Author Topic: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl  (Read 13040 times)

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Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2010
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2010, 16:22 »
After 200 Years, Swans Return To Montana

POSTED: Wednesday, May 5, 2010
UPDATED: 11:51 am CDT May 5, 2010

OVANDO, Mont. -- After nearly 200 years, trumpeter swans have returned to Montana's Blackfoot Valley region.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service workers released eight of the birds back into the wild this week east of Ovando. The birds were born a year ago in Canada, then reared in Wyoming, through a federal effort called the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program.

"Through an effort to bring trumpeter swans back to this great habitat that we have here in the Blackfoot Valley, we began an introduction program," said Greg Neudecker, a Fish and Wildlife Service biologist.

Five years after its start, the program has evolved into a partnership between the core members, as well as teachers and schoolchildren from nearby communities.

"You get to hug a swan for about 15 minutes," said Reid Fleshman, a teacher at Sunset Elementary School. "It's a pretty neat experience to have these birds back here in the Blackfoot Valley."

Fleshman was on hand to witness the release of the trumpeter swans, and said his students are learning more about the birds in the classroom.

"There's several lessons that we do about the habitat that the swan prefers," he said.

The Blackfoot Valley is a pristine area for the yearlings to grow. It has shallow waters, which are perfect for feeding, and a low elevation, which is perfect for breeding.

"Hopefully, we'll have a breeding pair either this year or next year," Neudecker said. "The goal of the program is to release birds until we have seven breeding pairs."
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 20:49 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline Alison

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2010
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 17:05 »
N.J.'s Raptor Trust heals Canada goose injured by arrow

MILLINGTON -- A Canada goose with a hunter's 26-inch arrow sticking out of its chest picked the right place to land.

"This is a smart goose," said Bernard Levine, the retired veterinarian in whose Toms River backyard the wounded bird showed up a few weeks ago. "He happened to come into the yard of a veterinarian that could take care of him."

So Levine, 82, fed the goose, helped capture it, performed lifesaving surgery and transported it to the state's largest bird rehabilitation facility, The Raptor Trust.  All patched up after a three-week stay at The Raptor Trust, the goose was released last week into a stream in a wooded area on the trust's property with Levine witnessing the payoff for his kindness.

"It feels great to see him free and liberated, enjoying life the way a goose should," Levine said, as the goose preened and waded downstream.

Although birders generally praise Levine's efforts, some say saving geese is not an imperative because the birds have long been an overly abundant nuisance, according to Peter Bacinski, director of the Sandy Hook Bird Observatory and a New Jersey Audubon member.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists estimated the population of Canada geese in 2009 to be about 1.1 million in eastern North America from Quebec to South Carolina, an 11 percent decline from 2008 because the geese built fewer nests. Colder May temperatures in 2009 and the resulting snowmelt delayed prolonged migration to nesting grounds, the biologists concluded.

Ponds created in parks, golf courses and corporate properties have attracted geese, which pollute water and grounds with their excrement, stop traffic on roads and take over public parks, Bacinski said.

"A once regal bird has become a pimple on the rump of society," said Bacinski, a birder for 40 years.

But Raptor Trust founder Len Soucy, who self-financed the facility with his wife in the 1960s, rejects such negative opinions of geese.

"The diversity on this planet keeps us healthy," Soucy said. "To say that one goose doesn't matter, or one eagle doesn't matter, or one human being doesn't matter, I don't subscribe to that. It all matters.''
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 16:34 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline Alison

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Re: News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl - 2010
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2010, 13:16 »
Fears for whooper swan as it disappears into volcanic cloud

Whooper swan Y6K, which is being tracked using satellite technology, seems to have flown into difficulty on its return migration to Iceland. It was last recorded at 10.46 this morning (Friday) heading towards the cloud of ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

WWT researchers noticed the bird’s position on the online tracking map Y6K is approaching Iceland from the south east, which is one of the main landfall areas for swans arriving in the country, but this is very much in line with the fallout from the volcano. The satellite transmitter attached to the bird is due to give a further reading in two days time, so it will be an anxious weekend for researchers and enthusiasts those following its progress online.

Migration to Iceland

Given that this is the main goose migration period, there is also concern for the welfare of greylag geese, pink-footed geese, light-bellied brent geese, Greenland white-fronted
geese and Greenland barnacle geese migrating to or through Iceland at this time.

On Iceland itself, the volcanic eruption is causing concern for the returning waterfowl. A report from WWT’s colleague Dr Olafur Einarsson in Reykjavik confirms that that there is dense ash and total darkness to the southeast of the volcano, near the area dubbed “Whooper Airport” because it is where most of the birds land after their migration.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 16:32 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline Alison

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News: Waterbirds & Waterfowl
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 12:34 »
Shorebird flew 14,170 miles to and from Virginia

By Diane Tennant
The Virginian-Pilot

As the poet said, "Hope is the thing with feathers," and as the scientist said, here she comes now.

After a round-trip of 14,170 miles, a shorebird named Hope arrived this week on the Eastern Shore near Machipongo carrying a satellite transmitter that was attached to her 11 months ago at the same location.

"That's amazing to me," said Barry Truitt, senior scientist for The Nature Conservancy, which helped with the transmitter project in conjunction with the Center for Conservation Biology of the College of William and Mary/Virginia Commonwealth University.

Just how far is 14,170 miles? It's more than twice the distance around the moon.

Hope is a whimbrel, a species of long-billed wading birds. Whimbrels spend about three weeks on the Eastern Shore each spring and late summer, feasting on fiddler crabs. Virginia is a rest stop, where they take on fuel, doubling their weight, during their migrations.

Hope took two days to reach Virginia after wintering in the Virgin Islands at a location that has been proposed for construction of a resort-casino. Her presence has helped make a case for preservation of the site.  Whimbrel populations have declined by 50 percent in the past decade. The transmitter project is designed to identify sites important to the birds.  Hope is expected to stay on the Eastern Shore for a while, feeding and rebuilding strength before taking off for her nesting grounds in western Canada, near Alaska.

"This bird actually came back to the exact mudflat where we caught it last year," Truitt said. "How do these birds do that? We don't know yet."
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 16:42 by The Peregrine Chick »