Beauty in nature, David Attenborough lecture


This video from England says about itself:

Sir David Attenborough – ‘Beauty in Nature’ – University of Leicester

Extracts from Sir David Attenborough‘s public lecture titled ‘Beauty in Nature‘ held at the De Montfort Hall 28 January 2016.

The lecture was held as part of the University of Leicester’s flagship Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture series.

This film was produced by External Relations, University of Leicester.

Filmed and Edited by Carl Vivian.

Long-tailed tits at feeder, video


This video from England says about itself:

The Lodge Webcam – Long-tailed tits

30 January 2016

Bird feeder webcam by day, rabbit cam by night.

The video also shows other bird species: great tit; goldfinch.

Stop Islamophobia, British Jew says


This video says about itself:

Islamophobia and Antisemitism: Same message, different minority.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

This Jewish man gave a powerful reminder of why any bigotry is so very dangerous

Posted 4 hours ago by Louis Doré

James O’Brien was moved by a letter from a man of Jewish ancestry on Holocaust Memorial Day, which called for greater focus on the experience of Muslims in the UK.

The listener, Josh, emailed the LBC presenter earlier this week to deliver the following message, in the wake of a sharp rise in Islamophobic attacks in recent months:

“I just wanted to say that although I am not a religious man I have a strong Jewish heritage. Today being the 71st anniversary of the Holocaust, which is very personal to me for obvious reasons, I think we really need to make the link as to how Muslims are being subjected daily to such lazy prejudices, just as my ancestors were, all those years ago.

Josh argued that “Jews, more than anyone, need to stand up for the Muslim community”, by positioning themselves against the “vile rubbish” in the press and leaving the “Middle East nonsense to one side for the moment”.

We need to remember that not long ago it was us who were on the receiving end of this treatment, and we all know where that ended up.

He detailed how his family had emigrated from Russia during the pogroms in the early 20th century and how, during their time living in East London, they frequently saw signs reading “No dogs, No Irish, No Jews”.

It feels like we’re receding into a society that is also happy to say ‘No Muslims’. Just look at what is happening in the states with that lunatic Donald Trump. We simply cannot tolerate this.

That’s all I wanted to say. Keep the peace.

A notably moved O’Brien responded to the message by saying:

“On today of all days I am happy to provide you with an opportunity to bring that message to a slightly wider audience, in the probably naive hope that some people might listen.”

TRACKING ISLAMOPHOBIA IN THE U.S. “A comprehensive list of discriminatory acts against American Muslims might be impossible, but The Huffington Post will document this deplorable wave of hate for all of 2016 using news reports and firsthand accounts.The breadth and severity of Islamophobia in America can no longer go unnoticed. Enough is enough.” [Christopher Mathias and Rowaida Abdelaziz, HuffPost]

Bird egg collecting, crime and science


This video from Britain says about itself:

Poached (Official Trailer)

27 August 2015

Poached reveals the underworld of illegal bird egg collecting by following convicted egg offenders as they evade an army of bird lovers and wildlife crime police while beginning to realize the destructiveness of their obsession. Sign up for updates at http://poachedmovie.com to find out when the film will be in your area.

Poached exposes an obsession that can wipe out a species of birds: illegal egg collecting. Egg thieves rob the nests of rare birds while a United Kingdom national police initiative named “Operation Easter” tries to stop them. The thieves are motivated not by money but by desire for the beauty of the egg and the thrill of the chase. Thousands of eggs confiscated in police raids have been found strapped under beds, beneath floorboards, and in secret rooms. With unprecedented access to the most notorious and inconspicuous perpetrators, Poached delves into the psychology of the egg collectors as they confront their obsession.

Also find us at facebook.com/poachedmovie.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA writes about this:

Poached: A Film On Eggs And Obsession

Self-destructive habits, broken relationships, and raids by the British police. No, we’re not talking about the plot of a Sherlock Holmes novel—rather, a documentary about the hobby of illegal egg collecting, still practiced by a handful of underground enthusiasts (collecting eggs was outlawed more recently in Britain, in 1954).

Obsessive specimen collection can wipe out a species, and yet this Victorian hobby still threatens modern birds in some parts of the world. This practice, motivated by neither food nor profit, is the subject of the new film Poached, a documentary that explores the addiction of illicit egg collecting in the UK. Our film review, plus the theatrical trailer, are available online.

The beauty of eggs, the thrill of the hunt…this feature illuminates a dark hobby that is both obscure and antiquated. However, an army of bird-lovers, wildlife police, and one reformed-collector-turned-citizen-scientist won’t let these “eggers” go unchallenged. The award-winning film is available on iTunes (rated PG-13).

Also from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Oology is the study of bird eggs, and it has a fascinating history in the United States. In Oology and Ralph’s Talking Eggs, author Carrol Henderson describes the history of one private egg collection, and situates it within the context of the larger field of study. The book tells the story of Iowa farmer Ralph Handsaker, an amateur oologist. As the author documents the massive collection for a museum, stories are revealed about each of the 800 egg sets.

In a period when the credibility of a bird enthusiast was judged by the size of his egg collection and the number of rarities it contained, the book is at times poignant (e.g., the collection of Iowa’s last Marbled Godwit nest). However, some might call egg collecting the origins of modern bird watching, as it marked a transition from commercial interest to naturalist pursuit. Others might go so far as to deem it a precursor to citizen science, as most collections ended up in museums where they contributed to research. One thing is certain: every egg has a story to tell, and this book will have NestWatchers listening.

Donate an old egg collection!

If, like Ralph’s descendants, you find yourself with an old egg collection, consider donating it to a local museum or university, or inquire whether Cornell University’s Museum of Vertebrates can accept your collection. Although egg sets have no value on eBay (it’s illegal to sell birds, their eggs, or nests), the value of a collection is priceless to a museum.

Great spotted woodpecker at British feeder, video


This video from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Britain says about itself:

27 January 2016

A great spotted woodpecker visited our new feeder-cam today.

What might you see during Big Garden Bird Watch?