Birdlife International - “ One of the world’s smallest lizards, a ‘spiky’ yellow woodlouse, a blue iguana, a flightless moth, a seabird thought to be extinct for three centuries and a predatory shrimp confined to just two rockpools, are just some of the amazing 1547 species unique to the islands of the UK’s Overseas Territories, which extend from the sub-Antarctic to the tropics. The amazing haul of native and unique species, which have been highlighted during an RSPB wildlife ‘stocktake’ of the UK Overseas Territories, show these Territories contain at least 1500 endemic species: those species found nowhere else on earth…”
These newly-hatched chicks are the first wild-born cranes to survive in the west of Britain for 400 years. The parent birds were hand-reared by The Great Crane Project reintroduction programme and released as three month old fledglings on the Somerset Moors and Levels.
“As natural garbage collectors, vultures are vital to our ecosystem — so why all the bad press? Why are so many in danger of extinction? Raptor biologist Munir Virani says we need to pay more attention to these unique and misunderstood creatures, to change our perception and save the vultures.”
Caught By The River - “Many species migrate at night, using elements of the night sky to navigate, literally the stars to guide them by. The light of the moon, too, can illuminate the land underneath these peregrinators. Gargantuan numbers of waders, warblers and thrushes fly purposefully through the dark along with a range of other species such as terns, larks, rails and starlings and these are all subject to being misdirected by the Enlli light, the Bardsey lighthouse…
The Independent - “It started with a request from a tiny British museum running an exhibition about Captain Oates: can we have a dead penguin from the Antarctic? And now, after an intrepid two-year odyssey, it’s mission accomplished…”
Audubon Magazine - “In May 1850, a 20-year-old Potawatomi tribal leader named Simon Pokagon was camping at the headwaters of Michigan’s Manistee River during trapping season when a far-off gurgling sound startled him. It seemed as if “an army of horses laden with sleigh bells was advancing through the deep forests towards me,” he later wrote.”
Aeon Magazine - “The condors wouldn’t leave Les Reid alone. In the late 1990s, a pack of them regularly showed up at his house in Pine Mountain Club, California, a small community northwest of Los Angeles. They clambered around on his roof, making a racket. They perched, one by one, on his large patio umbrella, seeming to enjoy the slow slide down its slippery surface and onto the deck below. Once, Reid, a former member of the Sierra Club’s board of directors, came home to find that eight young condors had ripped a hole in his screen door and were enthusiastically tearing apart his mattress. When he’d walked in on them, one of the birds had a pair of his underwear dangling from its beak…”
Peter Matthiessen, Audobon Magazine - “Renowned writer Peter Matthiessen, who died over the weekend, wrote more than 30 books as well as numerous magazine articles, including for Audubon. This story ran in the July-August 1995 issue of the magazine.
On a cold winter morning of northwest wind, the snow cone of Mount Fuji lights the sky in an aerial view never beheld by the immortal Hokusai, who painted Fuji-san from many vantage points on land and sea. On previous journeys to Japan, in spring and summer, I lived in its foothills for a week in a Zen monastery and climbed to the treeline…”
Grrrl Scientist, The Guardian - “A new study finds that the rising Andes is tied to the rapid speciation of hummingbirds. This study also predicts that hummingbirds will evolve twice as many species as what we see today.”
The Guardian - “My friend and colleague John Ash, who has died aged 88, had a long, varied and prolific ornithological career. His love of birds was ignited by his father in expeditions across his native Northumberland, and time alongside his boyhood friends, Matthew (later Viscount) Ridley and his younger brother Nicholas (later the Conservative MP), scaling trees on their family’s estate, Blagdon, to ring young rooks (later, it transpired, to be turned into pie by the Ridleys)…”
Audubon Magazine - “Nearly 900 photographers contributed almost 6,000 images to the 2013 Audubon photo awards. The winners have already been announced (click here to see them), and today we’re unveiling the Top 100 photos…”