Dutch crane flies having a good year


This video says about itself:

Large Crane Flies Mating

20 January 2014

The Crane Fly has a number of different nicknames around the world including mosquito eater and gallinipper. There are over 4,000 different species of crane fly in the world that have been identified at this time, making them the largest family within their genus. The winged adult crane flies usually do not eat, and spend their brief time mating and laying eggs.

Dutch entomologists report (translated):

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Because of the very favourable weather conditions this year leatherjackets, the larvae of crane flies, are already strikingly large and come with hundreds of specimens per square meter in grasslands. 2014 is the fifth year in a row with many crane fly larvae. Various birds will benefit in the coming time.

At present, especially the leatherjackets of the European crane fly (Tipula paludosa) and Tipula oleracea can be found easily.

Varied thrush invasion in California


This is a varied thrush video from the USA.

From KPCC in the USA:

‘Invasion’ of rare varied thrush birds in Southern California

Sanden Totten

November 20 2014

A rare and striking bird is showing up in large numbers in Southern California.

It’s called the varied thrush (Ixoreus naevius) and it has deep yellow and black stripes with patches of white on its underside. Normally, this species lives in the Pacific Northwest and travels no further south than San Francisco. For some reason, this year is different.

“It’s turning up in all these parks and just flying overhead and people are seeing it in all these weird places,” said Dan Cooper, an L.A. based biologist and birder watcher. In addition to it’s eye catching color, the varied thrush also has a distinct bird call that sounds almost like a tea kettle whistling.

Dan Cooper’s been carrying his binoculars with him in hopes of spotting the bird during this unusual “invasion,” as he called to it. Kimball Garrett, the ornithology collections manager at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, said in previous years bird watchers would be lucky to see one or two varied thrush around L.A. This year he says there are dozens.

Garrett isn’t sure what’s driving them south. It might be due to a lack of food in their native region, or perhaps a varied thrush baby boom is forcing the population to spread out. Either way, the thrush isn’t expected to upset the ecosystem of native birds. And for birders, it’s a great chance to see a neat bird without traveling north.

New Zealand Seabird of the Year vote


This video says about itself:

Seabird Diversity in the Southern Ocean

The New Zealand archipelago, particularly its subantarctic islands, is a global seabird hotspot. It’s home to 25 per cent of the world’s breeding seabird populations and a very diverse array of penguin, albatross, petrel and shearwater species.

NIWA seabird ecologist Paul Sagar outlines the major threats to seabirds on land and at sea. He explains how modern tracking technology is being used to study interactions between foraging seabirds and fishing vessels during the breeding season, and to track their enormous migrations between breeding seasons. These well-travelled seabirds serve as indicators of what’s happening in ocean ecosystems across the world.

From the New Zealand 2014 Seabird of the Year site:

Here’s where you can vote for your favourite seabird, and if you like, make a contribution to Forest & Bird’s work to protect New Zealand’s seabirds. Forest & Bird is New Zealand’s leading independent conservation organisation. To see what we are doing for seabirds click here.

New Zealand is a seabird superpower. More than a third of the world’s seabird species spend at least part of their lives here. Thirty-six of those only breed here. The Seabird of the Year poll is supported by Heritage Expeditions. Voting closes at midday on Monday the 24th of November.

Lobster molting, video


This is a video about a European lobster in the Oosterschelde estuary in the Netherlands.

When lobsters grow, their old shells become too narrow. So, they have to molt; and emerge, as the video shows, from their old shell with their new shell.

Rob Dekker made the video.