WOSNews Issue 183

December 2019 – January 2020


The ESA Saved Eagles But Can It Preserve Biodiversity?

By Kim Thorburn

The Endangered Species Act is an extremely important environmental law, but shortcomings become apparent when the goal is conservation of biodiversity. Investment in prevention and suites of species may yield greater benefits than a piecemeal species-by-species approach….

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Christmas Bird Counts Coming to Circle Near You!

By Faye McAdams Hands

On Christmas Day of 1900, 27 people in 25 Count Circles started it all. This year will be the 120th CBC, and over the last few years the numbers have grown to over 72,000 people in more than 2,500 counts! CBC data has been used in over 300 peer reviewed articles by researchers, conservation biologists, and wildlife agencies. Find locations, dates and coordinators for more than 45 CBCs around the state at http://wos.org/cbc/….
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A Q. and A. about Feeder Watch

By Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada

There’s another way to count birds this winter. This is the 33rd year of the joint effort between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada running Feeder Watch. About 20,000 people in the U.S. and 3,000 in Canada every year sign up to count the birds at their feeders and then submit this online….
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Lawsuit Seeks Faster Review of White-tailed Ptarmigan and Other Imperiled Species

A lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity is aimed at forcing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to speed up its reviews of imperiled species. This includes the Cascade Range’s White-tailed Ptarmigan….
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Is Washington Experiencing an Irruption of Northern Shrikes?

By Thomas Bancroft

Sitting on top of the bare bush was the unmistakable silhouette of a Northern Shrike, a plump body, a big head, upward stance. This was my fifth trip to the Skagit in two weeks, and on each trip, we had spotted a Northern Shrike. Possibly, this was turning into an irruptive year for shrikes. These birds nest across Northern Canada and Alaska, coming south in winter. Most winters a few can be found in Washington, but in some years, vast numbers will come south….

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What Bird Is This?

By Thomas Bancroft

Their extra-large flight muscles give them that chunky look and also allow them to fly extremely fast, immediately hitting top speeds. Their winnowing sound is made by spreading the retrices on their outer tail feathers while flying. They modulate the tone by controlling the beating of their wings. That haunting chord is part of their territory defense and an advertisement for females….
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From the Tweeters List

By Bud Anderson and Gary Bletsch

How do you pronounce “Gyrfalcon” and where does that name come from? And have you really identified the tundra subspecies of Peregrine Falcon? Some erudite Tweeters posts in November shed light on these interesting topics….
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