The week in bird news, May 16

BCNH-Leah Mills
Baby Black-crowned Night Herons in International Bird Rescue’s care. Photo by Leah Mills,
© San Francisco Chronicle.

• The San Francisco Chronicle pays a visit to International Bird Rescue’s SF Bay center, where we recently met Ernesto Pulido, a tree-trimming business proprietor who has offered to support the care of baby Black-crowned Night Herons who fell from their nests and were injured in a incident in Oakland, CA. We were impressed by Pulido’s compassion, as well as his willingness to take responsibility for the incident and to do what he can to right the situation.

Writes Carolyn Jones of the Chronicle: “Pulido, a Bay Point resident, offered to pay $2,700 toward the birds’ care: the $2,200 he earned from the U.S. Postal Service for the tree-trimming job plus an additional $500. He’s already paid the $500 and is awaiting payment from the post office to pay the rest …

“But that wasn’t enough for Pulido. He wanted to learn more about night herons, what the center does to save them and what the public can do to help.” [San Francisco Chronicle]

• Ted Williams with Audubon Magazine writes on the plight of the Brown Pelican. [Yale Environment 360]

• This may be one of the most important news stories of the 21st century. Scientists have concluded that a large section of western13icenew-articleLarge Antarctica ice sheet has begun to thin and retreat, which could inexorably accelerate the rise in sea level by as much as 10 feet in the coming centuries.

“This is really happening,” Thomas P. Wagner, who runs NASA’s programs on polar ice and helped oversee some of the research, said in an interview. “There’s nothing to stop it now. But you are still limited by the physics of how fast the ice can flow.” [New York Times]

• Today is Endangered Species Day. We are currently taking care of one species considered threatened in the state of California: A baby Black Rail, which fell victim to a cat attack. This animal is very secretive and tiny, so we have not yet taken a photograph as we do not want to stress the rail. We’ll post a photo when we feel confident that taking an image of the bird will not affect its rehabilitation.

• The LA Times gives an update on “Pink the Pelican,” who is doing extremely well after two surgeries to repair a human-inflicted pouch laceration. [Los Angeles Times]

• A bill to ban single-use plastic bags in California moves forward in the state assembly. [Los Angeles Times]

• Domoic Acid, a huge problem for seabirds as a result of toxic algae blooms, is taking its toll on marine mammals along the Pacific Coast. [Time]

• Solved? The mystery behind the evolution of flightless birds. [Daily Mail]

Tweets of the week: