Archive for ‘Birds’

October 12, 2012

Exceptional Evolution – Birds of Paradise

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

This fall, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Geographic are bringing the Birds-of-Paradise Project to the public with a gorgeous coffee-table book (published October 23, 2012), a major exhibit at the National Geographic Museum (opening November 1), a documentary on the National Geographic Channel (airing at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT November 22), articles in the Cornell Lab’s Living Bird magazine and National Geographic magazine, and National Geographic Live lectures across the country. Get an advance look now…and witness diverse strategies of evolution at work and experience one of nature’s extraordinary wonders – up close.

November 1, 2010

Written in Stone – Free Preview

The NCSE has released a free preview of Brian Switek’s new book, Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and our Place in Nature. Brian is the author of the blog Laelaps and the Smithsonian online magazine, Dinosaur Tracking. The preview is an extract from the chapter, “Footprints and Feathers on the Sands of Time”, and it deals with the discoveries of feathered dinosaurs and the origin of birds.

Brian was one the first bloggers that I came to read regularly, due to his skill at clearly and concisely explaining issues in paleontology and for his knowledge of the history of that science. His book is due to be released sometime on or soon after November 15 this year, and can be ordered from Amazon. It would make a brilliant Christmas gift (hint – wife, are you reading this?) for anyone interested in science and man’s place in nature.
Late addition: see a great interview with Brian at A Blog Around the Clock
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May 25, 2010

Photo Album – Peacock Portrait

More than just a pretty tail...

Indian Peafowl, Pavo cristatus, from the Calgary Zoo, Alberta.

June 2, 2009

Canadian Government Ignores Endangered Species

Press Release from the Alberta Wilderness Association:

To stop the disappearance of one of the Prairie’s most iconic species, six conservation groups are in federal court today arguing a lawsuit against the federal Minister of Environment, Jim Prentice, for refusing to identify critical habitat for the endangered greater sage-grouse.

The lawsuit was filed by Ecojustice in early 2008 on behalf of the Alberta Wilderness Association, Federation of Alberta Naturalists, Grasslands Naturalists, Nature Saskatchewan and Wilderness Committee. It alleges the federal Minister of Environment failed to comply with Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) which requires the sage-grouse’s critical habitat to be identified in its recovery strategy, so it can be protected. 

“Our groups are sending an Environment Week message to Minister Prentice and Premier Ed Stelmach,” said Cliff Wallis, Vice-President of the Alberta Wilderness Association. “Their refusal to protect critical habitat could mean that sage-grouse have little chance of survival.”

The once widespread sage-grouse, known for its spectacular spring courtship displays, has been listed as endangered since 1998 and now survives in a remote area in the south-eastern corner of Alberta and south-western corner of Saskatchewan. In the past year, sage-grouse numbers have dropped an alarming 20 per cent with Alberta Fish and Wildlife counting 66 males on leks in the spring of 2009, down from 84 in 2008. At the current rate of decline, with oil and gas development continuing to fragment sage-grouse’s grasslands habitat, the species is forecasted to disappear from Alberta within six years.

Not only are the sage-grouse’s breeding locations, leks, extremely well known, but a peer-reviewed study by leading sage-grouse scientist Dr. Mark Boyce, published in a prestigious academic journal, clearly identifies critical habitat for nesting and brood-rearing. Yet despite referencing such studies, the federal government’s recovery strategy failed to identify any critical habitat, stymieing future efforts to protect it.

“The Government of Canada seems to think excellent scientific studies are irrelevant to conservation of Canada’s species at risk, preferring to rely on politics than on science,” said Ecojustice Conservation Biologist Susan Pinkus. “The sage-grouse case is only one of four lawsuits currently in court because the federal government failed to identify and protect well-known critical habitat for endangered species – despite being required to do so by law.”

The sage-grouse case will be heard June 2-4, 2009 in Federal Court, Pacific Centre 3rd Floor, 701 W Georgia St, 9:30 AM.

Go here for more information on how the Canadian government fails on species at risk.

May 14, 2009

I and the Bird, the Centenary Edition.

The 100th Edition of I and the Bird is up at The Nature Blog Network .

May 1, 2009

Clover Bar Bird Santuary, Edmonton.

And with sound effects:


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