American blackpoll warblers, their long migration

This April 2015 video from the USA says about itself:

Amazing Migration: Blackpoll Warbler

New technology is allowing researchers to track the incredible 1,700-mile non-stop migration of Blackpoll Warblers over the Atlantic Ocean from their home in the Adirondacks and Eastern Canada to South America.

From the University of Guelph in Canada:

Tiny song bird makes record migration

March 19, 2019

Summary: The bird’s trek between its breeding grounds in the central and western boreal forest of North America and its winter home in the Amazon Basin is one of the longest songbird migrations recorded. Describing a route arcing across North America and including a transoceanic flight to South America, the study confirms an epic migration journey that scientists had long suspected but not yet proved. Tracking their route is key to solving the birds’ decline.

It’s an epic journey for a tiny bird.

For the first time, University of Guelph biologists have tracked an annual migration of up to 20,000 kilometres made by the 12-gram blackpoll warbler, one of the fastest declining songbirds in North America.

The bird’s trek between its breeding grounds in the central and western boreal forest of North America and its winter home in the Amazon Basin — one of the longest songbird migrations recorded — is the topic of a new paper by a research team headed by U of G biologist Ryan Norris.

The paper was published today in the journal Ecology.

Describing a “great circle route” arcing across North America and including a transoceanic flight to South America, the study confirms an epic migration journey that scientists had long suspected but not yet proved.

In 2015, Norris and other biologists were the first to show that blackpolls breeding in the Maritimes and New England complete a non-stop transoceanic flight of up to three days and about 2,700 km along the eastern coast of the United States.

For this new study, they looked at the full migration of birds from central and western breeding populations.

“It’s amazing,” said Norris, who worked on the study with Hilary Cooke, associate conservation scientist with Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. “A bird weighing a couple of loonies travels from the western edge of North America all the way to the Amazon basin — and, in between, traverses the Atlantic Ocean.”

Other co-authors were integrative biology professor Amy Newman and U of G grad students Bradley Woodworth, Nikole Freeman and Alex Sutton, as well as researchers from other universities, conservation groups and national parks in Canada, the U.S. and Australia.

For the study, researchers tracked birds outfitted with tiny geolocators from four boreal forest sites across northern Canada and Alaska.

Total southward migration took about 60 days on average over distances ranging from 6,900 km for birds breeding in Churchill, Manitoba, to 10,700 km for populations on the western edge of the continent in Nome, Alaska.

Blackpolls from Nome took 18 days to fly across North America to the Atlantic coast of the Carolinas. There, the birds spent almost a month fattening up to double their body weight before a non-stop, 2 ½-day flight across open water to overwintering grounds in northern Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.

They covered between 2,250 and 3,400 km for that transoceanic hop.

Norris said scientists had long believed that blackpolls followed the great circle route. Few of the birds have ever been found in the central or western States during fall migration.

He said population numbers have fallen in recent years, perhaps caused by habitat loss and declines in insect prey related to climate change.

“To understand what’s causing the decline, we need to know their full annual cycle,” he said.

In their paper, the researchers say climate change may make extreme coastal weather events more frequent and more extreme, with unknown impacts on long-distance migratory birds.

“As a conservation scientist, what strikes me most is that in a single year a blackpoll warbler has to navigate 20,000 kilometres across land and ocean, facing risks of cat predation, storms and collisions with buildings and vehicles, all while trying to find islands of habitat to rest and refuel in our human-dominated landscapes,”said Cooke. “In comparison, the boreal region of northern Canada provides safe and high-quality breeding habitat for this declining species. Protecting Canada’s boreal forest is critical to saving this amazing songbird.”

Norris is now working with biologists in Colombia looking at the overwintering portion of the warblers’ life cycle. He said learning whether populations from across the boreal forest overwinter separately or together in South American rainforests may help improve habitat management along the migration route.


British government helps Saudi massacres of Yemenis

The body of a young girl in Yemen is lifted from the rubble of a building bombed by Saudi jets

From daily News Line in Britain:

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

UK servicing Saudi jets in Yemen – admits Tory MP

BRITAIN is providing ‘engineering support’ for UK-supplied aircraft operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force, responsible for killing innocent people in Yemen, a British government minister has revealed.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster was responding to a question in Parliament from Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, on military personnel seconded to BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia, when he admitted that the RAF have provided engineering and ‘generic training’ to the Saudi Air Force involved in the bombing of Yemen.

RAF personnel on secondment to BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia have provided routine engineering support for UK-supplied aircraft operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), including aircraft engaged in military operations in Yemen.

Lancaster insisted UK personnel were not involved in the loading of weapons for operational sorties, in response to Russell-Moyle’s claim that the ‘British support keeps Saudi’s air war going.’

