Kate Yandell's blog
As of last week, all 150,000 of the nature audio recordings in Cornell’s Macaulay Library have been digitized and are now available online so anyone can listen to them. The library includes recordings of 75 percent of the bird species on the planet today.!--/end tags-->
President Obama days before the election as he toured the region hit by Hurricane Sandy. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama made the news for his silence on climate change for much of the 2012 presidential campaign. That changed in his inaugural address on Monday. In a move that heartened many environmentalists, he said that climate change is not a subject he can ignore in his second term.!--/end tags-->
A composite image of quail eggs on sand. Which ones do you think are camouflaged best? (Photo courtesy of Lovell et al., Current Biology)
Japanese quail try to protect their colorful eggs from predators by using a form of customized camouflage, according to a new study in the journal Current Biology. Each quail chooses where to lay her uniquely colored and patterned eggs based on where they blend in best with their surroundings.!--/end tags-->
The Kulluk on New Year's Day after it ran aground on an uninhabited Alaskan island. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis)
Shell’s numerous Arctic drilling blunders have spurred the government to launch an urgent review that could hinder—or even halt—the company’s continuing efforts to open up waters off of Alaska’s coast to oil exploration.!--/end tags-->
A Northern mockingbird at the Christmas Bird Count in Central Park. (Photo by Debra Kriensky)
On Sunday I went to Central Park for my first Christmas Bird Count (this year marks the 113th year of Audubon’s nationwide survey). It was a dark morning with pinpricks of rain, and birders spread out around the park into seven sectors, ready to look among bare branches for signs of life and to listen for characteristic calls.!--/end tags-->
Wolves chase an elk in Yellowstone National Park. [Photo by Doug Smith]
This winter licensed hunters in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming have killed 10 wolves that use Yellowstone National Park, including seven collared animals that scientists were tracking. The wolves are protected inside the national park, but they had wandered outside its border, possibly in pursuit of elk. The loss frustrates the scientists who had been tracking them.!--/end tags-->
Last week, a justice of the peace in Toronto ruled that a local building owner would’t be penalized for the deaths of 900 birds that had crashed into its gleaming towers over the course of two years.
The suit, brought by the environmental groups Ecojustice, had sought to hold the former owners of the Consilium Place high-rise towers responsible for causing bird deaths in a city that appears to be particularly lethal for winged migrants.!--/end tags-->
Nearly two years ago, on New Year’s Eve two whales washed up on the shore of New Zealand and died. Government conservation workers identified them as Gray’s beaked whales, which commonly wash ashore, took skin samples, buried them, and left them alone—completely unaware that they’d actually been handling two of the world’s most mysterious mammals.
When researchers from the University of Auckland sequenced DNA from the samples a few months later, they found something much more exciting than expected. The specimens were the first evidence found since 1986 of the spade-toothed beaked whale.!--/end tags-->