Earth Changes


Eurasian hoopoe migrates in the wrong direction and ends up in Kimberley, Australia

© Department of Parks and Wildlife
A eurasian hoopoe bird caught on camera.
One of Australasia's most camera-shy birds has been snapped in the Kimberley after flying off course.

WA's Department of Parks and Wildlife said it was only the third sighting of the eurasian hoopoe bird in the country and it was "excited" to find it on its cameras.

The sighting of the flamboyant hoopoe, usually native to Eurasia and northwest Africa, is thought to be a result of the birds flying off course during their migration.

The cameras, installed on Adolphus Island to monitor cane toad populations, have also revealed the largest range of wildlife in the area.

The 35 cameras have recorded large numbers of native bird species and endangered Northern Quolls.

© Micha Jackson
A eurasian hoopoe spotted in Broome in 2011.
Source: Australian Associated Press

Heavy snowfall paralyses life for the residents of Azerbaijan

Damage caused by heavy snowfall in Azerbaijan
Heavy snowfall has paralyzed life for residents in the Salyan and Neftchala regions (near the Caspian Sea), according to the correspondent of Shirvan bureau

As a result, high-voltage lines on the evening of February 21 discontinued supplying electricity to these areas. In the homes of the residents of Salyan and Neftchala regions there is still no light.

40-50 cm (16 to 20 inches) of snow on the streets made it impossible to travel, leaving many stores without bread and essential goods.

Unable to withstand the weight of snow, many trees fell on homes and commercial properties. Dozens of electricity poles collapsed under the weight of snow. Residents were trapped in their homes. In Neftchale a few people went to a doctor because of injuries resulting from falls on icy streets.

According to old-timers, the last time such a snowfall in the far 1968.

Thanks to Argirist Diamantis for this link

Damaged electricity pole in Azerbaijan

20 manatees get stuck in Florida storm drain while trying to warm themselves

Manatee rescue
About 20 Florida manatees were freed by early Tuesday morning from a storm drain near Cape Canaveral, where they were apparently trying to warm themselves, officials and local media said.

Video footage showed a rescuer comforting one manatee floating at the opening of the pipe, which was cut open during the hours-long rescue.

The footage, posted online by Central Florida News 13 and Florida Today newspaper, also showed a manatee being carried in a sling to a nearby canal, where it was released to cheers from onlookers, and two other manatees being petted after being hoisted out of the water by heavy machinery.

Comment: See also: Over 300 manatees converge on Three Sisters Spring in Florida to escape cold temperatures

Blue Planet

Dozens of new craters suspected in northern Russia

© Marya Zulinova, Yamal regional government's press service
B1 - famous Yamal hole in 30 kilometres from Bovanenkovo, spotted in 2014 by helicopter pilots.
Satellites show giant hole ringed by 20 'baby craters'.

Respected Moscow scientist Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky has called for 'urgent' investigation of the new phenomenon amid safety fears.

Until now, only three large craters were known about in northern Russia with several scientific sources speculating last year that heating from above the surface due to unusually warm climatic conditions, and from below, due to geological fault lines, led to a huge release of gas hydrates, so causing the formation of these craters in Arctic regions.

Two of the newly-discovered large craters - also known as funnels to scientists - have turned into lakes, revealed Professor Bogoyavlensky, deputy director of the Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Examination using satellite images has helped Russian experts understand that the craters are more widespread than was first realised, with one large hole surrounded by as many as 20 mini-craters, The Siberian Times can reveal.
Ice Cube

Drone film of Niagara Falls frozen over

Frozen Niagara Falls
The ice encasing the Niagara Falls, which has drawn in visitors from all over, isn't expected to melt entirely until May. Drone footage captures this rare and beautiful occurrence.


Ice-breaking tug boats operating on the Delaware River

Ice-breaker on the Delaware river
The icy weather doesn't just cause trouble for the roads but for the waterways as well.

Every day when ice starts forming, the crew of the Coast Guard icebreaker Capstan casts off the lines and head out into the Delaware River - never knowing what they'll find out there.

"We look forward to the winter every year. This is what the boat is built for, this is what we are out here to do," said US Coast Guard BM1 Matt Bailey.

The Capstan is one of two ice breakers working 140 miles of the Delaware River.

The ice breaker was built in 1961 and can still handle ice up to 18 inches thick.


Rare razorbill from northern latitudes seen in Bermuda

© Andrew Dobson
The rare razorbill on the Great Sound
The Island's first sighting of a razorbill was reported yesterday.

Audubon Society member Paul Watson spotted the bird on the Great Sound in the morning.

He was soon joined by the group's president, Andrew Dobson, to get photographic evidence of the sighting. He said: "It is the first time this species of bird has been seen in Bermuda.

"It was sitting on the surface of the water and making regular dives in search of fish."

Mr Dobson added: "Razorbills belong to the family of birds known as Alcids, which also includes puffins.This crow-sized seabird is widely distributed through boreal and low-arctic Atlantic waters; the bulk of the world population breeds in Iceland.

"With only about 300 pairs nesting in Maine, the razorbill is among the least numerous of all breeding seabirds in US waters.

"Most razorbills from North American colonies winter south of their breeding range in ice-free, coastal waters, with largest numbers frequenting shoal areas in the outer Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine."

Pit bull terrier kills two-year-old girl in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Pit Bull terrier
Police say the dog attacked Paylynn Devaugh inside a home in West Mifflin around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

Police say a 2-year-old girl has died after being mauled by a pit bull in a Pittsburgh suburb.

Police say the dog attacked Paylynn Devaugh inside a home in West Mifflin around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

The girl was pronounced dead at Jefferson Memorial Hospital.

Police say Paylynn lived in nearby Forest Hills.

Locust swarms causing damage to crops in New South Wales, Australia

Locust swarm
Swarm activity of locusts have been reported across 100 kilometres of the central west, with farmers having to hand feed stock due to crop loss.

Central west, senior biosecurity officer, Rhett Robinson said said flying swarms are affecting the feed available to livestock and farmers are having to hand feed.

"There is major potential impact to sowing.

"Low density swarms can wipe out a newly emerging crop within days."

Mr Robinson said over 130 reports of locust activity had been received since January.

"We've had reports in areas such as Gilgandra, Collie, Armatree and Curban.

7 Snowy owls from the Arctic seen in New York City

The owls are native to Canada, Scandinavia and northern Russia.
Humans may be staying inside for the frigid temperatures of the polar vortex, but the gust of arctic weather has brought unexpected guests to New York City.

Seven snowy owls have been spotted this year in the city, which reached a 60-year low of 1F for February 20 on Friday morning.

The birds are generally seen along the water in Brooklyn and Queens, but one was found on Governor's Island off the southern tip of Manhattan, according to DNA Info.

Comment: See also:

An Ice Age indicator? Unusually high number of snowy owls migrate early to Wisconsin

Snowy owl sightings on the rise across the upper US

SOTT Exclusive: Snowy owls flee northern latitudes for unprecedented fourth consecutive year - Sign of impending Ice Age?