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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 31 July 2020 video from Malta says about itself:

The two new Black-winged Stilt families at Għadira: an update!

Here is a video update about the new Black-winged Stilt (Fras-servjent) families which were formed this year at our Għadira Nature Reserve.

The young of the first pair which hatched on 19th June have over the past two weeks been flying around our nature reserves, moving from Għadira to Simar, as they build the strength needed for their first migration, whilst the chicks of the second pair which bred at Għadira in 2020 are also about to fledge soon.

This year we were happy to have eight Black-winged Stilt successfully hatch at our Mellieħa reserve. The Black-winged Stilt is a migratory wader species and following the breeding period, normally adults and their young would have left Għadira by late July or mid-August to continue migrating south.

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This June 2014 video is called Monarch butterflies amazing migration to Mexico.

From Emory Health Sciences in the USA:

Butterfly genomics: Monarchs migrate and fly differently, but meet up and mate

A genome-wide comparison of eastern and western monarchs

July 29, 2020

Each year, millions of monarch butterflies migrate across eastern North America to fly from as far north as the U.S.-Canadian border to overwinter in central Mexico — covering as much as 3,000 miles. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Rocky Mountains, western monarchs generally fly 300 miles down to the Pacific Coast to spend the winter in California. It was long believed that the eastern and western monarchs were genetically distinct populations.

A new study, however, confirms that while the eastern and western butterflies fly differently, they are genetically the same. The journal Molecular Ecology published the findings, led by evolutionary biologists at Emory University.


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Solar observatory and circle of Goseck (4800 BC), path between the palisades – photo made by Kreuzschnabel, CC BY-SA 3.0

The enclosure at Goseck in Germany was discovered by an air survey in 1991. It consists of an almost fully circular ditch and two concentric rings of palisades. Three cheek-shaped portals point towards the north, the south-east and the south-west and serve as aims for the observation of the sun at the winter solstice  The neolithic circular enclosure of Goseck had been already erected at around 4,800 BC, the oldest known facility and celestial calendar like this in Europe. As a place of assembly, trade, religious ceremony and jurisdiction it was the centre of an early micro-region. In 2005, the solar observatory and woodhenge of Goseck was reconstructed on its original site.

Dolmin Goddess (3,500 – 2,600 BC)
Menhir of Langeneichstädt

Hinkelsteins can be found everywhere in Europe. This is…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This January 2020 video is called World’s Largest Cycad Collection at Nong Nooch, Thailand.

From the University of Guam:

Cycad plants provide an important ‘ecosystem service’

Loss of cycads from natural habitats may create detrimental ripple effects for other organisms

July 27, 2020

A study published in the June 2020 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Horticulturae shows that cycads, which are in decline and among the world’s most threatened group of plants, provide an important service to their neighboring organisms. The study, completed by researchers from the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at the University of Guam and the Montgomery Botanical Center in Miami, found that at least two cycad species share nitrogen and carbon through the soil, thereby creating habitable environments for other organisms.

“The new knowledge from this study shows how loss of cycad plants from natural habitats may create detrimental ripple effects that negatively influence the…

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Wild Australia

Jet Eliot

Grey Kangaroos, Australia

Daintree River, North Queensland, Australia.

With travel suspended during this pandemic, let’s virtually cruise over to Australia and take a look at some of their wildlife. There is no place on this planet like Australia.

Azure Kingfisher, Australia

Indigenous to Australia, kangaroos are found nowhere else in the world. In taxonomically general terms, these marsupials come in all sizes, and there are many different kinds.

The adult Grey Kangaroo in the first photo was human size; whereas the rock wallaby below, also a kind of kangaroo, was only about calf-high. You can imagine how tiny her joey is.

Kangaroo Wikipedia.

Mareeba Rock Wallaby, Granite Gorge, Australia

Kangaroos go back tens of thousands of years as you can see from this ancient Aboriginal rock art.

Ancient Kangaroo Rock Art, Kakadu NP, Australia. Photo: Athena Alexander

Two bird species as big as humans grace the “Land of Oz”:  the…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 29 July 2020 video says about itself:

Sighting of three tigers in western Thailand for the first time in 4 years rekindles hope for the species’ revival in the region 🐅

Read more here.

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The Extinction Chronicles

Changes in population structure due to improving equality and ageing societies will pose policy dilemmas

An aerial view of Lagos Island, Nigeria
 In Nigeria, the working age population is forecast to increase from 86 million in 2017 to 460 million in 2100. Photograph: Oluwadamilola Ogunsina/Alamy

Global population growth may peak sooner than expected if the lot of women continues to improve, according to a study that says the world’s population could be 2 billion below UN forecasts by the end of the century.

Such a fall would remove some of the projected strain on natural resources but would present governments with stark policy choices over migration and the economy.

The world’s population will peak at 9.7 billion in 2064 and decline to 8.8 billion by the end of the century, according to research led by the University of Washington in the US and published in the Lancet.

It says some…

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Black Beauties~

This gorgeous pair of red tailed black cockatoos was photographed at the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary in the Yarra Valley in Victoria Australia during our February trip.

There are five sub-species of red tailed black cockatoos in Australia, with two sub-species under serious threat.

Healesville Sanctuary is dedicated to the recovery of 27 threatened native Australian species.

It’s animal hospital treats over 1500 sick or injured native animals each year, and it has an active breeding program for threatened species.

Although I was able to photograph other black cockatoos in the wild during our February trip, these were the only red tails I was lucky enough to see.

Cheers to you from Australia’s iconic red tailed black cockatoos~

For more on Healesville’s important work see:

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This spring 2020 video is about a wood warbler in Belarus.

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 20212 video says about itself:

An educational video by SEE Turtles about sea turtle migrations including leatherbacks and loggerheads. Learn how these amazing animals swim thousands of miles to find food and nesting beaches.

From ScienceDaily:

Sea turtles’ impressive navigation feats rely on surprisingly crude ‘map’

July 16, 2020

Since the time of Charles Darwin, scientists have marveled at sea turtles’ impressive ability to make their way — often over thousands of kilometers — through the open ocean and back to the very places where they themselves hatched years before. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on July 16 have evidence that the turtles pull off these impressive feats of navigation with only a crude map to guide them on their way, sometimes going far off course before correcting their direction.

“By satellite tracking turtles travelling to small, isolated oceanic islands, we show that…

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