Canadian film on songbirds, crowdfunding


This video says about itself:

Please support: The Messenger Documentary

9 February 2015

The Messenger is a visually thrilling ode to the beauty and importance of the imperiled songbird, and what it means to all of us on both a global and human level if we lose them.

From British Bird Lovers:

Film About Songbirds Launches Crowdfunding Bid

Sunday, 01 March 2015

A Canadian independent film production company has turned to crowdfunding to help them finish a documentary about the plight of songbirds and the remarkable research work being done to help solve the problems they face.

SongbirdSOS Productions, which is based in Toronto, is asking the public to help them raise $50,000 CAD to enable them to finish The Messenger and support its distribution. The Messenger is described as a visually thrilling ode to the beauty and importance of songbirds, and what it will mean to all of us on both a global and human level if we lose them.

SongbirdSOS Productions is owned by award-winning director Su Rynard and producers Joanne Jackson and Diane Woods. They teamed up with a French documentary production company, Films a Cinq, to make the film.

Director Rynard captured some beautiful slow motion footage of songbirds in flight during the production process. You can get a small taste of what to expect in the film in the fundraising video.

Travelling from the northern reaches of the Boreal Forest to the base of Turkey’s Mount Ararat to ground zero in Manhattan, the documentary team meet the people who are examining the threats to songbirds exposing the very real concerns behind their declining numbers.

Work began on the film almost 5 years ago. The first three years were devoted to creative development and raising money to shoot. In 2012 it won the Best Feature Documentary Pitch Award at Sunnyside of the Doc in La Rochelle, France. Shooting began in 2013 and most of 2014 was spent in the edit suite.

The money raised from the crowdfunding appeal will cover professional post production costs, including completing the sound mix, picture editing, colour grading, and mastering followed by an educational and social outreach campaign.

There has been an alarming decline in the global populations of songbirds in recent years. Destruction of habitat, increased urbanization and industrialization, climate change and the use of toxic chemicals as well as an unnatural abundance of predators and scavengers have all contributed to the loss.

Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, the author of Silence of the Songbirds says, “We may have already lost half the songbirds that filled the skies only 40 years ago. Within a few generations, many species may be gone forever.”

Scientific data from the 2012 European Bird Census Council shows that farmland birds have declined over 50% since 1980. The Eurasian Skylark has declined 51% since 1980. The State of the UK’s Birds 2012 also reported a loss averaging 50 House Sparrows per hour, and 835 Winter Wrens each day.

The North American Breeding Bird Survey indicates massive declines since the annual bird counts started in 1966. Bobolink 64%; Canada Warbler 66%; and the Wood Thrush 62%. This is just a small fraction of similarly disturbing statistical data.

The potential impact of this loss of important ecosystem services like pest control and pollination from diverse bird species is troubling and has far reaching implications.

The Messenger is aiming to change not only the way people think about bird conservation but also the natural world and wildlife in general.

You can support The Messenger by donating to their campaign here.

‘White’ whimbrel in Morocco


This video says about itself:

Whimbrel at The Lizard in Cornwall

The whimbrel is a large wading bird. It has longish legs and a long bill that curves near the tip. It is brownish above and whitish below. In flight, it shows a white ‘V’ shape up its back from its tail. In the UK, this species only breeds in north Scotland. It is a passage migrant to other areas in spring and autumn on its way from and to its wintering areas in South Africa. The Shetland and Orkney breeding population has been slowly increasing.

WHERE TO SEE THEM

You could see breeding birds on a visit to Shetland or Orkney in summer. Otherwise, passage migrants can be seen on the coast and sometimes inland in suitable habitat, when hearing its distinctive call can be the best clue to its presence.

WHEN TO SEE THEM

Mid-April to August

WHAT THEY EAT

On breeding grounds insects, snails and slugs; on passage, crabs, shrimps, molluscs, worms.

Filmed in May 2010 at The Lizard

Video Produced by Paul Dinning – Wildlife in Cornwall

From Moroccan Birds blog, with photos there:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Leucistic Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) still at El Jadida since October 2014

Can a non-marked wader be relocated months after first sighting? Well, this is possible in some few cases including when the bird is leucistic and is alone in the region (so easily identifiable).

This is the case of a leucistic Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) photographed for the first time in the intertidal zone between El Jadida and Sidi Bouzid by Ruth García Gorria on 17 October 2014.

On 13 February 2015, Ruth [García Gorria] relocated the leucistic bird again and took the photographs below (click on the pictures for more details). Ruth also commented that “the plumage is much whiter now” (compare the pictures below with those taken in October 2014 by clicking the link above).

On the other hand, the partially leucistic Common Coot (Fulica atra) is always present in Sidi Moussa lagoon where it was first observed and photographed in October and November 2014 by Ruth.

Mountain chickadees’ intelligence research


This video is called Mountain chickadee, filmed at Lac Le Jeune in British Columbia, Canada.

From Wildlife Extra:

Mountain birds are better problem-solvers than lowlanders

The mountain chickadee is better at working out problems than its relatives that live at lower levels

Living high up on an inhospitable mountain can make you mentally sharper. That’s what Dovid Kozlovsky and his colleagues at the University of Nevada in the US learned with mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli), a North American bird from the tit family.

Those birds that live at higher altitudes are better problem solvers than the same species living in lower regions.

Previous research showed that mountain chickadees living at harsher high elevations have bigger hippocampi, the part of the brain which plays an important role in memory and spatial navigation.

These chickadees also have far superior spatial memory. This helps them to be better at remembering where they hid food away for a later occasion.

Animals living in challenging or unpredictable environments such as deserts or snowy mountain peaks are generally thought to have enhanced mental abilities.

