This 2019 video from Scandinavia says about itself:
The Puffins‘ Mating Ground | Wild Nordic
Over 160,000 puffins call this place home for a few months every summer.
This 25 October 2019 Canadian TV video says about itself:
Greta Thunberg delivers speech at Vancouver climate strike rally
The 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist joined the climate march in Vancouver.
Read more here.
Now, Ms Thunberg has refused a 50,000 euro prize. This Instagram post explains why.
This 1970 music video from Britain says about itself:
Traffic – John Barleycorn (must die) + lyrics
The character of John Barleycorn in this old British folk song is a personification of the important cereal crop barley. In the song, John Barleycorn is represented as suffering indignities, attacks and death that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting.
From the University of Helsinki in Finland:
A 5,000-year-old barley grain discovered in Finland changes understanding of livelihoods
April 3, 2019
Summary: A 5,000-year-old barley grain discovered in Aland, southern Finland, turns researchers’ understanding of ancient Northern livelihoods upside down. New findings reveal that hunter-gatherers took to farming already 5,000 years ago in eastern Sweden, and on the Aland Islands, located on the southwest coast of Finland.
On the basis of prior research, representatives of the Pitted Ware Culture from the Stone Age have been known as hard-core sealers, or even Inuits of the Baltic Sea. Now, researchers have discovered barley and wheat grains in areas previously inhabited by this culture, leading to the conclusion that the Pitted Ware Culture adopted agriculture on a small scale.
A study carried out in cooperation with parties representing the discipline of archaeology and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Helsinki, as well as Swedish operators in the field of archaeology (The Archaeologists, a governmental consultant agency, and Arkeologikonsult, a business), found grains of barley and wheat in Pitted Ware settlements on Finland’s Aland Islands and in the region of modern Stockholm.
The age of the grains was ascertained using radiocarbon dating. Based on the results, the grains originated in the period of the Pitted Ware culture, thus being approximately 4,300-5,300 years old. In addition to the cereal grains, the plant remnants found in the sites included hazelnut shells, apple seeds, tuberous roots of lesser celandine and rose hips.
The study suggests that small-scale farming was adopted by the Pitted Ware Culture by learning the trade from farmers of the Funnel Beaker Culture, the latter having expanded from continental Europe to Scandinavia.
Other archaeological artefacts are also evidence of close contact between these two cultures.
“The grains found on Aland are proof that the Pitted Ware Culture introduced cultivation to places where it had not yet been practised,” says Santeri Vanhanen, a doctoral student of archaeology at the University of Helsinki.
Cereal perhaps used to brew beer?
The 5,000-year-old barley grain found on Aland is the oldest grain of cereal ever found in Finland. The researchers also found a handful of barley and wheat grains a few hundred years younger, representing either common wheat or club wheat.
“We also dated one barley grain found in Raseborg, southern Finland. This grain and the other earliest grains found in mainland Finland date back some 3,500 years, some 1,500 years behind Aland according to current knowledge,” Vanhanen explains.
In prior studies, it has been extremely difficult to demonstrate that the hunter-gatherer population would have adopted farming during recorded history, let alone in the Stone Age. Research on ancient DNA has in recent years proven that the spread of agriculture in Europe was almost exclusively down to migrants.
“We find it possible that this population, which was primarily specialised in marine hunting, continued to grow plants as the practice provided the community with social significance.”
From time to time, an abundance of pig bones are found at Pitted Ware sites, even though pigs were not an important part of their daily nourishment. For instance, the bones of more than 30 pigs were found in a grave located on the island of Gotland.
“Members of the Pitted Ware culture may have held ritual feasts where pigs and cereal products were consumed. It’s not inconceivable that grains might even have been used to brew beer, but the evidence is yet to be found,” Vanhanen continues.
Grain age determined through radiocarbon dating
The research relies primarily on archaeobotanical methodology, which helps examine plant remains preserved in archaeological sites. In this study, soil samples were collected from the sites, from which plant remains were extracted using a flotation method. The plant remains are charred; in other words, the grains and seeds have turned into carbon after having come to contact with fire.
Plant remains can be identified by examining them through a microscope and comparing them to modern plant parts. The age of individual grains can be determined with radiocarbon dating, based on the fractionation of the radioactive carbon-14 isotope. This way, the age of a grain aged several millennia can be determined with a precision of a few centuries.
This video is called North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis).
From Uppsala University in Sweden:
Large-scale whaling in north Scandinavia may date back to 6th century
June 13, 2018
The intensive whaling that has pushed many species to the brink of extinction today may be several centuries older than previously assumed. This view is held by archaeologists from Uppsala and York whose findings are presented in the European Journal of Archaeology.
