bird, bra, robot

Nosy naturalists have spied more racoons than red-winged blackbirds at their popular feeding center in Sinton, Texas, but that’s OK. No ornithological-whatchamabug graduate students got sunburned, or rat-scratched, or hyperventilated sitting in the scrub day after day marking boxes.

That’s because you (yes, YOU, bummer o’de blogosphere) are the birder and A&M/UC Berkeley scientists and engineers (ala CONE, the Collaborative Observatory for Natural Environments) have a robotic eye reserved for ya at South Texas’ Welder Wildlife Foundation.

Was it bird, squirrel, deer, or hog? (Here’s my spy of a pyrrhuloxia, right.) You control the camera, zoom, and snap. With the right soundtrack, it’s mildly addictive.

Ultimately, researchers hope this wiki-ish project will help determine if climate change is, in fact, driving more tropical birds further north, as data so far indicates.

Motivation

Subtropical birds like the Green Jay, Great Kiskadee, and White-tipped Dove, have recently been observed 60 miles north of their known breeding ranges. Similar sightings by amateur observers suggest that over 70 species of subtropical birds may have shifted northward from their South Texas breeding range (Rappole et al. 2007). Such changes, if documented, would represent a profound alteration in the structure and organization of major biogeographic realms, which could be consistent with warming and drying trends associated with global climate change (Norwine and John 2007).

Goal

To determine if the sightings are: 1) representative of rapid and recent changes in breeding range, or 2) the result of normal bird vagrancy and dispersal.

There is also a PDF of the bird migration chapter from The Changing Climate of South Texas.

Other sentinel locations include two in Cali (tho both had technical problems when I checked in) or you can join the hunt for the ivory-billed woodpecker at an Arkansas-based robo-land.

Here’s the latest suggestive shot from the bayou:

In other not-so-related news: solar bras have finally arrived… just in time for the Sixth Great Planetary Culling!

Now we can all settle our gas with sun-powered tummy warmers and flash LED messages to each other instead of relying on distance-defeating, anti-personants like Twitter.

Spoof or no?

Pink Tentacle reports:

Lingerie maker Triumph International Japan has unveiled a new eco-friendly concept bra called the “Solar Power Bra” (太陽光発電ブラ – Taiyoko Hatsuden Bra), which aims to stimulate eco-awareness and promote clean energy.

The green, high-quality cotton bra features a waist-mounted solar panel that powers a small, chest-mounted electronic billboard or any other electronic device you choose to connect. A pair of reusable drink containers attach to the bra cups, allowing the wearer to reduce consumption of aluminum cans and plastic bottles while increasing bust size. When not in use, the containers can be collapsed and stored in small pockets in the cups.

On a more serious note, if you care about the freedom to not be shot and killed by your own government just for living near the U.S.-Mexico border, do not miss the Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez coming to PBS.

This was shown frequently during the anti-wall marches in the Rio Grande Valley (where many had not even heard of Esequiel, gunned down by U.S. Marines as he took care of the family goats in Redford a decade ago) and is required viewing.

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2 responses to “bird, bra, robot

  1. Hm. I’m pretty sure that’s a female northern cardinal, rather than a pyrrhuloxia, in the photo. A pyrrhuloxia would be awesome, and geographically it’s a possibility, but so far we haven’t officially identified one with CONE Welder.

    The beak is probably the easiest way to distinguish them. The pyrrhuloxia has a stubbier, light-yellow/tan beak. That orange/red beak in the photo says “cardinal”.

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