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Florida FWC: Don't Mix Personal Firework With Shorebirds
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) asks the public to help protect beach-nesting shorebirds across the state this holiday weekend by giving them space and keeping personal fireworks off the beach.
Beachgoers Reminded to 'Fish, Swim, and Play from 50 Yards Away'
As millions of vacationing Americans head to their nearest beach destination for surf and sun this summer, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is urging beachgoers to be mindful of the many beach-nesting birds that will be tending to their nests and newly hatched young.

Detroit River Refuge Manager Publishes New Book
In Hartig's recent book, titled Bringing Conservation to the Cities: Lessons from Building the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, he notes that a compelling 54 percent of the world's population now lives in or around urban areas, and that number is steadily rising.

Steep Waterfowl Breeding Declines Resulting from Drought
In yet another sign of the devastating impact of the drought on California waterfowl populations, a new report from the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife shows that breeding waterfowl populations in California are down 30 percent from last year.
Duck Stamp

Great Texas Birding Classic Awards $25,000 in Conservation Grants
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Great Texas Birding Classic, an all ages statewide birding event, has generated $844,500 for 95 on-the-ground habitat acquisition, restoration and enhancement projects during the last 19 years, including a record $25,000 this year.

New Federal and Junior Duck Stamps On Sale
The 82nd Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp debuted at a special event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bass Pro at Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tenn. Partners from Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Postal Service also participated in the June 26 event.

Pennsylvania Considers Increasing Penalty for Killing Eagles
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners on June 30 gave preliminary approval to a measure that would increase to $2,500 the replacement cost for killing bald eagles or golden eagles.

Condor Court Exhibit Opens at National Aviary, Pittsburgh
Four massive Andean Condors have a new home at the National Aviary, one designed to provide an excellent habitat for breeding and give visitors a unique and intimate view of this endangered species.

$12,500 Reward Offered in Tennessee Bald Eagle Shooting
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting of a bald eagle in Jefferson County in the area of Elliots Shoals on Douglas Lake near Dandridge, Tenn. A reward of up to $12,500 is being offered for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the eagle.

Montana Audubon Seeks Raptor Migration Observers
Montana Audubon reports it will hire two observers to conduct the 25th consecutive, season-long count for the Bridger Mountain Raptor Migration Monitoring Project, near Bozeman, Mont.

Celestron Granite ED Series Binoculars
Available in six different configurations, Granite binoculars are designed with advanced features and offer unparalleled color fidelity and resolution that is so important to the dedicated birder.

Groups Call for Removal of Threats to Birds on Publics Land Mining Claims
PVC pipes used to mark boundaries at over 3 million mining claims and other pipes are deadly traps for birds, say more than 100 groups in a joint letter to the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Agriculture Department's Forest Service (FS).

Georgia Power-Line Project Helps Nesting Kestrels
As Georgia Power replaces its hollow cross-arms on power poles with solid ones, it places a nest box for kestrels providing the cavity nesting it is removing with the old cross-arms.
Iowa Osprey Population Set to Expand Again in 2015
Iowa's growing osprey population has added new nest sites in West Des Moines, Colfax and Cumming, bringing the total nest attempts in 2015 to 22.

Bosque del Apache NWR Celebrates Two National Refuge Award Winners
It was a bittersweet moment at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, as supervisory biologist John Vradenburg and theFriends of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge received respective refuge awards from the National Wildlife Refuge Association.

Group Says Sage-Grouse EIS Needs Improvements
To prevent the Greater Sage-Grouse from sliding toward endangerment, the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Final Environmental Impact Statement needs significant improvements to stop habitat loss, says American Bird Conservancy (ABC).
The Bold and Adaptable O'ahu 'Elepaio
native Hawaiian canoe-builders considered the diminutive ʻElepaio an incarnation of their patron goddess Lea: If the bird pecked at a fallen koa tree, it was a sign that the tree was riddled with insects and unusable for boat-building.

Groups Expand Non-Lead Request to Arizona Shooters
California condor reintroduction partners are expanding voluntary lead reduction efforts towards new groups in Arizona that can also help keep condors from ingesting lead as the birds scavenge carcasses other than big game that might contain lead.

