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Backyard Birds Disappearing

Wildlife News

Decline of the songbirds
Last Updated June 22, 2007
CBC News

It's not been a good year for the birds and the bees. A few months ago, media outlets were seized with the unexpected collapse of otherwise thriving bee colonies across the U.S. and in parts of Canada, a mystery that still has scientists baffled.

Now, the National Audubon Society in the U.S. has reported on a devastating decline in the common bird. The 20 most popular species — the warblers and songbirds that frequent our backyard feeders, as well as the small ducks and game birds that scurry through fields and wetlands — have seen their numbers drop an astounding 54 per cent over the past 40 years, the NAS says. The top 10 birds in this category have seen their numbers dwindle by an average of more than 70 per cent.
Click here for more on this story (CBC.CA)

Northern bobwhite: A staggering 25 million fewer today than in the mid-1960s, according to the New York-based National Audubon Society. (National Audubon Society/Canadian Press)

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Hancock Forum Newsletter - Issue No. 1 - September, 2007

NewslettersHANCOCK FORUM NEWSLETTER

Issue No 1 ~ September, 2007
Editors: cobbler39/Blue Heaven
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image... FEATURE STORY

Welcome to the first edition of the Hancock Forum Newsletter.

I have been toying with the idea of a Newsletter--for a few weeks now, and finally put my idea out to the other Moderators, for their opinions and they all wholeheartedly agreed that a Newsletter would indeed be beneficial to both members of the forum and the moderating team.
I have asked Blue Heaven to be my co-editor, and she has readily agreed. Thank you Blue.
As we roam the forum wearing our moderator hats, we see many items of interest, and we hope to bring those to all of you in the form of this Newsletter. All Mods will assist in gathering the news as they see items of interest throughout the forum.
We envision having a few standard features under headings such as:

Feature Story:

Nest News: (brief update on the nests)

Wingbeats:(Eagle news)

Eagleholics In The News: (This will be your news, as you share your holiday plans, births, operations, death of family members and friends, etc. The moderators will report these items to Blue Heaven and myself as they read your posts,)

Hancock Wildlife Nest Builders: (where we highlight the Bio of a different person each issue)

I hope you enjoy our efforts,
Laura, Cobbler39.
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Let the eagles stay: Burnaby senior

Wildlife NewsOne of our Foundation members, Will Patterson (aka willpat) got his name in the local Burnaby, BC paper this weekend with his stand on an eagle nest on property slated for development.

"By Michael McQuillan/NewsLeader

Mario Bartel/Newsleader
Will Patterson says he's worried a plan to develop a vacant lot on Norfolk St., just off Canada Way, will disturb an eagle's nest in a tall cottonwood tree at the edge of the lot.

A Burnaby senior wants to stop a developer from taking out trees on an undeveloped lot that is home to an bald eagles’ nest.

Will Patterson spent much of the spring and summer watching and videotaping a pair of eagles successfully raise their two eaglets. The tree stands in a property slated for development and Patterson would like the city of Burnaby to protect the area by reversing its original decision.

The property is in Broadview Park off Norfolk Street. It’s believed the eagles built the nest in February.

Around the same time, the city OK’d the development plans for a high density four-storey building.

Now that the nest has been discovered, Patterson says that’s a good reason for the city to review the development plans..."

For the full story, please see the Burnaby Newsleader web site

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The Orca Oil Spill Aftermath: HELP!

Planet EarthThis update is from Paul & Helena Spong of the ORCA LAB

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Subject: Robson Bight oil spill action alert
From: orcalab

Hello everyone,

Many of you already know about the August 20th oil spill that happened when a barge tipped its load of logging equipment into the waters of the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve in British Columbia, Canada. The Reserve was created in 1982 to protect vital orca habitat. Nearly 60 orcas, fully 25% of the Northern Resident orca community, were exposed to toxic diesel vapours in the aftermath of the accident. Severe health consequences (e.g. lung lesions, pneumonia) are possible, though it may take considerable time for them to appear. Next year, we may know more.

In the meantime, the equipment, which carried 19,000L of diesel and other oils, remains on the bottom in an unknown state. It needs to be inspected as a matter of urgency, before winter storms arrive, to assess the remaining danger. Canada's Coastguard, the responsible agency, is dragging its feet on the inspection issue, despite pressure from provincial and local governments, and the public at large. NGOs, led by the Living Oceans Society and Greenpeace, have vowed to undertake the inspection if Canada's federal government refuses. The orcas are simply too important to allow uncertainty.

We are writing this to ask you to do two things that will help:

1. Go to the Living Oceans web site and send a message to Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans:

2. Contribute what you can to NGO funds being raised for the underwater inspection. $16,000 more is needed:

Canada's government needs to hear our voices. NGOs need our support, so they can act if governments refuse.
What we are asking will take just a few minutes of your time, and money you can afford. Please act now.

For the orcas, thank you very much!

Paul & Helena

Background:

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The Naming of Species


Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Speciation



It is likely only in the last few 10's of thousand years that man began to question the relationships between himself and nature. It is only with extensive world travel particularly spurred onward by seafaring nations during the last two millennia returning home with weird and wonderfully different creatures that we seriously began to collect the different living and ‘dead’ plants and animals. About 200 years ago the mounting collections of artifacts became recognized as national treasures and proof of the new lands conquered and explored.

Boxes, jars, rooms and buildings of exotic treasures needed to be organized. Organization began with labeling, lists, indexes and these eventually demanded an overview of how and why one plant or animal belonged in one file or the other. Certainly the boxes and individual creatures were bunched by Countries, or continents or islands. It was logical to put ‘cats’ together with other ‘cat-like’ creatures. Palm trees, while wildly different from different areas of the world, were clearly “palm trees” Some had glorious dates, others didn’t but they were still palm-like. Relationships and hierarchies just naturally grew. Jars, boxes and stuffed animals or dried plants just logically ended up in association with or next to other similar specimens.
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