More Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere: Back on the Bird Beat

Birds Flee Changing Habitats (ad/sub req.): Birds and butterflies offer the earliest signs that ecosystems are changing in response to a changing climate, according to Craig Allen, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “They’re mobile,” said Allen, an expert on the effect of climate change on New Mexico’s environment. Climate has always changed, Allen …

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Water in the Desert: Oak Flat Edition

Oak Flat watering hole Originally uploaded by heinemanfleck. Lissa made a great discovery yesterday morning while we were walking in the woods at Oak Flat, in the Manzano Mountains east of town. The big thing in the background of the picture that looks like a UFO is a big cistern, with a flared top to …

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Bird Question

So here’s my question of the day. We have two dominant Little Brown Bird types here – house finches and house sparrows. At home yesterday, I had only finches in backyard. At work, the crowd by the lunch tables is entirely sparrows. What’s different about the two ecosystems? (Note that I don’t expect actual answers.)


Lissa counted 10 fish this morning in the pond, alongside the first lily pads of the spring. Me? (Sneeze) All I could see was the scum of pollen floating on top. update: I was out adding water this evening and noticed the first thin cattail leaves coming up.

Spring in Switzerland

This Rutishauser and colleagues have been tracking the blooming of flowers in Switzerland (can you think of a more delightful job as a scientist?). In a paper just published in GRL, they concluded that 2007 was a remarkable spring: Anomalously high temperatures led to a very early onset of plant phenological spring phases, including 98 …

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