Birdcouple's occasional round-up of notable birding and nature news and events..
_ In case you haven't heard, September 5 this year is International Vulture Awareness Day. This isn't a joke. Vultures are beautiful (in a way), important to the ecosystem--and many species are facing threats to their survival.
_ A new species of bird was recently discovered in a remote part of Laos, in Southeast Asia. It's a bird without feathers on its face, and is named (appropriately, we think) the Bare-Faced Bulbul. First new species of bulbul discovered in 100 years. We're amazed that new species of birds are still discovered, or rediscovered, on our home planet on a fairly regular basis.
_ The American Bird Conservancy did a study in Peru to help preserve the Marvelous Saptuletail, arguably the world's most spectacular hummingbird. It found that 64 other bird species could benefit from protecting the hummer's habitat.
_ New data from the US Fish & Wildlife Service on birding demographics. There are A LOT of us: 48 million, or about 21 percent of the population. Of those, 42 million, or 88 percent, are self-described away-from-home birders.
The study says: "The average birder is 50 years old and more than likely has a better than average income and education. She is slightly more likely to be female and highly likely to be white. There is also a good chance that this birder lives in the south in an urban area. Does this paint an accurate picture of a birder? Like all generalizations the description of an "average" birder does not reflect the variety of people who bird, with millions falling outside this box."
_ Finally, Paul Baicich passed on this item about how six waterfowl decoys recently sold at auction for $1.8 million. You read that right, $1.8 million.
Birders, birding and bird decoys ... we've made it, bigtime. More soon...