Rare birds in the USA update


This December 2014 video, about male goosanders, is called Rare Birds of North America.

From the American Birding Association blog:

Rare Bird Alert: January 30, 2015

By Nate Swick

It was a slower week to be sure, but Texas takes its accustomed place as the center of the ABA rarity world with a couple of notable finds this week. the most accommodating of which is an ABA Code 4 Gray-crowned Yellowthroat, still being seen daily (if not regularly during the day) at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Hidalgo. It’s the first Gray-crowned Yellowthroat in the ABA Area in more than 8 years.

Elsewhere in the valley, a male Blue Bunting (4) was discovered, but not yet refound, at Laguna Atascosa NWR in Cameron.

In Oklahoma, a pair of Yellow-billed Loons, along with 2 Pacific Loons, were seen in Cherokee.

Colorado continues to live up to its reputation as the gull capital of the mountain west with a Glaucous-winged Gull in Arapahoe.

Arizona also had a Glaucous-winged Gull this week, one in Mohave is the state’s 8th. And a pair of Trumpeter Swans were found in Pima, particularly rare in the south of the state.

In Utah, the state’s 2nd record of Purple Finch, one of the darker Pacific coast population, has been visiting a feeder in Washington. In the same county, a Red-throated Loon was also noteworthy.

Another Black-headed Gull (3) was found in Oregon, this time in Clatsop. Assuming this is not the same bird found a couple weeks farther east, this would be the state’s 6th.

In Idaho, a Glaucous Gull in Canyon is a great find.

A Ferruginous Hawk in Gibson, Indiana, is likely the same bird returning for its third consecutive winter.

In New Hampshire, a photogenic Gyrfalcon was seen by many in Rockingham.

New York saw a spate of good birds this week, including a Barrow’s Goldeneye in Oswego, what may be the state’s 2nd in as many weeks Crested Caracara, photographed in Nassau, and a Western Tanager in Suffolk.

Trumpeter Swans continue to be more regular in the southeast as the interior population grows. One was in Prince Edward, Virginia, this week.

And in Florida, a nice Bullock’s Oriole was visiting a feeder in Osceola.

United States snowy owl news


This video is called Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus).

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA today:

A Snowy Owl Sequel?

They’re baaacck…reports of Snowy Owls are lighting up the eBird maps across the northern United States again this winter. Is this another irruption, or an echo flight? Read the latest with analysis from an eBird project leader at our All About Birds blog.

Sign up for Snowy Alerts: With another influx of owls, eBird is again offering a Snowy Owl Alert service that emails you whenever a new snowy is seen.

Mass opposition against TTIP treaty plans


This video says about itself:

18 July 2014

A coalition of more than 120 NGOs and citizens organizations from many European Countries is launching a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) against the Transatlantic Trade Investor Partnership (TTIP) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) trade agreements with the USA and Canada, respectively. The ECI aims to send a strong message to Commission President Juncker to stop the negotiations on the two trade and investment agreements – the initiative enables one million EU citizens to call directly upon the European Commission to propose a legal act. Michael Efler (Mehr Demokratie, Germany) John Hilary (War on Want, UK) and Susan George (Transnational Institute/Attac, France) provide their perspectives.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Huge opposition sees unprecedented 150,000 respond to TTIP consultation

Wednesday 14th January 2014

CONSULTATION on a controversial trade deal between the EU and the US revealed huge scepticism yesterday.

An unprecedented 150,000 responses were received — over a third from Britain — mainly opposing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

European Commission (EC) officials said they were surprised at the number of replies, adding it was a “matter of concern” that so many were negative.

Campaign groups such as 38 Degrees and trade unions have been warning that TTIP would lead to NHS services being privatised.

EC officials said 50,000 of the replies came via 38 Degrees, although hundreds of different organisations and thousands of individuals responded.

War on Want executive director John Hilary said: “The European Commission can no longer be in any doubt as to the strength of public feeling against this transfer of power to big business.”

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey commented: “Britain expects David Cameron to stand up for the NHS and use his veto in Europe to get the NHS out of TTIP.”

Further consultations will be held in the coming months with a view to reaching an outline deal by the end of the year, although negotiations on investment have been suspended.

Britain: DANGEROUS EU-US trade deal TTIP would stop governments renationalising utilities and the railways — and even put Labour’s energy price freeze policy in danger, MPs will hear today: here.

‘Corporate wolves’ will exploit TTIP trade deal, MPs warned. Commons debate told that Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership risks giving too much power to big US corporations: here.

THE leader of Britain’s largest trade union has sent a personal message to an EU commissioner warning that the British public is being misled over a dodgy deal with the US. Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey has written to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem telling her that lies are being spread by pretending that the NHS is exempt from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): here.

UNIONS in the United States warned yesterday that the proposed new Pacific free trade pact would endanger jobs, wages and safety at work. Just over two decades after lobbying unsuccessfully against the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), the unions are again strongly sceptical of measures encouraging trade liberalisation. At issue is the TransPacific Partnership, which is expected to call for the reduction or elimination of trade barriers between the US and 11 Pacific rim nations: here.

DAVID Cameron “rolled out the red carpet” at Downing Street yesterday for talks with US Republican Chris Christie aimed at stitching-up hated EU-US free trade deal TTIP: here.

A PUBLICLY owned health service will be a thing of the past if the government goes ahead with its plans to sign up to an international trade deal forcing public services to be put out to tender. Legal advice commissioned by union Unite from an expert in EU law and healthcare services confirmed today that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will force health services into the private sector unless Prime Minister David Cameron uses a veto to exclude the NHS from the deal: here.

DESIGNED for the exclusive benefit of transnational corporations (TNCs), the Transatlantic Trade And Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a dishonest title for a secretive deal being cooked up behind closed doors by the EU and the US: here.

DISABLED campaigners vowed to stand up to European Union-United States trade pact TTIP yesterday and called for international co-operation between workers, not bosses: here.

This is a video by a Dutch comedian on TTIP.

TTIP and the Netherlands: here.

Animals on National Geographic covers, statistics


Animals on National Geographic covers, EMILY M. ENG, NG STAFF; SHUTTERSTOCK; ISTOCK

From National Geographic in the USA:

By Cathy Newman

1 January 2015

One-fourth of all the illustrated covers National Geographic magazine has published in its 126-year-long history have featured animals.

The newly published National Geographic: The Covers shows that birds lead in the cover sweepstakes, with apes and gorillas in second place. Snakes and mollusks lag far behind, and in April 2014, a hedgehog made a single, solitary appearance on the cover for a story on wild pets.

Why do birds lead the pack? “It’s not so much about bird species,” points out Kathy Moran, the magazine’s senior editor for natural history. “They’re usually stand-ins to represent environmental issues.” For example, the brown pelican coated in oil on the cover of October 2010, which illustrates a story on the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.