South Bend Tribune: The new Indiana Birding Trail leads you to hottest spots for nature. “The Indiana Audubon Society has created a new website… and printed booklet to help experienced birders plan trips in areas they hadn’t yet explored, with specific trails to try, maps and public amenities.”
Phys .org: Global database of all bird species shows how body shape predicts lifestyle. “A global team of researchers, led by Imperial College London and University College London, visited museums around the world to find specimens of nearly 10,000 species, covering more than 99 percent of all known bird species. Their results, and the database, are published today in Nature Ecology and Evolution. The link between body form of each animal species and aspects of their lifestyle, including diet, has previously been proposed, but this is the first time it has been confirmed at such a large scale and with such precise detail.”
The MIT Press Reader: A Complete History of Collecting and Imitating Birdsong. “Twenty-five years ago I sought for the first time to collect, sift, and standardize these wonderful, bizarre words with their anarchic spellings, absurd pronunciations, and uncertain meanings. That project culminated in ‘Aaaaw to Zzzzzd: The Words of Birds,’ the appendice to which is featured below. Here, we see the history of alternative attempts to collect bird songs and sounds, from musical composition through recording devices to duck calls, bird organs, singing bird automata, and varieties of bird clock.”
MEL Magazine: Inside the Outrageously Prestigious World of Falcon Influencers. “Falcon fever isn’t limited to the Middle East, though. Humanity’s fascination with the majestic, enigmatic birds has been resuscitated all over the globe. In the U.S. and U.K., a renewed interest in falcon hunting (not racing) has doubled the price of some raptors, increased the number of people applying for hard-to-get falconry licenses, and bizarrely, spawned the creation of a number of minor Instagram celebrities who drum up interest in the ancient pastime with flashy photos and heartwarming stories of interspecies friendship.” My jaw had dropped by the third paragraph of this article. I finally scraped it up and put it back on my face by the end. What a read. The last bit is somewhat icky and you should probably skip if you prefer rabbits to falcons.
Phys .org: New online, interactive atlas gives comprehensive view of Texas quail decline. “The Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, or NRI, has recently published the Texas Quail Atlas, a free online resource and the newest ‘story map’ to be developed by the institute. The online atlas was developed as a collaborative effort of the Reversing the Decline of Quail in Texas Initiative and the NRI Geospatial Analysis Team.”
Phys .org: Roaming Russian eagles leave scientists broke. “Russian scientists tracking migrating eagles were forced to start a crowdfunding campaign after their birds wandered into Iran and foreign text messages from their tracking devices depleted the project’s budget.”
KSL: Want to know where Utah’s waterfowl migrate to? There’s now a website for that. “Each year for more than a century, state wildlife biologists place metal bands on various ducks, geese and swans with the purpose of tracking migration patterns. Now, a new comprehensive website allows anyone to see where those birds went after they were tagged — and there are some interesting places.” Props to the bird which ended up in Hawaii. Wow.