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against the Arms Trade has branded the revelation ‘shocking but not surprising’, arguing that UK military personnel ‘should not be servicing Saudi jets or supporting the Saudi armed forces.’

In December, the US Pentagon revealed that they were having to claw back $331 million of taxpayer-subsidised money gifted to Saudi Arabia and the UAE over a three-year period, when it ‘accidentally’ refuelled their aircraft for free during the war on Yemen.

In November, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry accused the UK government of having ‘blood on its hands’ after admitting that the RAF had trained over a hundred Saudi pilots in the past ten years. Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have relentlessly bombed Yemen since 2015.

They have targeted hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, leading to a massive cholera outbreak, and upwards of 60,000 people are believed to have died in the conflict since 2016 – with a further 85,000 estimated dead from famine and malnutrition.

Half of Yemen’s population relies on food aid to survive, placing them in immediate danger of starving to death after coalition forces blockaded the vital port city of Hodeidah last year.

US Taxpayers On the Hook for Nearly $1 Billion in Saudi Arabia’s Recent Missile Defense Purchase: here.

Lovely Blog Award, thanks!

Lovely Blog Award

Thanks to the kindness of blog, Dear Kitty. Some blog has been nominated for the Lovely Blog Award.

Thank you so much for this generosity!

It looks like the One Lovely Blog Award, which I received earlier, but still seems to be a bit different.

As for the rules of this award (feel free to disobey them if you don’t have time, have an award free blog, etc.):

Lovely Blog Award rules

Seven things about me are:

1. This morning, as I walked to the railway station, I heard a great spotted woodpecker drum, and a dunnock and a chaffinch sing.

2. I started blogging in 2005, on ModBlog. As ModBlog was bought by a big corporation which let it go down the drain, I changed to Blogsome. Since Blogsome went down the drain in December 2011, I am on WordPress.

3. As far as I know, my blog is not censored by any government in the world. With one exception: by the Erdogan government of NATO member country Turkey; for mentioning a Turkish army invasion of Iraq.

4. Which of my blog posts/pages attracted most visitors today?

Title Views
Home page / Archives More stats 39
Clinton, Trump in the USA, update More stats 22
Big teachers’ strike in the Netherlands More stats 15
African sideways striking snake discovered More stats 13
Scotland’s oldest osprey Lady still on eggs More stats 11
Singer Paul Robeson, new book More stats 9
Girl abused, Pentecostalist church covered up More stats 8
Dinosaur age mammal discovery in Tanzania More stats 6
Alligators, birds and dinosaurs, new study More stats 6
New Zealand Islamophobic terror and worldwide fascism More stats 5

5. Which of my blog posts/pages attracted most visitors this year?

Title Views
Home page / Archives More stats 23,625
Girl abused, Pentecostalist church covered up More stats 1,624
Rubens, Rembrandt, differences in what they painted More stats 969
Heineken beer, corruption, abuse, genocide in Africa More stats 885
History of sugar, and slavery, at Amsterdam museum More stats 883
Brunstad Christian Church, controversial in Norway More stats 870
Accusation of anti-Semitism in Belgium More stats 868
Woman publicly beheaded in Saudi Arabia More stats 631
Gay animal sex More stats 528
Racist violence in Belgium More stats 478
About More stats 472
Massive animal abuse in Belgian corporate slaughterhouse More stats 442
British rock ‘n roller Terry Dene in the 1950s and now More stats 372
Australian nazi massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand More stats 365
Donald Trump in Britain, Beatles parody song More stats 362
Thirteen ‘scary’ bird species for Halloween More stats 357
Portuguese author José Saramago dies More stats 354
Korean sex slaves of Japanese army, first video ever More stats 347

6. Which referrers referred most to my blog this year?

Referrer Views
Search Engines 60,936 Reader 37,372
Facebook 1,719
WordPress Android App 1,308
Twitter 777
Pinterest 325 324 301 198 137 135
Wikipedia 129
WordPress Dashboard 116 105 76

7. Which search engines referred most to my blog this year?

March 19, 2018 to Today

Referrer Views
Search Engines 60,936
Google Search 54,551
Bing 3,560 1,226
Yahoo Search 1,088
Baidu 275 44
Google Image Search 35 31
Yahoo Image Search 30
Yandex 27
AOL 26

My 15 nominees are:

1. It Is What It Is

2. Arlen Shahverdyan’s Literary blog

3. Share Your Light

4. Lasting Joy Club

5. House of Heart

6. Petchary

7. Queensland Begonia Society

8. Atrangi Zindagi Ka Safar

9. Imran Omer

10. Introverted but Socially Concerned

11. Angry McFinn & The Old Yank

12. Brangien Illuminated

13. Adventures of Pebbles

14. And I Didn`t Look Back

15. IndianWildlife