Museum collections in Sweden contain thousands of Iron Age board-game pieces. New studies of the raw material composing them show that most were made of whalebone from the mid-6th century CE. They were produced in large volumes and standardised forms. The researchers therefore believe that a regular supply of whalebone was needed. Since the producers would hardly have found the carcasses of beached whales a reliable source, the gaming pieces are interpreted as evidence for whaling.
Apart from an osteological survey, species origin has been determined for a small number of game pieces, using ZooMS (short for Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometer). The method shows that all the pieces analysed were derived from the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), a massive whale weighing 50-80 tonnes. It got the name because it was the right whale to hunt: it swam slowly, close to shore, and contained so much blubber as to float after being killed.
Whalebone gaming pieces appear at the same time as production features for blubber and large boathouses were multiplying in northern Norway. The gaming pieces were probably made in this region, from where they were transported south and ultimately used as burial gifts in Sweden.
The origins of large-scale whaling in northern Europe have long been shrouded in mystery. Written sources refer to whaling on a large scale during periods corresponding to the Viking Age in Scandinavia. Ninth-century sagas about the Norwegian merchant Ohthere/Ottar (a guest and informant at the court of King Alfred the Great) mention his extensive hunt for large whales, but these stories have long been controversial as factual sources.
The gaming pieces not only indicate early whaling. To the archaeologists, they are an important component in research on extensive early trading networks. These were well-functioning several centuries before the formation of towns in Viking times. The new study, along with several other archaeological studies over the past few years, shows increasingly substantial exploitation of marine resources, and also of inland resources in northern Scandinavia. In a supplementary in-depth study, the results will also be used to study human influence on the marine ecosystems in relation to whale population trends, since it is now realised that the inception of large-scale whaling took place further back in time than was previously known.
This is a long-tailed skua video. These birds nest in, eg, Scandinavia.
This 2013 video is called 3 Facts About Lemmings
Another video used to say about itself:
Norway Lemmings Norske Lemen
10 October 2013
Lemmings in all their cuteness, with the beautiful Norwegian mountains as a backdrop.
I also bust one of the great lemming myths; the one [propagated by Walt Disney] that claims they commit mass suicide by throwing themselves off cliffs and drowning in the Arctic seas.
From Wildlife Extra:
Norwegian Lemmings stand out in a crowd and scream to deter predators
Conspicuous, boldly coloured fur and loud barks warn would-be predators that little Norwegian Lemmings are not to be messed with, researchers have discovered.
The findings of the team headed by Malte Andersson from the University of Göteborg in Sweden appears in Springer’s journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
The Norwegian Lemming (Lemmus lemmus) is endemic to northern Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the Kola peninsula in Russia.
The animals have a red-brown back, yellow flanks, white breast, chin and cheeks and a large black patch on the head, neck and shoulders.
They are unique among small rodents in their ferocity, and will readily fight back the aerial attacks of predators such as the Long-tailed Skua with loud screams, lunges and bites.
Most smaller rodents rarely aggressively protect themselves from predators; a willingness to have a go, therefore, is worth advertising.
Through five field tests, Andersson noted that the Norwegian Lemming’s remarkable traits can be ascribed to aposematism: the use of warning colours and other methods to signal to predators that the potential prey has some form of defence, for example being toxic.
Aposematism is unusual in herbivorous mammals, however, being much more common among insects, snakes and frogs.
In one of the experiments, 18 observers found it easier to spot Norwegian Lemmings in their natural habitat than their main rodent neighbour, the Grey-sided Vole.
In another test, Andersson noted that Brown Lemmings only gave anti-predatory warning calls in one out of 39 instances when a human (seen as a potential predator) was near.
Norwegian Lemmings, on the other hand, did so in 36 of 110 cases.
Black and white or yellow are classic warning colorations, which some birds instinctively know to avoid.
Andersson explains that such calls and coloration are often useful at close range, where a lemming is likely to be discovered even if silent.
They signal to a predator that the rodent will put up a fight if attacked.
“The Norwegian Lemming combines acoustics with visual conspicuousness, probably to reduce its risk of becoming prey,” says Andersson, who believes that such aposematism could help explain why the long-distance movements of Norwegian Lemmings are so conspicuous.
This video from Alaska is called Katmai National Park Bears: Brown Bear Hibernation.
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Polar vortex over US brings abnormally mild weather to Scandinavia
Weather system disrupts flora and fauna in Nordic countries, with bears reportedly emerging from hibernation
Friday 10 January 2014 17.11 GMT
The freezing polar vortex that has gripped the US has extended an abnormally mild winter in Scandinavia and disrupted the seasonal patterns of flora and fauna.
