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BIRDS |

Why Malheur NWR matters and “armed, out of state militia groups” don’t

The occupation of Malheur by armed, out of state militia groups puts one of America’s most important wildlife refuges at risk. It violates the most basic principles of the Public Trust Doctrine and holds hostage public lands and public resources to serve the very narrow political agenda of the occupiers. The occupiers have used the flimsiest of pretexts to justify their actions.

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BIRDS |

Strider’s Almanac, Vol. 1, Pt 2: How the growing season began in late 2012

Depending upon the thickness of the leaf litter layer, and the rate at which the rain falls, anything between the first 3 to 12 mm of a rainfall will be completely absorbed by the leaf litter and hardly a drop will find its way through to the soil beneath it. For this reason we can discount all of the cases or drops of rain and traces in the gauge as fairly irrelevant to what is going on in the soil.

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BIRDS |

Bird of the Week: Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis

En-route back to Mojave from Sacramento last Sunday I stopped in at the Merced National Wildlife Reserve, one of a chain of wildlife reserves throughout the extensive agricultural region of the Central Valley.

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BIRDS |

Do these raptors spread fire in the Australian savanna?

Use of fire as a tool is normally considered to be restricted to humans, and hence to have played an extremely important role not only in human societal change but also in the large-scale modification of landscapes across the world. But what if animals other than humans exhibit pyrophilic behavior?

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BIRDS |

Muralkarra (Crow) by Frank Malkorda

Crow is a creature who is intensely curious about everything to do with funerals and so, as befits their elaborate ceremonial, he is a skilled dancer and musician. He perches on hollow log coffin, called there by two names, Badurra and Maraych, just as, in fact, Djambidj owners have crow painted on the top of their ossuaries.

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BIRDS |

Not fair? UK rejects visa for Ugandan bird guide to attend Bird Fair 2015

Herbert Byaruhanga: “No visa for my UK trip to attend the British Birdwatching Fair. I have been to UK many times. I have no interest of staying in UK. I was going for less than 7 days. UTB made it clear to them that I am a bird guide who will be at the Uganda Stand and will make a talk about Birding in Uganda.”

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BIRDS |

The Rembarrnga law for birds – “all the birds are your relations”

That’s what this part of Arnhem Land is like. Other places are all right but here in the middle you’ve got to talk to the country. You can’t just travel quiet, no! That’s law for the centre of Arnhem Land.

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BIRDS |

The loudest bird in the world? The Blue-winged Kookaburra, Dacelo leachii

These guys just don’t give a shit, and have a great time doing it. I don’t know if this species is the loudest bird in the world but I reckon even the FA-18s from the nearby Tindal RAAF base would be hard-pressed to cut through the Blue-winged Kookaburra’s cacophonous clatter at close quarters.

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BIRDS |

Bird of the Week: Yilingkirrkkirr – the White Throated Grasswren

Applied ethno-biology at its best. This guest post from Peter Cooke examines the benefits that Aboriginal fire management regimes can have on fragile landscapes and vulnerable –literally — bird and mammal species.

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BIRDS |

Sei isole in un mare di morti. (Six islands in a sea of death)

Chips Mackinolty writes from Palermo on the Sei isole in un mare di morti. The six islands in a sea of death refer to Sicily and Lampedusa, but as well to Christmas Island, Nauru, Manaus and Australia itself.

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