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Lagoon Breach Photos & News Roundup

December 3, 2012

View of Malibu Lagoon and channel area from east side of the breach.

Rain causes Surfrider Beach to breach (J. Kenney 12/3/12)

Rain causes Surfrider Beach to breach (J. Kenney 12/3/12)

The usual suspects are at the scene but, as usual, “no one saw nothin’!”

Birds at the Breach (J. Kenney 12/3/12)

Two articles from GrrlScientist at TheGuardian
Polly gets his own cracker: clever cockatoo manufactures, uses tools
Not known to manufacture or use tools in the wild, a captive cockatoo demonstrates that parrots can make tools to suit their needs.  A captive Goffin’s Cockatoo named Figaro who has impressed scientists by spontaneously making and using tools to fetch cashew nuts. The story includes lots of photos and a video of the ten trials this bird “passed.”

Sing for Your Supper: Fairy-Wren Chicks Must Sing Vocal Password for Food
Female Superb Fairy-Wrens teach their chicks a vocal password before they hatch to distinguish them from brood parasitic Bronze-Cuckoo chicks.  The authors show that superb fairy-wren chicks learn “song” whilst still embryos! Their mother sings a special incubation call to her eggs only before they hatch. After hatching, these chicks must sing this “auditory password” as their begging call in order for the parents to feed them. Since this species is host for the brood-parasite Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoo, this vocal password allows the parents to distinguish their chicks from the parasitic chicks and take evasive action.

To Birds, Storm Survival is Only Natural
Biologists studying the hurricane’s aftermath say there is remarkably little evidence that birds, or any other countable, charismatic fauna for that matter, have suffered the sort of mass casualties seen in environmental disasters like the BP oil spill of 2010.
New York Times 11/12/12 – Natalie Angier

And three articles from Rick Wright at Birding New Jersey
Birds, Mirrors & 16th Pisa
Birders have probably been watching birds watch themselves in mirrors for about as long as there have been mirrors and bird watchers.
Birding New Jersey 11/17/12 – Rick Wright

Bioluminescent Bitterns
Whether for the birder on your shopping list or for yourself, a bedside table  or backyard could use one of these.
Birding New Jersey 11/21/12 – Rick Wright

Spare Parts, Strange Bedfellows
The Mexican headdress in Vienna’s Museum for Ethnology.
You may know about the hundreds of Resplendent Quetzals, Lovely Cotingas, Squirrel Cuckoos, and Roseate Spoonbills that had surrendered their plumes to this spectacular object, but what you might not know is that  a couple of dozen White-throated (Smyrna) Kingfishers also made the ultimate sacrifice–nearly four hundred years later.
Birding New Jersey 11/17/12 – Rick Wright

We now have a permanent link to Rick’s website “Birding New Jersey & the World” in the right margin under “Bird Links.”
[Chuck Almdale]

One Comment
  1. December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

    The article about birds surviving storms is fascinating.


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