Dark-eyed junco nests in nestbox, a first


This video from North Carolina in the USA says about itself:

11 October 2015

Dark Eyed Junco Kew Kew Kew calls. Delightful and energetic forest sparrows with pitch black eyes and a white beak and tail feathers, Dark Eyed Juncos are fun birds to have around. Depending on the light they can look gray or quite blue and striking. Not ones to share a food source the two Juncos in this video chase each other around.

From the NestWatch eNewsletter in the USA, May 2016:

NestWatcher Finds First Dark-eyed Junco Nesting in a Birdhouse

When Melissa Sherwood wrote to NestWatch asking if it was unusual for a Dark-eyed Junco to nest in a birdhouse, we initially thought it was a case of mistaken ID. We told her that juncos don’t nest in cavities, as they are known to be open-cup nesters (although they will nest in crevices or crannies near the ground).

As you may have guessed, she was vindicated. When she submitted the photographic evidence from her Washington home, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Never say never, even when it comes to a very common species.

We searched the NestWatch database to see if anyone else had ever reported this phenomenon, and found an instance of a junco nesting in an open-fronted nest box (the kind designed for Carolina Wrens). We found no other instances in the literature, nor in the historic nest record cards that pre-date our NestWatch project. As far as we know, this is the first instance of Dark-eyed Juncos nesting in an enclosed birdhouse.

Interestingly, our search of the scientific literature revealed two historical mentions of Dark-eyed Juncos nesting in old woodpecker holes, but both sources were over 100 years old! If cavity nesting is a small and rarely-observed part of their nesting repertoire, that makes Melissa Sherwood the first person in over a century to witness it!

Violinist Perlman against homophobia in North Carolina


This video from the USA says about itself:

P. I. TchaikovskyViolin Concerto in D major, Op. 35Itzhak Perlman

25 September 2014

Soloist: Itzhak Perlman
Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
Philadelphia Orchestra

I’m sorry the video and audio are not quite together at the end.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Violinist Itzhak Perlman not playing in North Carolina because of homophobic law

Today, 21:57

After famous rock musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam now the world-renowned classical violinist Itzhak Perlman has decided not to play in North Carolina to protest against the new anti-gay legislation. Perlman via Facebook announced that tomorrow he will not travel to the city of Raleigh, where he would perform as a soloist with the North Carolina Symphony.

The Israeli virtuoso (70) wrote on Facebook that he has all his life been opposed to discrimination and has always advocated equal rights for everyone.

The state of North Carolina recently made the so-called “toilet law”, which requires transgender people to choose in public toilets the bathroom according to their birth gender. Also gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people will no longer be allowed go to courts if they are discriminated against.

Initially Perlman asked if he could add a protest statement to the program. This was refused by the orchestra, because it is heavily subsidized by the state.

Perlman will only play again in North Carolina if the law will have been repealed.

Rose-breasted grosbeak in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

9 May 2016

Close-up of beautiful male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak stopping by in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. This is the extreme southern end of their breeding range.

Pirate Captain Blackbeard’s ship discovery, videos


This video from the USA says about itself:

Jonathan Bird’s Blue World: Blackbeard‘s Shipwreck

10 April 2014

In this fascinating new adventure, Jonathan joins a team of underwater archaeologists who are excavating the sunken wreck of Blackbeard’s pirate ship the “Queen Anne’s Revenge” off the coast of North Carolina near Beaufort. He assists underwater and then tours the lab where artifacts are conserved for display at the museum.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Blue World Extras: Pirate Talk

13 May 2016

In these bloopers from the Blackbeard’s Shipwreck segment, Jonathan talks like a pirate!

Spring wildflowers in the USA, video


This video from the USA says about itself:

29 April 2016

Azure Bluet (Houstonia caerulea) wildflowers at 5000 feet in the Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina. Also called “Quaker Ladies”, they are stunning close up and in a large grouping. Filmed with Motorola Droid Turbo 2 in 4K Video.

Pearl Jam against homophobia in North Carolina, USA


This music video is called Pearl JamMTV Unplugged 1992.

From the site of rock band Pearl Jam in the USA:

Pearl Jam Cancels 4/20 Raleigh, NC Concert in Opposition to HB2; Official Band Statement

April 18 2016

It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th.

This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.

The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.

It is for this reason that we must take a stand against prejudice, along with other artists and businesses, and join those in North Carolina who are working to oppose HB2 and repair what is currently unacceptable.

We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue.

In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return.

Perhaps even celebrate.

With immense gratitude for your understanding,

Pearl Jam

Link to image of statement here.

What is HB2?

North Carolina’s HB2 legislation targets the basic rights of transgender people and strips many nondiscrimination protections from the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In addition to harming LGBT North Carolinians, the law limits the ability of municipalities to provide living wages above what the state provides, closes the door on state courts as a recourse for employment nondiscrimination claims, and imposes the values of Raleigh lawmakers on local elected officials and the people they serve.

What Needs To Be Done:

Please join us in signing this petition to repeal HB2.

Ringo Starr against homophobia in North Carolina, USA


This music video is called All You Need Is Love – The Beatles (with lyrics).

From CBS in the USA:

Ringo Starr Latest To Cancel North Carolina Concert

April 13, 2016 4:21 PM …

In a news release, the onetime Beatles drummer said he was joining with Bruce Springsteen and other artists as he called off an All Starr Tour show that had been planned for June 18 at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, North Carolina over the law, known as HB2.

“I’m sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred,” Starr said in the release. “Spread peace and love.”

Starr’s release said the law “opens the door to discrimination everywhere.”

“How sad that they feel that this group of people cannot be defended,” he said in the release. …

The North Carolina law further bars local governments statewide from prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A new statewide nondiscrimination law doesn’t contain those specific protections.

In announcing the cancellation of his concert, Starr asked his fans to support organizations fighting to overturn the law.

“As Canned Heat sang, ‘Let’s work together.’ And The Beatles said, ‘All you need is love,’” Starr’s release said.

Because of the same law, Springsteen this past Friday announced the cancellation of a concert that had been planned for last Sunday at the Greensboro Coliseum.

“Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them,” Springsteen wrote Friday. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.” …

The new law would also make clear local governments can’t require area businesses to pay workers above the current minimum wage, with some exceptions.