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The most important bird news from late June

A Terek Sandpiper found in Belarus made bird news.
Terek Sandpiper in western Lapland by Koskikara (Wikimedia Commons).

In chronological order below are the 10 most important stories that we followed while tracking the bird news over the past two weeks. Follow us on Twitter.

1. The oldest ever: Field ornithologists at a banding station in Belarus caught the oldest-known Terek Sandpiper in May. Researchers had banded the bird as a chick in June 1999, so it was 17 years old. The researchers estimate that it had flown 125,000 miles in its lifetime. June 25

2. Spix’s Macaw reappears: A 16-year-old birder spotted and filmed a critically endangered Spix’s Macaw near Curaçá, in Brazil. The vibrant blue parrot, the subject of an excellent 2004 book by Tony Juniper, had not been seen in the wild since 2000 and was thought to be extinct. The bird’s origin is uncertain. June 24

3. Duck Stamp goes on sale: The 83rd Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or Duck Stamp, went on sale. The stamp features a pair of Trumpeter Swans in flight. June 24

The recovery of Aplomado Falcon made bird news.
Aplomado Falcon at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Texas, December 2005, by Elaine R. Wilson (Wikimedia Commons).

4. Aplomado Falcon recovery: Biologists with the Peregrine Fund announced that 37 territorial pairs and 93 individual Aplomado Falcons were documented along the South Texas coast during the 2016 nesting season, some of the highest totals to date. The fund has been captive-breeding and releasing the endangered falcon at Laguna Atascosa NWR since 1985. June 23

5. A big year, indeed: According to the American Birding Association, two birders appear poised to break Neil Hayward’s North American Big Year record of 749 species, set in 2013. Olaf Danielson has seen 738 species, reports the ABA, while John Weigel has seen 713. June 22

6. Puerto Rican warbler protected: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized its listing of Puerto Rico’s endemic Elfin-woods Warbler as Threatened. The small black and white bird had been on and off the ESA candidate-species list for almost 35 years, since 1982. June 22

7. Cats ravage petrels: Feral cats killed six endangered Hawaiian Petrels at a remote breeding colony in Hono o Na Pali Natural Area Reserve, Kauai. The seabird is found only in the Hawaiian Islands, and its population on Kauai has declined dramatically in recent years, in part because of introduced predators such as cats. “In the last two years,” said the coordinator for the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, “we have found the bodies of at least 48 endangered seabirds that were killed by feral cats.” June 21

Eye on conservation: Predator-proof fencing secures new home for Hawaii’s endangered petrels.

8. First plover chick in 82 years: A Piping Plover hatched from a nest on the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario for the first time since 1934. June 17

9. Formal merger plans: Two major American ornithological societies — the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society — announced that they had developed a formal plan to merge. If the plan is approved by the members, the new combined organization would be called the American Ornithological Society. June 14

10. Golden Eagle cull planned: The Norwegian Parliament approved a pilot project and requested a change in legislation that will make it easier to cull Golden Eagles in two areas in Norway. The cull could result in the killing of more than 200 Eagles. Norsk Ornitologisk Forening (BirdLife in Norway) called the plan “unfounded in the scientific evidence” and said it was unlikely to result in a reduction of losses in livestock. June 6

See photos of Golden Eagle.

Bird news from early June: 10 important stories.

The 10 most important stories from late May.

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