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Massive bird and fish die off in Arkansas
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crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 5456
Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
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http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=call-of-the-reviled

i didn't realize the starlings caused the disappearance of the bluebird. my dad used to always point them out to me when we were driving in the countryside or walking in the woods, with the obligatory, "when i was your age, bluebirds where everywhere. but these days...."

we also used to play the "find the hawk" game while driving down the highway, especially in the winter and early spring when the lack of foliage makes them more visible. i saw a bald eagle perched on a tree off 66 in VA around this time last year (i still play the game myself when i'm bored in the car).

i have a feeling that when i get older i'm going to get into birds. it's one of those things like graffiti, architecture, or geomorphology where a decent amount of knowledge on the topic can really enrich your understanding of your environment. everywhere you go there are birds doing their thing, so understanding what they do just gives you one more layer of reality to examine and understand. and when you leave the environment you're familiar with you still notice that layer of information, even if its foreign to you. if you spend a enough time in that new environment you pick up on the patterns in the information and you start to understand the new system.

that to me is the best kind of knowledge. the sort that makes being in the world a richer more fascinating experience. it's like adding another channel to your mind-TV.
Post Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:50 pm
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medicineman
HALFLING


Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 1393
Location: Iowa City
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crash wrote:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=call-of-the-reviled

i didn't realize the starlings caused the disappearance of the bluebird. my dad used to always point them out to me when we were driving in the countryside or walking in the woods, with the obligatory, "when i was your age, bluebirds where everywhere. but these days...."

we also used to play the "find the hawk" game while driving down the highway, especially in the winter and early spring when the lack of foliage makes them more visible. i saw a bald eagle perched on a tree off 66 in VA around this time last year (i still play the game myself when i'm bored in the car).

i have a feeling that when i get older i'm going to get into birds. it's one of those things like graffiti, architecture, or geomorphology where a decent amount of knowledge on the topic can really enrich your understanding of your environment. everywhere you go there are birds doing their thing, so understanding what they do just gives you one more layer of reality to examine and understand. and when you leave the environment you're familiar with you still notice that layer of information, even if its foreign to you. if you spend a enough time in that new environment you pick up on the patterns in the information and you start to understand the new system.

that to me is the best kind of knowledge. the sort that makes being in the world a richer more fascinating experience. it's like adding another channel to your mind-TV.


I'm sure the decline of the bluebird has had a number of factors involved. Despite the great success of several invasive species here, the native species that are declining seem to mainly be the result of a patchwork of complex human factors; habitat loss, pesticides, changing prey locations and behavior, physical infrastructure itself. Unlike the highly adaptable starling and house sparrow, most birds require a very particular set of conditions to thrive. Only a few birds can actively adapt to new diets and habitats; most occupy a particular niche in a spectacularly complex system we're only beginning to understand. As these habitat niches grow smaller so too, inexorably, will populations. Unfortunately it's probably too late for some species, like the Prairie Chicken and the Sage Grouse; the California Condor, which is truly a relic of a bygone age of the world. The Eastern Bluebird, the Bobolink, the Meadowlark, will very likely continue to decline. Others like the Bald Eagle and the Osprey have shown a remarkable resurgence with a little nudge in the right direction! Life is tenacious but life is also very fragile...

In any case, I would encourage you to learn more. You're absolutely right that your understanding and appreciation of the world will be forever enriched thereby. The Audubon Society is a great resource and their magazine is pretty worthwhile. Maybe pick up a field guide. Kenn Kaufman writes some great entry-level field guides that are both easy to use and very informative. There are also probably a number of field guides for your more specific area, wherever that might be, the mid-East Coast, or even just Virginia.
Post Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:15 pm
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C.R.A.Z.Y



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 2734
Location: Vote for me and i'll vote for you.
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T wrex you should join the audubon society.

i have awesome binoculars, one digital and one long distance and there's a flower sanctuary here in uptown and i go birdwatch there, as well as in loring park ...amazing sights to see if you know where to point your lenses.

there are books available on the birds specific to every region so that way when Y2K strikes, and you can't access whatbirddotcom you'll still be up to snuff on all the cool birds.


Last edited by C.R.A.Z.Y on Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:48 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:30 pm
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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11245
Location: MN
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I miss the look the crows make in the trees in Loring Park this time of year. Black, ominous leaves.
Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:08 am
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C.R.A.Z.Y



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 2734
Location: Vote for me and i'll vote for you.
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Dan Shay wrote:
I miss the look the crows make in the trees in Loring Park this time of year. Black, ominous leaves.