These include being better able to solve problems and not shying away from inspecting new things.

To understand if this is also true for mountain chickadees, Kozlovsky and his colleagues caught 24 young birds in the Sagehen Experimental Forest in California that had not yet experienced a winter.

Their findings are published in Springer’s journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Twelve birds were caught at a site around 1,800m above sea level, while another dozen were captured 600m higher.

Studies to test the birds’ problem-solving skills and their reaction to new objects were then conducted at the University of Nevada.

The researchers first watched what happened when members of the two groups were confronted with a clear test tube plugged with a wad of cotton and with a waxworm inside.

Members of the higher elevation group were able to work out how to remove the plug much more quickly than their counterparts from the lower region.

The researchers also tested if the birds would readily investigate and feed from a feeder that looked very different from the one that they were used to.

None of the birds in either altitude groups were inclined to do so. In fact, they all displayed similar degrees of neophobia, almost fearfully steering clear of the unknown object.

They did so even though the new feeder was baited with waxworms, one of their favourite meals.

According to Kozlovsky and his colleagues, this shows that problem solving and the ability to innovate and try new things do not necessarily go hand in hand in mountain chickadees.

“Enhanced problem-solving ability might be associated with living in harsher environments either via natural selection or by the animal’s adaptability to different environments,” Kozlovsky hypothesises.

“However, differences in problem-solving ability are not necessarily associated with differences in neophobia.”

Versatile Blogger Award, thanks reasonably liberal!


Versatile Blogger Award

Reasonably liberal of the blog OK, Fine has been so generous to nominate Dear Kitty. Some blog for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Thank you so much, my dear blogger friend!

The rules of this award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.

2. Nominate up to 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award and include a link to their site (and tell them that you have nominated them).

3. State 7 things about yourself.

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT ME:

1. Where did most visits to my blog come from today so far?

Country Views
United States FlagU.S. 215
Jamaica FlagJamaica 53
United Kingdom FlagU.K. 7
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 5
Japan FlagJapan 3
Germany FlagGermany 3
Australia FlagAustralia 2
Canada FlagCanada 2
Philippines FlagPhilippines 2
Singapore FlagSingapore 2
Sweden FlagSweden 2
India FlagIndia 2
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 1

2. Where did most visits to my blog come from this month?

Country Views
United States FlagU.S. 18,969
United Kingdom FlagU.K. 2,230
Jamaica FlagJamaica 655
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 522
Canada FlagCanada 449
Germany FlagGermany 415
Australia FlagAustralia 393
France FlagFrance 347
India FlagIndia 263
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Italy FlagItaly 140
Turkey FlagTurkey 137
Norway FlagNorway 121
Belgium FlagBelgium 116
Spain FlagSpain 113
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 111
Ireland FlagIreland 111
Finland FlagFinland 101

3. Which blog posts attracted most visits today so far?

Title Views
Home page / Archives 56
Crows give gifts to little girl in Seattle, USA 7
Film Selma on Dr Martin Luther King, review 6
Harbour porpoises studied in England 6
United States politician’s suicide because of Republican colleague’s anti-Semitism 5
Madonna warns against French neo-fascism 5
Hillary Clinton’s money from dictatorships 5
British ISIS terrorist ‘Jihadi John’ and MI5 intelligence service 4
Red squirrel in tawny owls’ nestbox, video 4
Unique bowhead whale swims near Cornwall 4

4. Which blog posts attracted most visits this month?

2015-01-30 to Today

5. Which search terms brought most visits to my blog this month?

2015-01-30 to Today

Search Views
egyptian sarcophagus 7
william blake poems about war 6
couple bathing 6
gender inequality statistics 5
twitter grass snake basilisk 5
shell oil spill in nigeria in january 2015 4
anne frank’s sister 4
dutch war crime in indonesia 4
poverty in dortmund 4
hsbc blogger 2014 4
unliked animals 4
tarxien temples 4
how come we can’t fix child poverty but we can spend billions replacing trident 4
graham macklin oswald mosley 4
the most hated animals 4
evolution finds in tanzania 3
russell brand and hsbc scandal 3
egyptian workers in arab countries 3
is brigitte bardot anti-semitic 3

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

2015-01-30 to Today

7. Most popular topics Dear Kitty. Some blog has written about

Topic Views
Human rights 678
Economic, social, trade union, etc. 554
Environment 500
Crime 358
Peace and war 346
Birds 295
UK 256
Biology 243
history 222

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.

My fifteen nominees are:

1. Hellbilly Mama Blog

2. channon1981

3. Luc Dewaele, dagboek

4. PO8’S

5. Brussels is Love

6. Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign

7. RebeccaArnoldi’s Blog

8. Mark Deeble

9. kamakawida

10. The Philosophical Wanderer

11. Rising Continent

12. freddie photography

13. MowryJournal.com

14. The Professionally Depressed Professional

15. Scrubs and Stuff

Red squirrel in tawny owls’ nestbox, video


Before the tawny owl couple of my earlier blog post started nesting in their nestbox in Oisterwijk in the Netherlands, a red squirrel visited that box; as seen in the video here.

Nesting tawny owl gets food, video


This is a video of a female tawny owl, nesting in a nestbox in Oisterwijk nature reserve in the Netherlands in February 2015. Regularly, the male comes to bring her food.

Rare ring-necked duck in Spain


This video from the USA says about itself:

10 March 2011

A flock of Ring-necked ducks hung around the Palace Lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

From Rare Birds in Spain, on Twitter:

27.2.2015 Aythya collaris. 1 male La Massona, PN AIguamolls Empordà, Girona.

Aythya collaris means ring-necked duck. They are rare in Europe, not so rare in their northern North American homeland.