- Author: Ann Brody Guy
Forget bird watching; next time you spot a hummingbird, listen.
Most of us pause to gaze at the tiny birds’ impressive mid-air hovering, part of their hunting behavior, but males of some hummingbird species generate loud sounds with their tail feathers while courting females.
Now, for the first time, the cause of these sounds has been identified: a paper published in the Sept. 9, 2011, issue of Science reveals that air flowing past the tail feathers of a male hummingbird makes his tail feathers flutter and thereby generate fluttering sounds.
- Author: Kim Ingram
The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) recently co-hosted a field trip with the U.S. Forest Service to view the implementation of a forest fuels reduction project on the Tahoe National Forest.
Over 45 stakeholders, including representatives of state, federal, and local government, industry and environmental groups and local residents attended to see the project, known as the "Last Chance Project," which involves thinning the forest by removing small and medium-sized trees, masticating or mowing down brush, and burning dead material through prescribed fire. The work, being done by Sierra Pacific Industries, under contract to the U.S. Forest Service, should be completed by fall 2012.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
If you see a black fly or its eggs and larvae while you're turning over your compost pile, don't be alarmed.
It's probably a "good soldier."
The black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) is a beneficial insect. And a far-ranging one at that.
Martin Hauser, senior insect biosytemastist at the Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture, says this is the only Hermetia he can find in the Sacramento region. "If you go south and to Arizona and New Mexico, you'll find more species, which are more colorful."
This New World species, he says, is now worldwide. "I found it in Nepal, Borneo, Australia,...
- Posted By: John Stumbos
- Written by: Andy Fell, UC Davis
Warming streams could spell the end of spring-run Chinook salmon in California by the end of the century, according to a study by scientists at UC Davis, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
There are options for managing water resources to protect the salmon runs, although they would impact hydroelectric power generation, said UC Cooperative Extension associate specialist Lisa Thompson, director of the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture at UC Davis. A paper describing the study was published online recently in the
- Author: Chris M. Webb
"Biodiversity is critical to future health of California’s ecology and economy," an article by UC Ag and Natural Resources associate vice president Barbara Allen-Diaz and published in California Agriculture journal, provides important information for all Californians. It is vital that we have a clear understanding of these issues in order to make wise decisions now and in the future.
The “web of life” is a delicate interconnectedness of all organisms and environments on earth. We are a part of this intricate web and have a responsibility to take the best possible care of our...