The weather system that brought snow, ice and record low temperatures to many parts of the United States this week left Iceland, Greenland and Scandinavia much warmer than normal.
On the back of a generally mild winter, there have been reports of bears emerging early from hibernation in Finland, changes in the behaviour of migratory birds off the coast of Sweden and plants appearing earlier than normal in Norway.
Scandinavia and Russia’s cold weather during the winter comes from a high-pressure system that keeps warmer, more humid air and low-pressure systems with wind and rain from coming up from the Atlantic Ocean.
The weakening of the jetstream that holds this in place has allowed cold air to spill further south into much of the United States and Canada, while bringing above-average temperatures to parts of Europe.
The knock-on effects of the vortex follow one of the mildest Decembers in a century in Nordic countries. Ketil Isaksen, a scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, said the country had been 4.2C above the mean temperature for December with parts of Oslo and south-eastern Norway experiencing the third warmest December on record. “It was very unusual to see no snow in large areas where it is normal in December. Only in the mountains and certain parts of Norway could you find snow.”
Much of the precipitation in lowland and populated areas had fallen as rain instead of snow, he said. “In general it was a very wet December. Large parts of Norway had up to three times as much rain as normal and the country as a whole had 180% more than average.”
Finland too has seen heavy rain, with flooding in western coastal areas and the majority of Finland’s lakes containing record volumes of water. Temperatures exceeded their normal seasonal average by 4-5C nationwide, with Helsinki and southern Finland recording the mildest second half of December in 30 years.
Temperatures in parts of Sweden have fluctuated greatly, at Nikkaluokta falling from 4.7C on 3 December to -40.8C on 9 December, then rising two days later to 7.7C. Many locations measured their warmest December temperatures on record. “In the north, winter has arrived, but in the south it’s autumn according to the meteorological definition,” the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute said.
The rainy weather in Finland has reportedly disrupted the winter slumbers of many bears, bringing them out of hibernation early. Heavy rains and high waters may have invaded some dens, forcing the animals to seek new shelter.
Prof Jon Swenson of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, leader of the Scandinavian bear project, said he was worried about the indirect effects of the warmer weather. “If you go down into southern Europe, it’s warmer, and there are some bears that don’t hibernate.
“It doesn’t seem to be harmful not to hibernate,” he said. “What we are afraid of is that it means there will be more thawing periods … this really stresses the berry-producing plants. This can cause some mortality, and can have a very adverse effect on berry production. And that’s what the bears survive on in the autumn, and what they use to get them through the winter. So the results of this mild weather won’t be seen for some time.”
Last week, the local Norwegian newspaper Sunnmørsposten published reader photographs of daffodils emerging as early as 14 December as well as crocuses, daisies, dandelions and honeysuckle.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Norway chief executive, Nina Jensen, said she was “cautious about drawing conclusions from one mild winter into specific changes in nature”, but there were signals that changes were happening.
“We are definitely seeing plants like bluebells flowering that wouldn’t come out until spring, and birds singing that wouldn’t normally be at this time of year. There are quite obvious changes in the growth season, plant growth and migratory bird routes and timing. The flip side of this warmer winter is that we will also have an increasing threat of harmful introduced organisms, such as the wild boar or ticks that thrive in warmer temperatures.”
Pål Hermansen, a wildlife photographer based in Oslo, said: “It’s the smaller things where you see it most, especially butterflies and other insects. The combination of ‘proper winters’ with lots of snow, alternating with winters like this one, makes everything very unstable. In the 30 years I’ve been working we’ve seen butterfly populations reduce by 80-90%. We’re now seeing mosquitos and ticks during the winter, which is unheard of. Ticks are spreading much further north than they ever were before.”
Stephen Menzie, an ornithologist working at Falsterbo Bird Observatory – a migration point in south-west Sweden – said it was “certainly true” that milder weather this year had played a part in delaying the southbound migration of many species.
“We had one day in November when we ringed over 800 birds, compared to the same period last year when we struggled to catch double figures on most days.”
Additional reporting by Ben McPherson in Oslo
This video is called Scandinavian Butterflies Part 1.
And here is Part 2.
On 2, 3, and 4 August, butterflies were counted everywhere in gardens in the Netherlands.
177,670 butterflies (and moths) of 36 species were counted.
The top 10 were:
1. Peacock (38319 x)
2. Silver Y moth (30961 x)
3. Small white (15956 x)
4. Small tortoiseshell (11625 x)
5. Large white (11529 x)
6. Brimstone (8544 x)
7. Red admiral(8139 x)
8. Large skipper (6398 x)
9. Painted lady (6207 x)
10. Mint moth (5212 x)
See also here.
