Here’s another chance to check out these five posts that went unnoticed in 2016.
#1. Fukushima: Five Years Post Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster
In 2011 a massive earthquake struck Japan triggering a destructive tsunami off the coast of the Miyagi prefecture. The earthquake was registered as a magnitude 9.0 (Baba, 2013). The news of the devastating earthquake spread rapidly across the world. Many watched in horror from their television screens and computer monitors as news outlets broadcasted images of a giant tsunami as it submerged large portions of the Tohoku region of Japan. According to an official police report 15,984 people were killed by the tsunami. Nearly half-a-million were eventually displaced. Infrastructure throughout the region was crippled.
#2. Chicks As Payment For Crocodile Protection
In Florida and in other areas of the world, a nest full of bird eggs is a tempting meal to semiaquatic predators such as raccoons and opossums. So having an alligator nearby to protect your brood is a smart move. Wading birds will build their nests near alligators, but tall enough to avoid becoming a meal themselves, for protection. Sometimes birds lay too many eggs and adjust the brood size accordingly. Adjusting the brood size accordingly means pushing chicks out of the nest, dead or alive. When the chicks are pushed from the nest, the American crocodiles come to feast.
#3. Why Flap When You Can Soar? Vultures and Contorted Soaring
Updrafts and lifts are essential for vultures because it helps them to conserve energy. Much like going downhill on your bicycle, why pedal when you can cruise? It’s the same with vultures, why flap when you can soar? However, it’s not always smooth cruising on the thermals for vultures. Sometimes birds experience in-flight turbulence which causes them to deviate from their initial flight path. This type of flight is known as “contorted soaring”.
#4. Brown-headed Cowbirds Shake Bad Reputation — Sort of…
Brown-headed cowbirds are brood parasites, meaning that females lay eggs in the nests of other species. Despite having a reputation for being bad parents, brown-headed cowbirds apparently aren’t that bad. Brown-headed cowbirds have earned their reputation as bad parents — after all they are brood parasites. This might give the impression that brown-headed cowbirds lay eggs in any available nest and then abandon their eggs, but new research shows that they are much more sophisticated than that.
5. Owl Vs. Owl: Species Overlap
Barred owls (Strix varia) are one of the most commonly found owls in Eastern part of North America — at least they used to only be found in the East — now they can be found on the West Coast of U.S. The invasion of barred owls on the West Coast has become problematic for their smaller cousin the Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). Now that the two species’ ranges overlap, the spotted owls are losing the competition with barred owls for resources.
Read it: Owl Vs. Owl: Species Overlap
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