Cornell red-tailed hawk nest update


This video from the USA about red-tailed hawks says about itself:

27 March 2014

Big Red has been vocalizing for quite a long time, Ezra is perched atop Bradfield Hall but we cannot tell whether or not he is answering. Soon BR decides that the conversation is over and takes flight from the nest. Ezra then leaves Bradfield & takes over incubation duties on the nest. What a team they make!

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Guess When the Hawks Will Hatch!

With three warm eggs and a fortified stick nest, Big Red and Ezra are making steady progress toward hatching out a new set of nestlings in the next week. Red-tailed Hawk eggs usually take between 28 and 35 days to hatch, but the last two years the Cornell hawks incubated for longer durations: 38 days in 2012 and 39 in 2013. This year’s first egg was laid on March 19 at 1:11 P.M. EDT and this Friday, April 25, would be the 37th day since the first egg was laid, but it’s a new year and anybody’s guess when the eggs will begin hatching.

To add to the excitement of watching new life enter the world, we’re running a contest to see who can guess the hatch date and time of the first egg to the closest minute. “Hatch” for the purposes of the contest involves the first time that a chick’s complete head is visible and the cap is off the egg. The winner will receive a Cornell Lab starter kit (including a special edition Bird Cams notepad, thermal cooler, tote bag, coffee mug, journal and pen, plus a microfiber lens cloth cleaner), and everyone who enters can download a wallpaper closeup image of Big Red. Good luck!

Enter your guess now.

We’ll continue to post updates on the Bird Cams Facebook page and on Twitter at @birdcams.

Thank you for watching!

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Motmot, other rainforest wildlife in Costa Rica


Swallow-tailed kite, 20 March 2014

20 March 2014. After the morning, in the afternoon still around the Arenal volcano in Costa Rica. Two swallow-tailed kites flying near a restaurant.

Blue-and-yellow macaw, 20 March 2014

So does a blue-and-yellow macaw. It flies freely, but then sits on a fence, so close that it is probably a pet.

A bit further away, in a tree, its smaller relatives, crimson-fronted parakeets, are definitely not pets.

This video is called Canopy Tour near Arenal, Costa Rica.

We walk in a rainforest, where bridges as depicted in the video, span steep ravines along rivers. An opportunity to look at wildlife in the canopy … if you have no fear of heights.

Dull-mantled antbird, 20 March 2014

Near one of the smaller bridges, a dull-mantled antbird.

A crested guan.

Leaf-cutting ants.

A slaty-tailed trogon in a tree.

Arenal volcano, 20 March 2014

Still clouds around the top of the Arenal volcano, but less so than on some other days.

Rufous motmot, 20 March 2014

A rufous motmot. Costa Rica’s biggest motmot species.

Northern schiffornis, 20 March 2014

And a northern schiffornis. Not a colourful bird; but a rare bird, singing enthusiastically.

Northern schiffornis singing, 20 March 2014

A black-headed nightingale-thrush not far away on the footpath.

An ochre-bellied flycatcher.

Two piratic flycatchers in a tree near the parking lot.

Near the lake, the biggest kingfisher species of Costa Rica: a ringed kingfisher. It sits on a building, near a great egret on the bank.

Arenal bird list: here.

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Racist crime in Northern Ireland


This video is called Racist Hate Crime in Northern Ireland.

From UTV in Northern Ireland:

15-strong gang carry out racist attack

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A man has lost two teeth after he and two others were targeted in a racist attack in east Belfast.

Two men in their early 20s and a 19-year-old woman, all from Eastern Europe, were assaulted by a gang of around 15 people at waste ground near Lawnmount Street on Monday between 9pm and 9.30pm.

The gang – which included one woman – assaulted the victims with golf clubs leaving them with bruising and cuts, while one man lost two teeth.

Police are treating it as a race hate crime and are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the attack to contact them on the new non-emergency number 101.

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Dutch bird, mammal and caterpillar news


This video is about black terns in the Netherlands.

Dutch conservation organisation Zuid-Hollands Landschap, in their annual report about 2013, mention not only birds of the Zandmotor island, but also birds and other wildlife elsewhere.

In their nature reserves in the Krimpenerwaard region, numbers of black tern nests rose to 76 last year.

In the Zouweboezem reserve, purple heron nests rose from 149 in 2012 to 152 in 2013.

On the Groene Strand beach on Voorne island, there were 284 nesting black-headed gull couples. Figures for other species there: common tern: 196; redshank: 4; ringed plover: 3; little ringed plover: 6; avocet: 17; oystercatcher: 7.

In the sand dunes of Goeree island, more to the south, rare tundra voles were discovered. Other small mammal species in those dunes: wood mouse; common shrew; and greater white-toothed shrew.

In the Voorhofsche polder, near Waddinxveen, in 2013 there were 45 black-tailed godwit nests; 34 northern lapwing nests; and 12 redshank nests. Common terns and tufted ducks nested there as well.

And in Staelduin nature reserve, a caterpillar was found of the rare sycamore moth.

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Mysterious Antarctic sound turns out to be whales


This video is called Close Encounter with Minke Whale in Antarctica.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Scientists solve mystery of Southern Ocean ‘quacking’ sound

Noise heard in the Southern Ocean has been attributed to the underwater chatter of the Antarctic minke whale

Taku Dzimwasha

Wednesday 23 April 2014 15.05 BST

The mystery source of a strange quacking sound coming from the ocean has been discovered.

The so-called “bio-duck” noise, which occurs in the winter and spring in the Southern Ocean, had confused researchers for over 50 years.

Scientists have now attributed the sound to underwater chatter of the Antarctic minke whale.

Submarine crews first heard the quacking sound – a series of repetitive, low-pitched pulsing sounds – in the 1960s.

Lead researcher Denise Risch, from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration north-east fisheries science centre in Massachusetts, told the BBC: “Over the years there have been several suggestions, but no one was able to really show this species was producing the sound until now.”

The research team attached suction-cup sensor tags equipped with underwater microphones to a pair of minke whales off the western Antarctic peninsula in February last year, with the aim of monitoring their feeding behaviour and movements.

These were the first acoustic tags deployed on Antarctic minke whales, and the team compared their recordings with years worth of collected audio recordings to match the sounds. Researchers were able to identify the quacking noise, as well as downward-sweeping sounds previously linked to minke whales.

The sounds “can now be attributed unequivocally to the Antarctic minke whale,” Risch and her team wrote in a study published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

Researchers are hoping to retrospectively analyse previous recordings to investigate “seasonal occurrence and migration patterns” of the whales.

Scientists remain puzzled as to why the whales produce the sound, but it is thought that the animals make the noise close to the surface before they make a deep dives to feed.

Risch added: “Identifying their sounds will allow us to use passive acoustic monitoring to study this species. That can give us the timing of their migration – the exact timing of when the animals appear in Antarctic waters and when they leave again – so we can learn about migratory patterns, about their relative abundance in different areas and their movement patterns between the areas.”

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