This video is called The Stone ships (Skeppssättning)(Nordic bronze age – Viking age).
From the University of Gothenburg in Sweden:
Stone ships show signs of maritime network in Baltic Sea region 3,000 years ago
21 March 2013
In the middle of the Bronze Age, around 1000 BC, the amount of metal objects increased dramatically in the Baltic Sea region. Around the same time, a new type of stone monument, arranged in the form of ships, started to appear along the coasts. New research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden shows that the stone ships were built by maritime groups.
The maritime groups were part of a network that extended across large parts of northern Europe. The network was maintained largely because of the strong dependence on bronze.
Archaeologists have long assumed that bronze was imported to Scandinavia from the south, and recent analyses have been able to confirm this notion. The distribution of bronze objects has been discussed frequently, with most analyses focusing on the links in the networks. The people behind the networks, however, are only rarely addressed, not to mention their meeting places.
‘One reason why the meeting places of the Bronze Age are not discussed very often is that we haven’t been able to find them. This is in strong contrast to the trading places of the Viking Age, which have been easy to locate as they left behind such rich archaeological material,’ says the author of the thesis Joakim Wehlin from the University of Gothenburg and Gotland University.
In his thesis, Wehlin has analysed the archaeological material from the Bronze Age stone ships and their placement in the landscape. The stone ships can be found across the entire Baltic Sea region and especially on the larger islands, with a significant cluster on the Swedish island of Gotland. The ships have long been thought to have served as graves for one or several individuals, and have for this reason often been viewed as death ships intended to take the deceased to the afterlife.
‘My study shows a different picture. It seems like the whole body was typically not buried in the ship, and some stone ships don’t even have graves in them. Instead, they sometimes show remains of other types of activities. So with the absence of the dead, the traces of the survivors tend to appear.’
One of Wehlin’s conclusions is that the stone ships and the activities that took place there point to people who were strongly focused on maritime practice. Details in the ships indicate that they were built to represent real ships. Wehlin says that the stone ships give clues about the ship-building techniques of the time and therefore about the ships that sailed on the Baltic Sea during the Bronze Age.
By studying the landscape, Wehlin has managed to locate a number of meeting places, or early ports.
‘These consist of areas that resemble hill forts and are located near easily accessible points in the landscape – that is, near well-known waterways leading inland. While these areas have previously been thought to be much younger, recent age determinations have dated them to the Bronze Age.’
The thesis offers a very extensive account of the stone ships. It also suggests that the importance of the Baltic Sea during the Scandinavian Bronze Age, not least as a waterway, has been underestimated in previous research.
This video from France says about itself:
A couple of Wood Pigeons made a nest in my flower box in Paris, trashing my geraniums. When I noticed the nest, I let them be. One egg was laid and then another. I named the parents Patience and Constant, because they were! They took turns sitting on the eggs 24/7 until the first egg hatched on Bastille Day 2008, exactly 18 days after it was laid. After several more days it was clear that the second egg had died. I named the surviving baby Hope.
After the hatching, Patience and Constant continued to sit on the nest, keeping the squab warm, and feeding it with pigeon “milk” which they manufactured from their own food. This pigeon baby food is regurgitated from the throat into the squabs beak.
At 12 days old, Hope was left alone for the first time and I found her at 4:00 am, drenched in a torrential downpour. I made a bed for her and brought her in for a few hours, putting her back in the nest before her parents returned! The next night it rained again and I put up an umbrella to keep her dry.
In the week that followed she began to stretch her wings, balance on the edge of the window box, and look outward to the world beyond. At 20 days old, Hope flew for the first time. She came back to rest in the nest in the flower box on three occasions. After that she stayed out with her flock. Today she is healthy, plump, beautiful, and free.
The Dutch ornithologists of SOVON report record numbers of woodpigeons migrating from Scandinavia through the eastern Netherlands to south-western Europe this year. In the month October alone, 2,7 million pigeons were counted, a record number.
SOVON also reports record numbers of great tits coming to the Netherlands from northern and eastern Europe this year. Nearly 80,000 this year. Bird migration researchers think these were probably mainly not from Scandinavia, but from Baltic countries. Probably, the birds migrate because of a lack this year of beech nuts and other food in eastern Europe.
November 2012. A new strain of avian pox is taking its toll on garden birds in Britain, according to new research. Scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), University of Oxford, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and RSPB report on the impact avian pox is having on great tit populations: here.
Effects of human disturbance on nest placement of the Woodpigeon in Morocco: here.