Lesser redpolls and kissing wood pigeons

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video from Scotland says about itself:

Lesser Redpoll & friends [eg, chaffinches and siskins]

20 February 2012

Redpolls at the (woodland setting) feeders of SWT Reserve Loch of the Lowes were a big surprise on our visit. We had never seen them there before. Had to have some fun with the video captures to celebrate 🙂

This morning, again lesser redpolls, in the same birch tree as yesterday.

On the fence to the left of the tree, two wood pigeons kissing each other. Minutes later, they were cleaning their feathers.

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Occupied Palestine and ecology

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video, recorded in Palestine, says about itself:

Ecological Tour in the West Bank

21 December 2014

Ecological tour in rural Nablus following the occupation hazards and route of the barrier in Wadi Qana.

By Social TV in Israel on this:

December 23, 2014

Take a (virtual) ecological tour of the occupied West Bank

From the separation barrier’s effects on animal migration and plant-life to insufficient sewage infrastructure to the discriminatory use of nature reserves, the occupation’s impact goes far beyond the personal and political — it’s also an environmental hazard. Social TV takes you on an ecological tour of the occupied West Bank.

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Algae Could Turn Toxic Water Into Metal and Biofuel


Contaminated water at Wheal Jane, where the Department for Environment is spending £2m a year on combating pollution. Photograph: Rex Features. Via The Guardian.

We’ve featured pieces on different biofuels before, though probably not enough of them. We’ve also recently seen an example of how science can help clean up the messes that other scientifically informed — but less environmentally scrupulous — activities create, like the new carbon-scrubbing structures that might be used in coal plants. The topic of bioremediation is one of great interest and which we plan on sharing more about, especially in the mycological realm. For now we’ll start with this story of algal bioremediation and resource recuperation in Cornwall, one of England’s most historically important mining regions. Jamie Doward reports for The Guardian:

A groundbreaking research project to clean up a flooded Cornish tin mine is using algae to harvest the precious heavy metals…

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Saving a lioness from an Indian village well

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video says about itself:

4 November 2014

A critically endangeredAsiatic lion has been rescued from a 60ft well after it slipped in during the night.

Dramatic footage shows villagers in remote Gujarat – where some of the only remaining wild prides of the lion species exist – hauling the creature to safety.

The distressed eight-year-old lion can be heard roaring as it stands on a small ledge at the side of the well – which was nearly full with water.

Using some rope tied around the lion’s midriff, about which it is unclear who secured it around the animal, the group of villagers manage to hoist the lion out of the well.

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Blue-footed Booby

Jet Eliot

Blue-footed Booby mating display, bird on right is "sky pointing" Blue-footed Booby mating display, bird on right is “sky pointing”

There are not many places on earth for observing this delightful creature, for they are a marine bird found only on a few tropical and sub-tropical spots in the Pacific Ocean.  A trip to Espanola Island in the Galapagos yielded a fascinating introduction.

Sula nebouxii breed here where their ground nesting succeeds without animal or human disturbance, and they are surrounded by plenty of tasty meals.  They eat fish and are extraordinary divers, aligning their large body and wings in a streamlined bullet as they pierce the waters.  A large bird, about the size of a bald eagle, they measure approximately 36 inches long with a wingspan of over 4.5 feet.  To learn  more click here. 

Female Blue-footed Booby Female Blue-footed Booby

We found their breeding colony and were entertained for hours observing their mating dance.  A sunny, open expanse of lava and…

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Winning Wildlife Photography of 2014


2014 Wildlife photographer of the Year invertebrate category winner: ‘Night of the deadly lights’ by Ary Bassous (Brazil). Photograph: Ary Bassous/2014 WPY. Via The Guardian.

We’ve always loved wildlife photography, and the explosion of competitions over the web in the last decade has created the type of arms race for the best shot in which the audience always wins. Folks over at The Guardian know what’s up: they’ve compiled some of the most amazing wildlife photographs from various competitions over the course of 2014, so we have an even greater pool of shots to enjoy.

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Sandra Orangutan Declared a Person With a Right to Freedom

Exposing the Big Game

In a most welcomed landmark decision, an Argentine court has ruled thatorangutan-wallpaper-4 the Buenos Aires zoo has to release Sandra, an orangutan, to a sanctuary, because during 20 years of confinement she has suffered “unjustified confinement of an animal with proven cognitive ability” and “should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom.” The court said that Sandra should be transferred to a nature sanctuary because Sandra is a “‘non-human person'” which (sic; Sandra should be referred to who) has some basic human rights.” Intelligence and the ability to suffer are reasons to confer personhood to a nonhuman animal.

This is very important news. According to AFADA (Association of Professional Lawyers for Animal Rights) lawyer Paul Buompadre, “This opens the way not only for other Great Apes, but also for other sentient beings which (sic) are unfairly and arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in zoos, circuses, water…

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Norway stops seal killing subsidy

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video is called The noisy harp seal pup.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Seal slaughter subsidy axed

Norway: Parliament has voted to scrap a controversial subsidy for seal hunting, potentially spelling the end of the much-criticised activity.

Most MPs voted to remove a £1 million subsidy — which has made up 80 per cent of seal hunters’ revenue in the past — from the 2015 Budget.

“We fear that the hunt will actually disappear along with the subsidies,” a fisheries committee spokesman said.

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