More than 1,300 birds are perched perilously on a global list of threatened species. Each one is sending us a message, and scientists are struggling to decipher them. EHN’s series, Winged Warnings, reveals the surprising new discoveries that are emerging about the global threats to birds…
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“Depending on the species, an owl’s eyes can account for 1-5% of its weight. As most owls are active at night, their eyes must be very efficient at collecting and processing light. This starts with a large cornea (the transparent outer coating of the eye) and pupil (the opening at the center of the eye). The pupil’s size is controlled by the iris (the coloured membrane suspended between the cornea and lens). When the pupil is larger, more light passes through the lens and onto the large retina (light sensitive tissue on which the image is formed).
The retina of an owl’s eye has an abundance of light-sensitive, rod-shaped cells appropriately called “rod” cells. Although these cells are very sensitive to light and movement, they do not react well to colour. Cells that do react to colour are called “cone” cells (shaped like a cone), and an Owl’s eye possesses few of these, so most Owls see in limited colour or in monochrome.
Since Owls have extraordinary night vision, it is often thought that they are blind in strong light. This is not true, because their pupils have a wide range of adjustment, allowing the right amount of light to strike the retina. Some species of Owls can actually see better than humans in bright light.
To protect their eyes, Owls are equipped with 3 eyelids. They have a normal upper and lower eyelid, the upper closing when the owl blinks, and the lower closing up when the Owl is asleep. The third eyelid is called a nictitating membrane, and is a thin layer of tissue that closes diagonally across the eye, from the inside to the outside. This cleans and protects the surface of the eye.” -The Owl Pages
Barred Owl (Strix varia) in our backyard in Woodinville, WA. 7/8/14.
Photo and description by Jacob McGinnis
Photography page: https://www.facebook.com/BirdPhotographyByJlm?ref=hl
Comeback of a gruesome tradition: Trappers on Malta are allowed to catch 26,850 Chaffinches, Linnets, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Hawfinches, Serins and Siskins every autumn, the Maltese Ornis Committee (the governments advisory board on hunting) recommended.
Even though this will be a clear violation of Malta´s accession treaty to the EU in which the country agreed to phase out finch trapping by 2008 it is generally expected that the pro-hunting government will follow this recommendation and open a trapping season for these seven species this year. CABS is preparing an international protest campaign to put pressure on the Maltese Prime Minister and to convince the European Commission to take action before the trappers can set up their clap nets.
Boycott Malta if you love burds. They slaughter thousands birds during spring hunting and more in Autumn…This insanity must stop!
I picked this up this morning on facebook.However there should not even.be a need to do this ….
Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)
A successful day for CABS on Malta. A few days after we´ve located almost two dozen active trapping sites for waders, and reported them to the police, the time for action arrived. Yesterday the officers closed down seven huge trapping sites in various locations on the island and at least four poachers were caught red-handed. In addition to confiscating the nets, ten live waders were also seized – some of which have already been released into the wild.
Cyprus Bird Trapping – Hoopoe. Over 150 different species are effected each year, 78 of these are members of endangered species. Hunting is considered a pass-time, adventure or sport and hunters are ready to shoot at anything that moves. We have to respect the animals rights to live in this world.But moreover we must leave the birds alone as they are essential for life on earth.Birds regulate insect and rodent population and act as pollinators and seed distributors. ..Without birds pesticides will overtake and kill off on plants and animals what’s left (just look at parts in Asia where certain areas look like landscapes on the moon after over use of insecticides ..After there is nothing left it will be GMO food only – leading humans into extinction.
The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides is the response of the scientific community to concern around the impact of systemic pesticides on biodiversity and ecosystems.
Its intention is to provide the definitive view of science to inform more rapid and improved decision-making.
Watch the video in the picture link.
Photograph: David Wootton/Alamy
The video was created to teach others about the birds the students studied. Each student learned the calls and a local year-round bird. They made a mask, nest, sculpture, and then shared some information in a video in which they used a green screen so they could fly around their island. They took their information and the video and shared it with the community. They went to the assisted living home, the Ladies Aid, School Program and even the local Audubon Society. They posted the video online and have had over 1500 different people view it. In the Fall the plan is to do a similar video with migratory birds and fly their routes of migration.