Monthly Archives: May 2014

London Tree Week 2014

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London Tree Week starts today and the main focus is the Rooting for Trees exhibition in City Hall’s cafe.

This exhibition highlights why trees matter to Londoners. Photographer Emma Phillips worked with The Tree Council to produce images of Tree Wardens at various locations where they feel most strongly connected with trees. Each portrait offers a story about the importance of one, or many, trees. It also explores what motivates different people to plant, care for and help with the conservation of trees in their neighbourhood.

There will also be a series of free guided tree walks and other nature trails in various parts of town. You can take a tree walk around Abney Park Cemetery on 25 May, Upminster (25 May), Hyde Park (26 May), Kensington Gardens (27 May), Imperial War Museum gardens (29 May), Sydenham Hill  Wood (29 May), Bankside Urban Forest (30 May), Bloomsbury (31 May) and the National Gallery’s arboreal paintings.

The week is being organised as part of the Mayor’s RE:LEAF work to protect and increase the number of trees in London.

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100 Days later: Lessons from this winter’s storms

Birling Gap

National Trust Press Office

The coastline in the South West of England saw more drama than Coronation Street or EastEnders this winter. Dramatic pictures made for a compelling story as the coast was hit hard by the worst weather in living memory. National Trust coast and marine adviser Tony Flux reflects on some of the lessons from the storms 100 days after the last big weather event on Valentine’s Day:

It can be quite tricky to get your head around coastal change. Often the stretches of coast that we love to visit will appear to be changing very little during our lifetime. We think of the coast as a constant; a place that we know well.

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Thousands of bird species live in cities

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video from England says about itself:

London’s Birds

1) Black-headed Gulls, Moorhen, Tufted Duck and Mute Swans on Hampstead Heath pond. 2) Blue Tit singing in a Finchley Park. 3) Great Tits and a Blue Tit on a bird feeder in Hampstead Heath. 4) Moorhen on a frozen pond and Coot eating grass in Hampstead Heath. 5) Robin feeding on the edge of a Brook near Finchley. 5) Robin singing in a Tree in a garden in Finchley. 6) Great Tit singing in London. 7) Robin singing in Dollis Brook Greenway, Whetstone. 8) Robin singing in London.

From the All About Birds Blog in the USA:

Not Just Sparrows and Pigeons: Cities Harbor 20 Percent of World’s Bird Species

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

By Andrea Alfano

Rock Pigeons, House Sparrows, and European Starlings are widely known as “city birds,” and with good reason. These three species…

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Crafty crows

 

Back Yard Biology

Much has been written about the intelligence of crows, the supposed smartest of bird species.

American Crows must have keen eyesight because they detect my slightest movement (like raising the camera lens toward the window) and quickly fly off. American Crows must have keen eyesight because they detect my slightest movement (like raising the camera lens toward the window) and quickly fly off. Large brain size and a well-developed cortical area responsible for learned behavior may be what gives them their smarts.

They make and use tools to retrieve food items, organize mobs to drive away predators (a “murder” of crows), use bait to attract prey, watch and learn new behaviors from other birds or their own family members, communicate spatial and temporal information (about food items) to other family members, and can recognize the facial features of different humans.  Some researchers claim that crows have intelligence on a par with that of chimpanzees.

I have watched a lot of crow behavior in the backyard, but rarely understand what is going on, except for these…

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