I am so glad you reminded me of Loring in the Winter. That is my fav thing, esp when it is full of holiday lights, and the horse carriage is out and people are ice skating. I haven't been there once since summer. I'm making it my business to go tomorrow though Dan Shay! And I'll tell you all about it. Unless I fall through the ice.

on the subject of the birds i just read somewhere that it was powerlines that killed the birds. i don't know how likely that is...sounds fishy to me.
Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:47 am
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leifkolt



Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 293
Location: Where good people go to die.
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I wouldn't be surprised or shocked if some whistle blower science agency came out and proved that these deaths were related to the oil spill in the gulf.
Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:31 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 6311
Location: airstrip one
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leifkolt wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised or shocked if some whistle blower science agency came out and proved that these deaths were related to the oil spill in the gulf.


Dude, they're on it already. In this thread.
Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:53 pm
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medicineman
HALFLING


Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 1393
Location: Iowa City
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leifkolt wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised or shocked if some whistle blower science agency came out and proved that these deaths were related to the oil spill in the gulf.


I would be extremely surprised.
Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:02 pm
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anomaly
Loserface


Joined: 22 May 2008
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Location: DFW, TX
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medicineman wrote:
leifkolt wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised or shocked if some whistle blower science agency came out and proved that these deaths were related to the oil spill in the gulf.


I would be extremely surprised.


I would be extremely unsurprised if this had or hadn't happened. That or the total opposite. All depends, really. I'm not sure, but I'm pretty positive I wouldn't, for the most part.
Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:29 pm
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medicineman
HALFLING


Joined: 21 Apr 2007
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anomaly wrote:
medicineman wrote:
leifkolt wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised or shocked if some whistle blower science agency came out and proved that these deaths were related to the oil spill in the gulf.


I would be extremely surprised.


I would be extremely unsurprised if this had or hadn't happened. That or the total opposite. All depends, really. I'm not sure, but I'm pretty positive I wouldn't, for the most part.


What?
Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:32 pm
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anomaly
Loserface


Joined: 22 May 2008
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Exactly. The internet is now closed.
Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:53 pm
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T-Wrex
p00ny tang


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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C.R.A.Z.Y wrote:
T wrex you should join the audubon society.


I don't think any society wants me to join 'em..
Post Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:33 pm
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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Location: london
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more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12118839
Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:20 am
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benjy compson



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
Posts: 1178
Location: cliffs of opal
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crash wrote:
i have a feeling that when i get older i'm going to get into birds. it's one of those things like graffiti, architecture, or geomorphology where a decent amount of knowledge on the topic can really enrich your understanding of your environment. everywhere you go there are birds doing their thing, so understanding what they do just gives you one more layer of reality to examine and understand. and when you leave the environment you're familiar with you still notice that layer of information, even if its foreign to you. if you spend a enough time in that new environment you pick up on the patterns in the information and you start to understand the new system.

that to me is the best kind of knowledge. the sort that makes being in the world a richer more fascinating experience. it's like adding another channel to your mind-TV.





certainly. emulating roger tory peterson's career
in ornithology isn't necessary --- just an ongoing,
reflexive appreciation for & understanding of them is enough
to enhance your overall awareness of everything around you

plus, bird nerddom has an inherent zenlike quality --- which
may, unfortunately, annoy & repulse the sh*t
out of your partner & others around you when you're hiking
a semi arid trail & you argue w/ yourself --- out loud ---
about whether or not the call you keep hearing
belongs to a bush tit or a similarly built & sounding verdin


but back to the main topic at hand:


mancabbage wrote:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12118839



if this tragedy is happening in disparate places, something
has to be up --- pre-armageddon festivities or not
Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:25 am
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medicineman
HALFLING


Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 1393
Location: Iowa City
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benjy compson wrote:


mancabbage wrote:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12118839



if this tragedy is happening in disparate places, something
has to be up --- pre-armageddon festivities or not


Still not convinced.

crash wrote:


looks to me like it was a rather extraordinary event with the blackbirds and the rest of the stories are just run of the mill kills that people are noticing due to the increased attention.


What, is it just affecting corvids? That just happen to be in such tight concentrations right now? And that experience these die-offs sometimes in winter?
Post Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:39 am
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