Common scoters not migrating together


This video is called Male common scoter (Melanitta nigra).

From daily The Independent in South Africa:

Birds of a feather don’t fly together

July 28 2015 at 08:53am

London – The British Royal Family famously never travel on the same plane to ensure the survival of the monarchy in the event of a disaster.

Now scientists say Britain’s most endangered duck employs a similar tactic by splitting up when it comes to their migration.

Despite its name, the common scoter is down to just 40 breeding pairs in the UK – mostly in the Scottish Highlands.

Researchers who tagged four birds nesting in the same loch found they flew to different winter locations in Scotland, Ireland and Morocco.

A spokesperson for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust said: “The fact they stay apart in winter is a bit like the Royal Family never flying together – it means they can’t all be affected by a single issue like a storm or oil spill.”

The discovery is useful in the trust’s attempts to discover what is behind the falling population in Britain as the scoter is thriving elsewhere. “Whatever is causing their decline is more likely to be in the summer when they’re all together in the Highlands,” said the spokesperson.

Common scoters and other birds in Scheveningen, the Netherlands: here.

Many shelducks moulting in the Netherlands


This video is about shelduck courtship and mating behaviour.

Yesterday, 27 July 2015, Dutch regional broadcaster Omroep Zeeland referred to a ‘tsunami’.

Fortunately, they did not mean a real natural disaster, but, figuratively speaking, many ducks.

About 35,000 shelducks have gathered at the Hooge Platen sandbank in the Westerschelde river in Zeeland province.

This is the biggest number of this species there ever.

The birds have gathered there for their moulting season, when they can’t fly.

Shoveler ducks wintering in Utah, USA, from where?


This is a northern shoveler video.

From The Wilson Journal of Ornithology in the USA:

Breeding origins of Northern Shovelers (Anas Clypeata) wintering on the Great Salt Lake, Utah

Anthony J. Roberts, and Michael R. Conover

ABSTRACT

The breeding origin and migratory connectivity of wintering birds are important to address how population changes on wintering areas are impacted by changes elsewhere in the birds’ annual cycle. In addition, identifying important point sources of nutrients used throughout the annual cycle can assist managers in identifying sources of toxins or pathogens.

We used stable hydrogen isotope ratios to identify breeding locations of Northern Shovelers (Anas clypeata; henceforth shoveler) wintering at the Great Salt Lake (GSL), Utah. Stable-isotope likelihood-based assignment placed the largest number of shovelers collected during winter on the GSL as breeding in the western US and southern Canada, similar to a small sample size of banding records.

Shovelers wintering on the GSL generally did not breed locally or at the northern extent of their breeding range, rather wintering shovelers came from across their nesting range.

Birds in danger in 2011


This video is about Long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis).

On Wednesday 1 December [2011], a new report presenting the results of a census of wintering waterbirds in the Baltic Sea has been launched. The studies reveal that overall numbers have declined by more than 40% since the 1990s: here.

Rovio Entertainment Ltd has launched a remarkable new Angry Birds campaigning website today in support of The BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme: here.

Call to save UK’s hummingbirds, albatrosses and whales. Almost 17,000 people have called for the British Government to step up and honour its responsibilities to the UK Overseas Territories, which contain over 85% of the UK’s globally threatened species: here.

Birds and powerlines – solutions to stop electrocution and collisions. Dr Markus Nipkow, Officer for Ornithology and Bird Conservation of NABU/BirdLife Germany, explains how the danger of powerlines to birds can be mitigated: here.

Mallard ducklings, video


This video is about a mallard mother and her ducklings.

Rob Veerling made this video between Wageningen and Veenendaal in the Netherlands.

Ducks wintering in Spain, from where?


This video is about migrating northern pintail ducks in Fukushima, Japan. In 2008, before the nuclear disaster there

From Ibis journal:

Geographical origin of dabbling ducks wintering in Iberia: sex differences and implications for pair formation

Natural and anthropogenic Iberian wetlands in southern Europe are well known for supporting large numbers of migratory Palaearctic waterbirds each winter. However, information on the geographical origin of dabbling ducks overwintering in these wetlands is scarce and mostly limited to data from ringing recoveries.

Here, we used intrinsic isotopic markers to determine the geographical origin of male and female Northern Pintails Anas acuta and Eurasian Teal Anas crecca in Extremadura, inland Iberia, a key site for overwintering dabbling ducks. Additionally, we fitted six Northern Pintails with GPS-GSM tags to complement the data derived from stable isotope analysis.

Most (> 70%) first calendar-year Northern Pintails were assigned to regions above 55°N, flying 2600–5600 km from their main natal regions to Extremadura. Mean values of δ2Hf varied significantly between male and female Northern Pintails, suggesting that the sexes had different geographical origins. Data from tagged adult Northern Pintails supported the isotopic data, one male flying more than 5000 km to the coast of the Pechora Sea (Russia). Most (> 70%) first calendar-year Eurasian Teal were assigned to the region between 48° and 60°N, travelling 1500–4500 km to arrive in Extremadura.

Male and female Eurasian Teal showed marginal differences in mean values of δ2Hf. In migratory dabbling ducks, pairing typically occurs on the wintering grounds, and ducks in their first winter can breed the following spring. For Northern Pintails, pair formation in Extremadura could occur between individuals with different geographical origins, which could contribute to the genetic variability of their offspring.

This video from Sweden is about Eurasian teal.

Pygmy hippos help duckling get out of water


This video was recorded on 6 June 2015 in Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands. There was a mother mallard duck with ducklings in the pygmy hippopotamus compound.

One duckling landed in the water. It tried desperately to get out. But the bank was to high; it failed.

Then, a pygmy hippo helped to get the duckling out of the water, so it could rejoin its mother.

Zoo visitor Breshna Senchi made this video. At first, she was afraid the hippos would eat the duckling. However, pygmy hippos don’t eat meat.