Acorn woodpeckers in Colombia, new study

This video says about itself:

Through the Lens: Acorn Woodpecker

23 April 2011

The Acorn Woodpecker is a favorite among bird watchers. It has a clown like appearance and the unique habit of storing acorns in a favored tree that is often used by generations of birds. Wildlife Photographer Marie Read shares her experience photographing the behaviors of these lively birds.

Learn more about Acorn Woodpeckers on All About Birds.

From PLOS one:

The Geographic Distribution of a Tropical Montane Bird Is Limited by a Tree: Acorn Woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) and Colombian Oaks (Quercus humboldtii) in the Northern Andes

Benjamin G. Freeman, Nicholas A. Mason

June 17, 2015


Species distributions are limited by a complex array of abiotic and biotic factors. In general, abiotic (climatic) factors are thought to explain species’ broad geographic distributions, while biotic factors regulate species’ abundance patterns at local scales

We used species distribution models to test the hypothesis that a biotic interaction with a tree, the Colombian oak (Quercus humboldtii), limits the broad-scale distribution of the Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) in the Northern Andes of South America. North American populations of Acorn Woodpeckers consume acorns from Quercus oaks and are limited by the presence of Quercus oaks. However, Acorn Woodpeckers in the Northern Andes seldom consume Colombian oak acorns (though may regularly drink sap from oak trees) and have been observed at sites without Colombian oaks, the sole species of Quercus found in South America

We found that climate-only models overpredicted Acorn Woodpecker distribution, suggesting that suitable abiotic conditions (e.g. in northern Ecuador) exist beyond the woodpecker’s southern range margin. In contrast, models that incorporate Colombian oak presence outperformed climate-only models and more accurately predicted the location of the Acorn Woodpecker’s southern range margin in southern Colombia.

These findings support the hypothesis that a biotic interaction with Colombian oaks sets Acorn Woodpecker’s broad-scale geographic limit in South America, probably because Acorn Woodpeckers rely on Colombian oaks as a food resource (possibly for the oak’s sap rather than for acorns). Although empirical examples of particular plants limiting tropical birds’ distributions are scarce, we predict that similar biotic interactions may play an important role in structuring the geographic distributions of many species of tropical montane birds with specialized foraging behavior.

British royal in child abuse scandal, ex-policeman says

This video from Britain says about itself:

Is The Establishment Riddled With Paedophiles? Russell Brand The Trews (E244)

28 January 2015

Reaction to the delay in Parliament’s child abuse inquiry, the allegations of child abuse against former politicians and the recent allegations against Prince Andrew.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Royal family member was investigated as part of paedophile ring before cover-up, ex-cop says

The former officer claims the investigation was shut down for ‘national security’ reasons

Jon Stone

Monday 23 March 2015

A member of the Royal family was claimed to be part of a suspected paedophile ring under investigation by police in the late 1980s, a former police officer has said.

The former Metropolitan Police officer says he was told by a detective sergeant that the investigation into the ring, which was also claimed to include an MP, was shut down for national security reasons.

“I was in a car with two other vice squad officers. … The detective sergeant said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP,” he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

“He did not mention names, but he said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.”

The police officer identified the two colleagues, the newspaper said.

Sir Allan Green, the Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the CPS at the time the conversation took place, said he was not aware of any child abuse investigations shut down for national security reasons.

He however said he had been asked by a “senior person” if he had heard anything about a named MP being involved in child abuse. He said he had not.

The MP he was asked about has since died, Mr Green said.

The Metropolitan Police has pledged to investigate historical crimes by establishment figures “without fear of favour”.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he was pleased that allegations of cover-ups were coming to light.

“We do think we are getting somewhere with these wider enquiries and we are seeing people coming forward. We have seen lots of coverage this week around allegations of cover-ups, and I think it’s helpful that this is being spoken about and people are coming forward.

“We will go where the evidence takes us, without fear or favour, I think that is what the public expect and that is what the investigators are doing and are keen to continue to do.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating 14 related allegations of impropriety by officer stretching from the 1970s to 2005.

The Home Secretary Theresa May said earlier month that child sexual abuse ran through British society like a “stick of Blackpool rock” and warned that the public did not fully “appreciate the true scale” of exploitation.

DJ Neil Fox charged with nine sex offences involving six people – three of whom were children: here.

US soldiers and military contractors were responsible for the rape and sexual abuse of scores of Colombian children, but faced no legal repercussions because of a treaty between Washington and Bogota granting them full immunity: here.

Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky to be charged over child abuse images. CPS draws up charges against Bukovsky, 72, who moved to Britain in 1976 after exposing Soviet misuse of psychiatry against political prisoners: here.