Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mixed Feeding Flock #6

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...


Peter Kaestner said...

Neat stuff!!!

Kathie Brown said...

Wow, 1.8 million? I need to get sculpting again!

As for the demographics of a birder, that would fit me to a T, though I have lived all over the USA. It used to be a male dominated sport. About time we girls got our due!

Chris Petrak said...

Yes, I smiled about the vulture day - sound funny, but I advocate for them. They help recycling, clean up some of our garbage, and are masterful on the wing. They are just, to our skewered aesthetic - ugly.