Bits and bobs about birds

Here's a few newsy items that haven't made our print edition this week, but are nonetheless interesting -- and birdy:
  • While the south-east of Australia endures the worst drought in living memory, there appears to be a bird boom in the Australian desert -- helped in part by recent wet season rains. If you want to know what a birdwatching trip to the outback is like, check out this website -- the photographs are stunning.
  • National Geographic has published an interesting article entitled Where Are All the Migratory Birds Going? which suggests that fewer birds are returning to their breeding grounds every year because of poisoning by pesticides, habitat loss resulting from destructive agriculture and other human pressures. The article has quite an American bias, but it's still alarming to find out that in the Americas alone "more than half of all migrating bird species have dwindled in number in the past 40 years".