Mystery goo, avian trichomoniasis, Kim Kaufman, and Cuba were in the news over the past two weeks. Here’s a recap of what Managing Editor Matt Mendenhall and I tweeted about at @BirdWatchDaily on Twitter:
A Crested Caracara (pictured above) was seen at the South Carolina Center for Birds of Prey, a possible first state record. A Barnacle Goose was spotted in Hartford County, Connecticut. And both the Couch’s Kingbird and the Cassin’s Kingbird that showed up in New York City recently were reported to be just fine in spite of their new urban surroundings.
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis), Hartford County, Connecticut, Barnes Boat Ramp, Enfield, 23 January 2015: http://t.co/kP5HWG711g
— Surfbirds (@NAmericanRare) January 25, 2015
Sadly, bad news was abundant.
Avian trichomoniasis was reported among Band-tailed Pigeons in the South Bay and parts of Contra Costa County in California. Bird baths and fountains appear to be the source of the parasite. The South Florida Water Management District announced that the number of heron and egret nests in refuges, wildlife sanctuaries, and water-conservation areas in the Everglades was down 60 percent last year. And the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries acknowledged that a Whooping Crane had been shot in Vermilion Parish in early November. A reward up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.
As if that weren’t enough, hundreds of Surf Scoters, Horned Grebes, Buffleheads, and scaup were found coated with a glue-like compound in San Francisco Bay. What the substance is, and where it’s coming from, remains mysterious. More than 150 birds have died.
No state or federal aid for wildlife agencies dealing with mysterious bird-killing goo in San Francisco Bay. http://t.co/4JtLEE8FqE
— BirdWatchingMagazine (@BirdWatchDaily) January 27, 2015
Not all of the birds news was bad, thank goodness.
The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey announced that the state’s Bald Eagle population is on the rebound. Snowy Owls continued their southward irruption. (The owls in this picture collection were all photographed in December and January.) And our good friend Kim Kaufman, executive director of Ohio’s Black Swamp Bird Observatory, received a well-deserved high honor: the ABA’s prestigious Chandler Robbins Award, bestowed in recognition of her many contributions to bird education and conservation.
Even better, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced new rules sure to be of interest to those of us who need Cuban Trogon, Fernandina’s Flicker, Cuban Tody, Yellow-headed Warbler, and Bee Hummingbird for their life lists. The accord should be a boon for science as well as birding. — Chuck Hagner, Editor
— Int'l Bird Rescue (@IntBirdRescue) January 27, 2015