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Birdchick Podcast #58: Hurricane Irene, Bird Excitement

Reader feedback from Kevin Collison: “You frequently mention birding groups efforts to attract more birders (members). I have one, tell them to stop being so hard on hunters. Most hunters, like myself, have a love for nature too. I love hunting, birding, and nature photography.”

Interesting RADAR image from Saturday night of bird migration and Hurricane Irene:

Birders are excited about hurricane birds and all kinds of terns and even a tropic bird have been reported.

A wayward red-tailed hawk got caught in a New York City apartment building and the rescue team tried to lure it out with bread.  Really, guys, bread?  Thanks for the news, Space Doggity.

A specimen collected in the 1960s proves to be an undocumented (and world’s smallest) shearwater. It hasn’t been seen since, is it extinct or hidden among other shearwaters?  Here’s a photo of the Bryan’s shearwater specimen.

In less depressing news, there’s a common murre nest on the Channel Islands that hatched chicks for the first time in 100 years!  Yay!  See sometimes conservation efforts CAN work.

A contest for musician/bird look alikes.



7 comments to Birdchick Podcast #58: Hurricane Irene, Bird Excitement

  • s l ruck

    I’m with Kevin Collison. I have never hunted, and probably never will, but every duck hunter I know is a nature lover as well. They have done a lot for habitat preservation over the years – refuges that benefit a wide range of species beyond the waterfowl that they hunt for. They eat what they kill, so that’s good too.

    I can’t say I have any warm fuzzies for trophy hunters, but I wish to encourage as many pig hunters as possible. Those warm-blooded roto-tillers have damaged a lot of habitat here in CA (and I’m sure elsewhere). I wouldn’t mind them knocking off a few more deer in some areas where they’re overpopulated and destroying the habitat for ground nesters.

    And last, but not least – any of you guys want to specialize in Eurasian collared doves?

  • Pete Dunne has the most well thought out, logically written, and both intelligently and emotionally engaging essay on hunting and eating meat ever written contained in his new book Arctic Autumn. I have blogged about it in the last week or so as well.

  • Really? I have that book lurking in my apartment…somewhere. I’ll dig it up and check it out. Thanks for the head’s up!

  • m. j. adams

    Here in Westport, MA, we had orioles, bluebirds, tree swallows, blue-winged warblers, golden warblers, too many robins,…. Today they are all gone. Except the cardinals. Last week, we had hundreds of tree swallows. Today, I counted 4 tree swallows, all day. I am fascinated by the radar map above, but I can’t read the legend (too small), can’t quite understand it, can’t find another source on the web, and would like better knowledge of bird migration in storms. (What I really want to know is whether my birds are ok.)

    Can you help with any of the questions?

    Thanks so much.

  • MJ

    On the map, the blue circles are flocks of birds picked up on RADAR. The green and yellow is Hurricane Irene.

    I cannot give you a guarantee that your birds are okay but birds have evolved to deal with hurricanes and for the most part are okay. My guess is that your migrants sensed the drop in pressure and went inland. To ease your mind a bit, here’s a story that we’ll have in the next podcast about a bird with a satellite transmitter that migrated into the hurricane.

  • leesf

    Says it all:

    Dont mind the pigs and deer, but its the lead. Also, seems like when i see spent cartridges, i see a lot of cigaret butts and beer cans.

  • Amy Haran

    Great point by Kevin Collinson. I think birders and hunters could serve as important allies when it comes to habitat conservation, so it does no good to alienate each other. I know many hunters who are also birders. In Utah, some Dedicated Hunters (basically hunters who take on community service projects in order to get relatively small rewards from the state) have served as drivers on our Great Salt Lake Bird Festival field trips. Many of them know their birds very well. And I’ve found that the hunters who don’t know their birds as well are often still interested in what we’re looking at and like to join in.