It has now been six weeks since the BP oil spill began in the Gulf. After initial reports of success in the "Top-Kill" effort to plug the leak, BP now reports that these efforts have failed. Engineers hoped to block the flow of oil with drilling mud and cement. The Gulf spill is now the largest in U.S. history, far exceeding the amount of oil spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster. It could be months before the leak is stopped and, with so much damage already done, any more toll on birds, livelihoods, marine life and fragile environments will be nothing less than devastating.
The only sliver of good to come from this catastrophe is that the Obama Administration has now suspended exploratory drilling in the Arctic, a particularly sensitive environment. For now, Arctic wildlife breathes a sigh of relief...thanks to their imperiled and dying relatives in the Gulf.
Birds are particularly hard-hit by oil spills
Be sure to catch the Rainbow Pitta show when it airs this week on Fox Sports Net.
Join our Facebook page where you will get sneak previews of shows, updates on our travels and much more!
Congratulations to the winner of our last quizz, Alexander Shamgochian of Rhode Island.
Stay tuned for another Birding Adventure!
THE TV SHOW WHERE BIRDS OF A FEATHER ADVENTURE TOGETHER
YELLOW-EARED PARROT BACK FROM THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION!
In a move that rarely happens, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) today announced that the status of the Yellow-eared Parrot is being downgraded from "Critically Endangered" to "Endangered." The move recognizes the remarkable achievements of three conservation organizations - Fundación ProAves, Fundación Loro Parque, and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) - in conserving the species.
Many in the birding and wildlife community rejoiced in 1998 when Fundación ProAves, funded by ABC and Loro Parque (an environmental group focused on saving parrots) rediscovered a colony of 81 Yellow-eared Parrots in the Andes of Colombia, South America after the species was thought to be extinct.
That jubilation was tempered by the fact that a new responsibility and challenge needed to be faced - protecting the environment around these birds and growing the colony to levels that would better ensure its long term viability. The IUCN announcement confirms that the challenge is being successfully met with the Yellow-eared Parrot now standing at more than 1,000 individuals.
The Rainbow Pitta, Pitta iris, is a bird with a velvet black head and underparts, green upperparts, pale blue shoulder and olive green tail. It has a black bill, pink legs, brown eye and reddish brown streak along each side of its crown. Both sexes are similar, with the female being slightly smaller and duller than the male.
An Australian endemic, the Rainbow Pitta lives in the forests of northern Australia. As with other pitta, it is a secretive and shy bird. The diet consists mainly of insects, arthropods and small animals. The female lays three to four glossy cream eggs with blotches inside its large domed nest.
Catch the quest for this beautiful bird this week on BATV!
The beautiful Rainbow Pitta
BATV WEEKLY QUIZZ
Correctly identify the mystery bird in the photo above and win an attachable Nikon lens cleaning cloth and a $10 gift voucher to www.nikonprogear.com.
The winner (first correct entry drawn) will be announced in next week's newsletter.
Congratulations to our last winner, Alexander Shamgochian of Rhode Island, who correctly identified our last mystery bird as a Crimson Chat! Alexander won an attachable Nikon lens cleaning cloth and a $10 voucher for www.nikonprogear.com.
We will be airing the following new shows and re-runs this week on Fox Sports Net. Our upcoming immediate schedule is as follows:
Week of June 3 Rainbow Pitta - Northern Territory Australia RE-RUN
Week of June 10 Great Bustards - Portugal
Week of June 17 Ridgway's Hawk - Dominican Republic RE-RUN