Serving up feathered bait to attract ecosystem data
As more giant wind farms are erected, an increasing number of hawks are slashed and killed by turbine blades. Oil and gas exploration is fragmenting many hawk habitats. Urban-suburban growth, pesticides, herbicides, electricity lines and climate change are other stressors, he said.
The only way to understand what is happening to hawks is to collect data over many decades.
October 26, 2010
by Sandra J. Blakeslee
in New York Times
CAPILLA PEAK OBSERVATORY, N.M. - Mandy Weston stood on a ridge in the Manzano mountains, 9,000 feet above the Rio Grande Valley, grasping the talons of a juvenile northern harrier in her right hand.
"These are the supermodels of the raptor world," she said admiringly. "Tall and thin." She playfully rotated the bird's body to reveal that its head remained in a fixed position, like that of an owl.
Ms. Weston is the public liaison for a five-person crew that is spending 10 weeks on this mountain observing and banding hawks as they migrate from North America down into Mexico... [continue via Web link]