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Over Easy: Environment and Climate Links

4:41 am in Uncategorized by Crane-Station

In case you missed it (hat tip Margaret in Pull up Your Cat), in Kona, Hawaii, on January 11, 2013, a wild Bottlenose dolphin approached some night divers who were enjoying and filming Manta Rays, and asked the divers for help. The dolphin’s fin was entangled in a fishing hook and line, limiting its ability to swim and maneuver. The dolphin approached one of the divers and allowed the diver to untangle the line, even using a knife. The dolphin surfaced for air and returned to the diver, who removed both line and hook. If you are unable to read the rest of this post, have a look at the video. Here is a more recent “mind blowing” BBC video of the dolphin rescue, with the camerawoman narrating.

On a sad note, enraged tweets question a no-intervention decision that ultimately led to a dolphin’s death:

The Hard Decision Not to Rescue an Ailing Dolphin

The director of the Riverhead Foundation, the area’s official marine-mammal rescue group, discusses why his staff did not try to rescue a dolphin discovered in Gowanus Canal before it died.
NYT Metro Desk @NYTMetro ·

Fledge Watch Now! on Phoebe Allen’s Hummingbird Live Nest Cam. The two adorable chicks are not much larger than fat bumble bees. (As I typed this, one of them officially fledged!)

UPDATE: Both chicks have now fledged (1-28 and 1-29) and the beautiful clip is here.

Phoebe is a Channel Island Allen (S.s. sedentarius) hummingbird in Orange County, California. She has been laying 4 to 5 clutches each year for several years and I’ve been broadcasting her nest since 2007.

We are still waiting to see if the Decorah Eagle pair will use the camera-visible nest this year, but there are many other nest Live Cams as well. Unsafe power poles resulted in electrocution of last year’s Decorah Eagle juveniles D12 and D14. Puget Sound Energy is a leader in the industry in making electricity safer for raptors and other wildlife.

Alzajeera asks: How serious is Obama about climate change?

Barents Observer reports “The ice covering the Arctic is 5,2 percent less than the normal and also thinner than average, Russian meteorologists report.”

Nicholas Stern: ‘I got it wrong on climate change – it’s far, far worse’

This is potentially so dangerous that we have to act strongly. Do we want to play Russian roulette with two bullets or one? These risks for many people are existential.

Report: Climate change a threat to wildlife

Wildlife decline related to climate change is a topic for a separate diary, but this report from today is a start. As an aside, I often address the Arctic region, because it is a ground zero for climate change.

Brookings Institute announces this event (today):

Arctic Indigenous Peoples, Displacement, and Climate Change: Tracing the Connections and explains:

For thousands of years, Arctic peoples have migrated in response to changing environmental conditions. But today climate change is putting unprecedented pressure on those indigenous communities. Temperatures are rising much faster in the Arctic than in the rest of the world, raising questions about the extent to which significant numbers of indigenous people will move away from their traditional habitats and whether they will be able to maintain their cultures and livelihoods. For the 400,000 indigenous people in the Arctic these are not only questions of adaptation but also of culture and survival.

Major climate changes looming

This next thing is out of place with the rest of the world’s reports, but whatever, it’s the Kochs:

Koch Family Uses Fund To Channel Millions To Anti-Climate Science Groups: Report International Business Times reports:

Millions of dollars are being secretly funneled to the climate change “counter movement” by groups connected to the Koch family, UK newspaper the Independent reported on Friday.

The CPC (Climate Prediction Center) Precip outlook for April – June 2013 reads right out of a chaser horror story. Drier than normal conditions are expected across the Southern Plains. More here. There’s also more here for “non-technical users,” but to be honest, it’s pretty technical (That means we need FDL’s WeatherDem to explain it In Plain English!)

If you have been sick lately, you may want to read this: Climate change ‘causing rise in flu epidemics’, claims study.

The Center for Disease Control has a CDC Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative map here.

Check out the US Environmental Protection Agency Home to learn climate issues, news, and impacts. For starters, you can click on your region on their map, and read data and predictions.

15 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Off-topic 787 Dreamliner: The New York Times reports that Boeing knew about problems with the lithium batteries, and that

Officials at All Nippon Airways, the jets’ biggest operator, said in an interview on Tuesday that it replaced 10 of the batteries in the months before fire in one plane and smoke in another led regulators around the world to ground the jets.

A Tribute to Decorah Bald Eagle D12

2:06 pm in Uncategorized by Crane-Station

On July 1, 2012, the oldest of the three 2012 Decorah Bald Eagles died tragically in an accident. The eaglet was only three months old, and was found electrocuted at the base of a power pole in Decorah, Iowa.

A small tribute seems hardly enough for this magnificent bird that we watched from the time it hatched to its first branching to its first flight.

Rest in Peace, D12.

Decorah Eagles – D12 has Fledged – Flown from Tree – 06-13-12

American Bald Eagle:

Decorah Bald Eagles D12 Branching Confirmed June 9, 2012 6:59 AM CST

7:20 am in Uncategorized by Crane-Station

Decorah Bald Eagles Ustream Livecam:

The Livecam link:

This morning’s branching confirmation, where Eagle D12 goes to the Y-branch and back to the nest:

The Decorah Bald Eagles are very close to being on the wing!Bald Eagle flying is a process with steps like exercising the wing muscles (wingercising). The eaglets wingercise at the edge of the nest cup. This process takes some time. At the same time, the flight feathers are developing. Next in the process is hovering and then branching, where the bird sort of hop-flys to a branch and back to the nest. What will happen next is that a puff of wind will catch them, and they will find themselves in flight.

This morning, a panner happened to be present to film the eagle D12 (the oldest of three) branching.

Raptor Resource Project states:

Questions of the Week
When will they fly?
Learning to fly is a process. They are currently wingercizing. This entails flapping their wings and hopping. Late in the wingercizing phase, a gust of wind will lift them accidentally, and they will hover over the nest because their muscles are strong enough to hold their wings in the correct position and their flight feathers are long enough to sustain the lift.
Branching comes after that. Branching is defined as a small hop and lift onto the closest branch. Unless there is a panner present at the time, we will not see this first very small journey away from the nest to the branch.
Fledge or first self-propelled flight away from and back to the nest tree comes last.
The whole process last 10-13 weeks.

Decorah Bald Eagles’ Midnight Owl Intruder

7:20 pm in Uncategorized by Crane-Station

Click here for Decorah Bald Eagles Live Cam.

Free desktop streaming application by Ustream

Last night, 4/14/2012, at midnight, an owl visited the Decorah Bald Eagle nest quite suddenly. Mom and Dad Eagle were not amused, and they reacted with defensive calls and posturing. Everyone in the nest is fine. This is not Mom and Dad’s first owl visit ever; they had owl intruders last year as well. No birds were hurt in any Decorah owl visit so far. Assuming that the owl is a Great Horned Owl, the Bald Eagle outweighs it and has a larger wing span. To attack the “largest true raptor in North America,” the nighttime hunting owl must then, have a good deal of hunting proficiency. The owl has a specific call that is audible on the clip. (first at 03:10 and again later)

Decorah Eagles Owl Intruder at Midnight 4-14-12 11:52pm CDT Read the rest of this entry →