In chronological order below are the 10 most important stories that we followed while tracking the bird news over the past two weeks. Follow us on Twitter.
1. Counting falcons: The British Trust for Ornithology announced that there were 1,505 breeding pairs of Peregrine Falcons in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. The estimates came an analysis of data from the BTO’s 2014 Peregrine Survey. They suggest that the falcons are faring better in urban and other lowland situations than in the uplands. June 1
2. From Australia to the Arctic: For the first time, Grey Plovers (known as Black-bellied Plover in North America) were tracked by satellite as they migrated from Australia to Russia. The species is declining, so conservationists are desperate to learn about its migratory routes, stopover sites, and breeding areas. Two tagged birds stopped over in Bohai Bay, on the Yellow Sea, before flying on to the northeastern part of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic in Russia. May 31
3. Recorded for the first time: A Pine Flycatcher was recorded in the ABA Area for the first time. The bird, an Empidonax flycatcher typically found from northeastern Mexico through Guatemala, was photographed in the Santa Rita Mountains, in Pima County, Arizona. May 30
4. Dogs attack seabird colony: More than 30 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were found dead in a seabird colony on Kauai. Biologists with the Department of Land and Natural Resources said loose dogs likely killed the ground-nesting birds. “DLNR again urges Kauai communities to ensure that dogs are not allowed to run loose, which is a violation of both state and county laws,” implored an official. May 24
5. Shooter pleads guilty: A man accused of shooting two Whooping Cranes in Jefferson County, Texas, in January 2016, pled guilty to one count of a Class A misdemeanor for the “taking” of a Whooping Crane under the Endangered Species Act. In pleading guilty, the shooter waived his right to a jury trial. Penalties could be up to $50,000 with a combination of probation/jail time. May 24
6. Ground-dove rediscovered: Researchers released photos of Blue-eyed Ground-dove, a species not seen since 1941 and widely considered extinct. Ornithologist Rafael Bessa rediscovered the critically endangered bird in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in July 2015. Since then, SAVE Brasil, the Rainforest Trust, the Butantan Bird Observatory, and others have been working to develop a conservation plan. May 23
7. Figure of national importance: Carrol L. Henderson, the nongame wildlife program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and a long-time contributor to BirdWatching, was awarded the Frances K. Hutchinson Medal. One of the highest honors bestowed by the Garden Club of America, the medal recognizes “figures of national importance for distinguished service to conservation.” May 22
8. A rarity for Wisconsin: A White-winged Tern was seen in Wisconsin for the first time since 1873. The bird was spotted along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Manitowoc, south and east of Green Bay. The species breeds in Eastern Europe and Asia and spends the winter in Africa. A White-winged Tern was also photographed at Race Point on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on May 8. May 21
9. One in three are in need: According to The State of North America’s Birds 2016, a trinational study of the state of migratory birds, more than a third of all North American species need urgent conservation action. The study was the first comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of all species that occur in Canada, the continental United States, and Mexico. May 18
10. Yet another record high: NOAA announced that the combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for April 2016 was 1.10°C (1.98°F) above the 20th-century average of 13.7°C (56.7°F). It was the highest temperature departure for April since global records began in 1880, and it was the fourth highest monthly temperature departure among all 1,636 months on record. May 18
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