After declining for decades, the total population of the Bahama Nuthatch was estimated to be 1,800 in 2004. In just three years, subsequent hurricanes destroyed remaining habitat, reducing the number to 23. When Hurricane Matthew struck the island of Grand Bahama in 2016, the nuthatch disappeared, and some feared it was extinct. In 2018, researchers rediscovered the bird. Surveys this year, however, failed to find any birds. ABC is working with a local partner to support ongoing search efforts. The Bahama Nuthatch faces various suspected threats, including habitat destruction and degradation, invasive predatory species, fire, and hurricane damage.
The Bahama Nuthatch is closely related to the Brown-headed Nuthatch of the southeastern United States, but can be distinguished by its longer beak, shorter wings, whiter belly, and vocalizations. The bird is only known from native pine forest on Grand Bahama Island, which lies approximately 100 miles off Palm Beach, Fla.
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Hirundo rustica POPULATION: 41 million (Americas), 190 million (world) TREND: Decreasing HABITAT: Breeds in open country including pastures, meadows, and farmland, often near water. Winters in a variety of open habitats.
No bird in North America is better known as a welcome companion and a useful friend to the farmer, as it courses about the barnyard in pursuit of the troublesome insects that annoy both man and beast.
The Barn Swallow seems to benefit from life around people, as long as its prey remains abundant. The species is found around the world, as are theShort-eared Owl, Golden Eagle, Dunlin,and a handful of other bird species.
Since humans arrived, 95 of 142 bird species found nowhere else have become extinct on Hawaii. Thirty-three of Hawaii’s remaining 44 endemic birds are listed under the Endangered Species Act; ten of those have not been seen for decades and are likely extinct.
AKIKIKI A BIRD IN NEED
ABC’s Hawaii Program has made the conservation of the ‘Akikiki and other forest birds one of its top priorities.
Troubled Times on the Hawaiian Islands:
Mosquito-borne diseases such as avian malaria and avian pox have decimated ‘Akikiki populations. The problem may worsen, asclimate changecould continue to raise the elevation where mosquitoes can live, further shrinking this bird’s habitat.
The beautiful, liquid song of the Palila was once thought a sign of rain. Now the distinctive sound is rarely heard.
The Palila and the māmane tree are two of Hawai’i’s many species found nowhere else. The tree is essential to the bird: The Palila’s hooked bill is just right for opening the tough, fibrous seedpods of māmane, the bird’s primary food.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, continues to register new refugee arrivals at the Sudanese-Ethiopian border. Some 800 people crossed from Ethiopia’s Tigray region into eastern Sudan in just the first few days of the new year. Since early November, more than 56,000 Ethiopian refugees have fled to neighboring Sudan.
Latest arrivals tell of being caught in the conflict and being victims of various armed groups, facing perilous situations including looting of their houses, forceful recruitment of men and boys, sexual violence against women and girls. Refugees are arriving with little more than the clothes on their backs, fatigued and in weak conditions after sometimes days of travel. More than 30 percent of them are estimated to be under 18 and 5 percent over 60 years old.