USDA Seeks Partner Proposals to Protect Critical Wetlands
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the availability of $17.5 million in financial and technical assistance to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on private and tribal agricultural lands.

Study: Seabirds Bring Contaminants to Land Ecosystems
Researchers found that seabirds are transporting chemicals they pick up from the ocean to island habitats off the eastern shore of Nova Scotia.
Images: Mark Mallory
Migratory seabirds carry the marine pollution they ingest at sea back to their nesting sites on land, according to a new study.

"It is yet another example of unintended effects of ocean pollution on species that you might not expect," said Mark Mallory, a Canada research chair and associate biology professor at Acadia University in Nova Scotia and the lead author of a study published recently in the journal Water, Air & Soil Pollution.

Mallory has conducted previous studies in the Arctic where it's easier to see the effects of the chemicals that seabirds bring when they nest inland. The birds generally spread out and feed in a large area of ocean, returning to relatively small colonies where the birds regurgitate food, defecate and sometimes die. All of this contains nitrogen, phosphorous and other chemicals that create "lush patches of vegetation" in the otherwise barren landscape.

A partially completed Herring Gull nest, one of the semi-colonial birds that transport contaminants to these islands.
"It's really obvious there that the areas are so starved for nutrients that the areas just light up like beacons with plants," Mallory said. "It's like fertilizing your garden."

Further south in Canada, the ecosystems aren't as starved for fertilizer and nutrients. But Mallory suspected changes might be occurring in the vegetation and microfauna nonetheless due to the chemicals seabirds were bringing in.

Researchers examined the soil on islands off the coast of Nova Scotia that are inhabited by birds as well as islands with no seabirds. They found that the islands with birds had accumulated and biomagnified chemicals like selenium, zinc and arsenic.

"For quite a few of those islands the concentrations exceeded the soil quality guidelines for the protection of environment health."

Mallory said that they didn't search for other chemicals like DDT or PCBs as the process for checking for these things is more expensive, but he would guess that they were being brought in by the birds as well.

Researcher Lewis Mahon with an eider. He and a team followed different bird species to see whether the birds transported chemical pollution found in the sea into land ecosystems.
He also said there was a difference between which birds colonized an island in terms of imported pollution. Birds like Arctic terns (Sterna paradisaea) or gull species carry more chemicals because they feed on bigger fish higher up on the food chain than common eiders (Somateria mollissima), which tend to diver deeper to eat mussels and other species lower on the food chain. Chemicals often accumulate in species higher up on the food chain.

Some species such as cormorants absorb so much nitrogen that they drastically change environments where they live, burning out the local vegetation with their feces. It gets so bad that they must move their colonies from place to place.

Mallory conducted another recent study that discovered game waterfowl like mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and black ducks (Anas rubripes) more commonly associated with land are also ingesting plastic and garbage metal while wintering along coastlines of eastern Canada.

He said that all of these things can pile the stress on birds, which are already facing threats from hunting, oil spills, wind farms and other factors.

"Now we are also stressing them by sublethal levels of contaminants."

He said the logical next step is to examine whether the chemicals these birds bring in impact other species on the terrestrial food chain including insects or small mammals.

"We know it's going on, is it having an effect on something else?"

--Joshua Rapp Learn,
Science Writer for The Wildlife Society

July 18 - July 19
July 29 - Aug. 1
July 31 - Aug. 2
Aug. 12 - Aug. 16
Aug. 15
Sept. 10 - Sept. 13
2015 Midwest Birding Symposium
Bay City, Mich.
Sept. 10 - Sept. 14
Yampa Valley Crane Festival
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Sept. 11 - Sept. 13
Hummingbird Migration celebration
Holly Springs, Miss.
Sept. 12
Feliciana Hummingbird Celebration
St. Francisville, La.
Sept. 12
Sept. 16 - Sept. 20
ABA's Olympic Peninsula Birding Rally
Port Angeles and Ocean Shores, Wash.
Sept. 17 - Sept. 20
Hummerbird Festival
Rockport, Tex.
Sept. 24 - Sept. 30
Little St. Simons Island Fall Birding
Little St. Simons Island, Ga.
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