Birding News #90

:: Scientists take a look at what the North American bird population might look like in 60 years

:: An exploration of  the new exhibition “The Singing and The Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art”, which opened last week at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, including an interview with exhibit organizer and curator of contemporary art Joanna Marsh, who says, “Birds are a vivid expression of life. I’m glad we could bring together the science world and the art world and I hope people will be inspired by these works.”

:: An interview with the men behind The Lost Bird Project — Todd McGrain, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s artist-in-residence, and Dr. Andy Stern; more on The Lost Bird Project: the art (currently at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC), the movie, the book, the free origami Passenger Pigeon so you can Fold the Flock (scroll all the way down for the PDF)

:: The shape of birds’ eggs helps to explain their evolution, and might have helped birds survive whatever killed off the dinosaurs

:: 122 waterfowl died, and most were euthanized, after landing last Tuesday on tailings ponds operated by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, Syncrude, and Suncor in Alberta’s tar sands; the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton called the loss of life “unfortunate” in light of the organizaton’s “many successes in the cleaning and rehabilitation of contaminated wildlife”.

:: The Dodo had kneecaps, one fact revealed when palaeontologists used a laser scanner to create the first-ever 3D digital model of the extinct species.

:: Manitoba’s backyard and veteran birders, citizen scientists, and biologists came together last week to celebrate the fifth and final year of recording and mapping the province’s birds for the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas; biologist and atlas co-ordinator Dr. Christian Artuso, Manitoba Program Manager for Bird Studies Canada, expects it will take a year to compile the more than 300,000 observations logged over nearly 40,000 hours, and the results will be posted at the project’s website as a living document and a legacy for all Manitobans. The Manitoba Breeding Birds Atlas is a partnership between Bird Studies Canada, Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service, Manitoba Conservation, Nature Manitoba, The Manitoba Museum, Manitoba Hydro, and The Nature Conservancy of Canada.

:: An English gamekeeper convicted of “the worst case of bird of prey poisoning” recorded in the country has been given a 10-week suspended sentence and ordered to pay the prosecution costs; he had been found guilty of deliberately killing 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk, and possession of pesticides and items used to prepare poison baits, in order to protect pheasants he was raising.

:: The Hermit Thrush seems to prefer singing in harmonic series, a hallmark of human music.

:: The Los Angeles Times reviews the new movie, “Pelican Dreams”

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