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10 stories about birds in the news in mid-October

Snowy Owl at Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania, December 26, 2014, by Joshua Clark.
Snowy Owl at Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania, December 26, 2014, by Joshua Clark.

Here are ten important news stories that we tweeted or retweeted over the past two weeks.

1. Another invasion? Birders in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan reported Snowy Owls. Wisconsin DNR staff on Monday, October 19, confirmed at least 12 owl sightings in the state since Friday, October 16.

A moon-lit Snowy Owl was a recent Photo of the Week.

2. Vulture-killing drug banned: The Iranian Department of Environment officially banned the export, import, production, and veterinary use of diclofenac. Use of the drug in livestock has been linked to the decline of several species of vultures around the world. Iran is one of the last remaining strongholds in the Middle East of the endangered Egyptian Vulture. October 19

3. Administration says no, for now: The Interior Department shut the door on drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean over the next two years, canceling auctions for drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. October 16

Read about Important Bird Areas in the Chukchi Sea.

Wilson’s Warbler in San Pedro Riparian NCA, Arizona, May 2014, by gscott68.
Wilson’s Warbler in San Pedro Riparian NCA, Arizona, May 2014, by gscott68.

4. Mothers know best: Audubon California announced that a California Condor chick was successfully raised by two female condors. The females, Nos. 317 and 171, teamed up in the Ventana Wilderness, in Big Sur, California, after the suspected male mate of one of the females died. October 15

5. Over there: A North American wood-warbler, a Wilson’s Warbler, was discovered near the northernmost tip of the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, 30 years to the day after the species was last recorded in Britain. The bird is assumed to have been blown across the Atlantic by a hurricane. The sighting was the first record for Scotland, the second for Britain, and the third for Britain and Ireland. October 13

See photos of Wilson’s Warbler.

6. Record falcon count: A team at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch, at Curry Hammock State Park, about three miles northeast of Marathon, tallied 1,506 migrating Peregrine Falcons on October 10. The total broke the record for falcons counted in a single day. October 10

7. California says, Monarchs welcome: A bill authorizing California to take action to conserve monarch butterflies and the unique habitats they depend upon was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The state is the overwintering home for most of the western monarch population. October 9

8. Great year for seabirds: Officials with the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge and its partners in the Gulf of Maine Seabird Working Group announced that 2015 was a great year for seabirds in the Gulf of Maine. Productivity increased over last year at many colonies. October 5

See photos of Atlantic Puffin.

9. Protecting the cradle of civilization: Iraq’s Central Marshes and the Hammar Marsh, the famous “Garden of Eden” in the southern part of the country, were designated Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. The marshes serve as an important staging and wintering site for a number of globally threatened birds. September 29

10. The return of the Maltese falcon: Three pairs of Peregrine Falcons are breeding in Malta for the first time since the 1980s. The return of the falcon, known to the world as the “Maltese falcon,” has excited hopes that the iconic bird is making a comeback. October 6

10 stories about birds that made headlines in early October.

10 important news stories about birds: A late-September roundup.

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