Birds made the headlines around the world last year with some important stories

Our Fine Feathered Friends

wisdom Photo by Bob Peyton/USFWS • At 67, Wisdom, a female Laysan albatross and the world’s oldest known breeding bird in the wild, is a mother once more! On Feb. 6, 2018, approximately two months after Wisdom began incubating her egg, Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai, welcomed their newest chick to the nesting colony at Midway Atoll. In this photo, Wisdom is pictured with her most her recent chick.

In these early days of 2019, I thought it might be a good time to look back at some of the top bird-related stories of 2018. Here are my Top Five picks:

Mother of Mothers
Wisdom the albatross nested again at age 67. Wisdom, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service website, is the oldest known banded bird in the wild. She is a female Laysan albatross that nests within the world’s largest albatross colony on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. She…

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Bristol’s CBC records low total of species, but still makes some interesting finds

Our Fine Feathered Friends

brown-headnuthatch Photo by SOARnet/ • The brown-headed nuthatch favors stands of loblolly pine, which are not common in the region. A record number of these small nuthatches were found on the recent Bristol TN-VA Christmas Bird Count.

Just before the end of last year, 21 participants gathered to conduct the Bristol TN-VA Christmas Bird Count. Count compiler Richard Lewis noted that the CBC found 71 species and a total of 5,700 individual birds.

“This was the 63rd year the count has been run since 1956,” Lewis posted on Bristol-Birds. “It was the lowest total number of species recorded in 27 years.”

Lewis could not explain the low total of species other than to note that the area doesn’t seem to have the usual influx of wintering birds from up north. In addition, waterfowl numbers were low. “Some species are not coming as far south this year,” he added.

The best find…

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Ugly vs. Pretty Styling

michael hagedorn

For any styling it’s good to ask: Do we leave it rough, or do we polish it off to as crystalized an image as we can? And the answer usually is, as with many things in bonsai, it depends.

When is leaving a mess appropriate?

  • With very aggressive work, with large branches and even trunks moved and a lot of tissue damage, there are benefits to just doing the big bends or cuts the first day and leaving it for a season, for vascular damage to mend or be rerouted and for forward momentum to be seen once more. When in doubt there is nothing wrong with this slower method.

When is primping indicated?

  • Often, particularly with optimum aftercare in a humid greenhouse, a full on initial styling is easily possible down to the shoot tips. The majority of raw conifer styling work shown on my Portfolio page was done in one…

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