.

The boxes are designed so that the fronts can be easily removed so that they can be cleaned out and monitored. The boxes, suitable for birds and bats, are unique and have the potential to benefit many British species of birds and bats. These boxes provide permanent nesting and roosting sites and will last the lifespan of the building; they are also more predator proof and weather resistant than traditional wooden boxes.

Wildlife Extra would like to see the day when it is compulsory to include something like this in all new build houses.

To find out more about these boxes, go to http://www.birdbrickhouses.co.uk.

A shoe bird house can be a whimsical addition to your backyard, and it’s easy to turn an old pair of shoes into a comfortable, cozy nesting spot for your feathered friends. Learn how to easily recycle shoes into homes for birds, and you’ll never wonder what to do with a worn out shoe again: here.

United States butterflies and climate change


This video is called Brown Elfin Butterfly.

From Wildlife Extra:

Butterflies show signs of being affected by climate change in a way similar to plants and bees

Butterflies fly earlier if the temperature is higher

February 2013. In a new study, Hamilton College Biology Professor Ernest Williams and Boston University researchers have found that butterflies show signs of being affected by climate change in a way similar to plants and bees, but not birds, in the Northeast United States. The researchers focused on Massachusetts butterfly flight periods, comparing current flight periods with patterns going back more than 100 years using museum collections and the records of dedicated citizen scientists. Their findings indicate that butterflies are flying earlier in warmer years.

Butterflies emerging earlier

“More and more of the effects of climate change on plants and animals are being discovered,” Williams, a co-author of the study, explained. “In this study we found that spring-emerging elfin butterflies in Massachusetts are appearing about eight days earlier than they did 24 years ago and that they are especially sensitive to average temperatures in March and April,” he said. “Summer-emerging hairstreak butterflies, on the other hand, are emerging only about three days earlier than they did 24 years ago. The effect of rising temperatures on butterflies is similar to that on plants and bees but greater than that on migratory birds, showing that living organisms respond differently to climate change. This difference can lead to mismatches between some animals and their food supply,” Williams noted.

As a result, climate change could have negative implications for bird populations in the Northeast, which rely on butterflies and other insects as a food source.

While the effect of climate change on plant and bird life cycles in eastern North America has been well examined, studies of the effects of climate change on insects are rare, so these findings represent an important contribution. This new study investigated whether the responses to climate warming in Massachusetts of ten short-lived butterfly species known as elfins and hairstreaks are similar to responses seen in plants, birds and bees. Another unique feature of this study is its use of data from museum collections as well as data gathered by the Massachusetts Butterfly Club, a group of dedicated citizen scientists who love butterflies. Use of this data gave the researchers an opportunity to compare butterfly flight periods dating back to the late 1800s.

The researchers obtained more than 5,000 records of butterflies in flight using museum collections (1893-1985) and citizen science data (1986-2009), then analyzed the data using statistical models to determine how butterfly flight times are affected by temperature, rainfall, geographic location and year.

Temperature directly linked to flight period

The researchers found that the start of the butterfly flight period advances on average by two days for each degree F increase in temperature. The response of these butterfly species to temperature is similar to that of plant flowering times and bee flight times and is significantly greater than that of bird arrival times, which increases the likelihood of ecological mismatches with migratory birds arriving after the first spring flush of their insect food.

The researchers also found that observations by citizen science groups such as the Massachusetts Butterfly Club were an effective and largely untapped source of information that could be used to investigate the potential impacts of climate change on butterflies. Such data provides an opportunity to inform conservation policies on these species and associated habitat. While data from museums was helpful, it was less abundant and therefore less useful than the citizen science dataset.

The team, which also includes Richard Primack (Boston University), Caroline Polgar (Boston University), Sharon Stichter (Massachusetts Butterfly Club), and Colleen Hitchcock (Boston College), has published its findings in the February 12 online edition of the journal Biological Conservation.

Black-tailed godwit migration on the Internet


This is a black-tailed godwit video from the Netherlands.

Translated from the Dutch Grutto volg programma site:

Most recent data

Last week, 15 godwits have been provided with transmitters, and the data transmitted are shown on the right side of the screen.

At this moment the godwits are feeding to be well-fed for migration. They are preparing for the big journey to the north.

All godwits are currently still in Extremadura, Spain.

The data are of 20 February 2013.

The black-tailed godwits‘ names go from Amalia to Rabat and Rotterdam.

June 2013. Black-tailed godwit chicks are some of the rarest young birds in the country. These chicks hatched on the Ouse washes at WWT Welney Wetland Centre this spring, and they are the only ones in the whole of Norfolk and amongst just a handful throughout the UK: here.