- Zoology Blogs

Birding Yancheng, Jiangsu – 10,000 Birds


From my dwelling in Shanghai, it’s a few four-hour drive to the North to Yancheng, a spot to search for Crimson-crowned Cranes in winter. Whereas these birds are very a lot favored by Chinese language birders, the species might sadly not be named the Nationwide Fowl of China because the Latin species identify of the chook is Grus Japonicus. Frankly, if the identify of the Bald Eagle was North Korean Eagle (Haliaeetus coreaseptentrionalis?), it might not be the nationwide chook of the USA both.

Primarily based on my pictures, I must conclude that the Crimson-crowned Crane prefers black-and-white pictures. Incompetent photographers can all the time blame the chook.

That is sort of the “poster baby” crane – or as eBird states, “the crane mostly depicted in Chinese language and Japanese work and ceramics”.

The Crimson-crowned Crane is listed as Weak despite the fact that grownup birds don’t have any pure predators, however in fact, there are birds and mammals consuming their eggs and small nestlings.

In keeping with Wikipedia, these birds are good at multitasking, being “in some components of its vary … often known as a logo of luck, longevity, and constancy”.

As in people, “the social implications of dancing [among the cranes] are advanced in which means” (supply).

There’s a nice track by The Chills titled “Advanced“. Nice hyperlink, proper?

The usual rationale – which I all the time discover a bit unconvincing because it doesn’t appear to elucidate issues actually – is that the duets of Crimson-crowned Crane pairs are “serving to to determine formation and upkeep of the pair bond” (Wikipedia).

(I bear in mind I as soon as learn in a e book – in all probability by an ornithologist – that he acknowledged that he was going to jot down a postcard to his spouse or girlfriend with a purpose to “strengthen their pair bond”. Sorry, forgot the precise supply)

Generally, wanting on the titles of scientific papers makes me really feel a bit uneasy. Take “A multiscale strategy to figuring out spatiotemporal sample of habitat choice for red-crowned cranes”. I assume it’s about how cranes determine the place to remain. However possibly that is too easy a title on condition that the paper has 13 authors.

However, if a paper titled “The fecal virome of red-crowned cranes” has 17 authors, then 13 for the primary paper sounds fairly affordable.

When you ever wished to know extra concerning the abdomen of Chinese language Grosbeaks, here’s a paper for you. To not give the entire content material away, however one of many highlights definitely is the assertion that the “proventriculus glands had been constituted by many spherical or elliptical glandular lobules”.

Apparently, Crested Mynas incessantly use snake slough (the pores and skin shed by snakes) as a part of their nest-building supplies. It isn’t fairly clear why they do that because it apparently doesn’t have an effect on breeding success. Even though it doesn’t appear to work, the authors nonetheless speculate that “snake slough in crested myna nests might serve to scale back nest predation, enhance the immunity of nestlings or function a post-mating sexual sign eliciting differential reproductive funding in mates” earlier than ending with the basic comment “these speculations require additional investigation”.

Many males like toys – the extra technical and the costlier, the higher. Ideally, nevertheless, you must both discover anyone else to pay for these toys or not less than persuade your spouse that these toys will not be toys however extremely helpful. It appears that evidently two Italian males have discovered a method to do each. They’ve written a paper on the “Feasibility of counting breeding Pied Avocets and Black-winged Stilts utilizing drones”.

It appears to work, truly – although about 20 p.c of breeding pairs are being missed by drone surveys.

The Oriental Stork is endangered, with round 3000 people left. Threats embrace aquaculture (supply) and the truth that the silly birds don’t perceive the idea of boundaries (supply), as a substitute simply going the place they prefer it finest. If all people did this, the outcome could be chaos.

In people, persona traits akin to boldness versus shyness partly decide whether or not you find yourself being wealthy and in style or poor and lonely (okay, that could be a little bit of a simplification, however in all probability broadly true). In Daurian Redstarts, persona traits (particularly, whether or not a chook is shy or daring) partly decide how good a person is in rejecting cuckoo eggs in its nest. Apparently, birds which can be quick in exploring new issues – daring birds – are higher at rejecting parasitic eggs (supply).

One other research associated to brood parasitism – this one on Vinous-throated Parrotbills – confirmed that on this species, each men and women reject parasitic eggs, not simply the females. A pleasant instance of gender equality of kinds. Sadly, the summary ends with a reasonably bland “additional research are nonetheless wanted to verify the egg recognition mechanism on this species”.

The Rustic Bunting is listed as Weak – and there are ominously-titled papers akin to “The following frequent and widespread bunting to go? International inhabitants decline within the Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica“.

Fortuitously, the Little Bunting – which seems to be a bit like a sanitized and, ahem, much less rustic model of the Rustic Bunting – doesn’t appear to be threatened.

Aside from the crane, some Lengthy-eared Owls had been the spotlight of this brief journey for me.

Regardless that I’m fairly positive eyes like these can’t be actual and have been taken from some outsized teddy bears.

I lately watched a web-based commercial for The Economist. The punchline went one thing like “The actually essential folks learn The Economist as a result of they don’t have a lot time”. Perhaps they even mentioned that the actually actually essential folks solely learn the primary few sections of The Economist.

If you’re a extremely actually essential particular person within the space of Lengthy-eared Owl weight loss plan analysis, as a substitute of taking a look at lots of of particular person papers, I like to recommend studying the paper “Synthesis of 312 Research on the Weight loss plan of the Lengthy-Eared Owl Asio otus“.

 



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