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March 28, 2015

Bird of the Week – Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Spring Migration, Delta Barley Project

By far the most common warbler in the boreal forest, the Yellow-rumped Warbler, the “Butter-Butt,” prefers the canopy, the tops of trees. As a result, it’s probably the most common cause of “birder’s neck,” neck strain from looking straight overhead. The species winters in the southern United States and Central America. The Yellow-rumped Warbler has two different forms: the Audubon’s and the Myrtle. They were once thought be be separate species, but were “lumped” into a single species a little while back. Alaska sees the Myrtle Warbler form. Camera geek stuff: f8, 1/640, ISO6400. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen…

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Quiet, 26 Years After the Spill

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Several years ago Shannyn Moore, Jeanne Devon and I went out to Prince William Sound [read the post from Jeanne Devon] on an assignment from BBC World Service. We were sent for the odd request that could only come from a international news agency like the BBC… gather sound. They didn’t need video, or pictures, just sound. BBC had certainly been there before and had much in their catalogue to make it sound like their reporter was in Alaska – but they were looking for sound from right then. It was July 4th weekend so instead of BBQ and beer the…

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The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska KTVA – Anchorage mayoral candidate threatens to sue media Mayoral candidate Dan Coffey has stated he doesn’t want the public to hear a private conversation he had with current Anchorage Assembly member Bill Starr back in 2008. The conversation with Starr was recorded onto an answering machine. ADN – State sells $4 billion in stocks because it may need the cash before long The state is liquidating about $4 billion of long-term investments in stocks because it may need the money soon and can’t afford the risk of a market decline. The need to draw billions from the Constitutional Budget…

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Coffey Tape Reveals Illegal Donations (AUDIO)

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The following is a press release from Michigan public radio reporter, and former Anchorage radio personality Aaron Selbig. The audio tape is the subject of this week’s Alaska Dispatch News, and Mudflats column by Shannyn Moore. Her commentary can be found HERE. *** The audiotape of former Anchorage Assembly members Dan Coffey and Bill Starr discussing illegal campaign contributions first aired February 26, 2008 on the Aaron Selbig Show on KUDO 1080AM. It was later replayed by KUDO hosts Camille Conte and Shannyn Moore. The tape came to Selbig after it was recorded on the home answering machine of former…

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Coffey Spilled the Beans Long Ago

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Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey has a problem — a big problem. I’m not sure if it’s a medical issue that has affected his memory of events over the last decade or so, or if it’s just way easier for him to pretend some of the things he’s done or said didn’t happen. Shall we climb into the not-so-way-back machine? Oh, it was an exciting time, and I was in the middle of it. We’re only going back to 2008 — for now. There was this wonderful character named Alan Tesche. He was an assemblyman and used to get on…

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New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Photos

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For the first time in my photo career I was assigned to cover the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade – it was one of my bucket list assignments. The specific focus of my assignment was the first ever LGBT group allowed to march in the parade. You can see my photos from that part of the parade over at the Village Voice. While I was there on assignment, I also photographed the rest of the parade – below are a few of my favorite shots – many more can be seen at my photo website.

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Bird of the Week – Arctic Warbler

Arctic Warbler Male, Denali Highway

There’s been a request for bird songs and call as well as photos. WC is a photographer. But the among birders, Xeno-canto is the go-to site for bird songs. We’ll try an embedded bird call from Xeno-canto and see what the Boss thinks.  The Arctic Warbler, unlike the majority of warblers, is an Old World warbler. It’s also another incredible migrant, traveling to Alaska from Southeast Asia to breed in the alpine and sub-alpine hills of Alaska. After such an epic migration, you might expect the males to rest and feed up before staking out their territories. You’d be wrong. The…

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Bird of the Week – Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler, Denali Highway

This post is a little late. Sorry. Realy good concert last night. The Blackpoll Warbler breeds in the Boreal Forest south of the Brooks Range and across Canada. It’s a very cool bird for several reasons. First, its breeding and non-breeding plumages are so different that for many years it was thought to be two different species. Here’s a Blackpoll Warbler in breeding plumage along the Denali Highway. And here’s a bird in non-breeding plumage, photographed by Tom Johnson off the coast of Maine in early October. Next, there’s the bird’s song, which is among the highest pitched of any bird…

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The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska Alaska Public Radio – Unusual Weather Prompts Concerns Over Early Fire Season Possibilities Alaska wildfire mangers are anticipating the possibility of an early season. This winter’s unusual weather is prompting concerns. Bloomberg – Alaska’s Hidden Billionaire Just south of the Elmendorf-Richardson military base in Anchorage, Alaska, there’s a seven-block mobile home park named Four Seasons, where rentals start at $1,300 a month. It’s one of at least 40 multifamily properties in the area, or about 12 percent of the city’s entire rental market, owned by Weidner Investment Services Inc. ADN – Denali’s squeaky-clean air best among all US national parks Fairbanks air…

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Bird of the Week – Northwestern Crow

Northwestern Crow, Cordova, Alaska

There are four species of crow in North America, but only one breeds or commonly occurs in Alaska, the Northwestern Crow. Smaller than the American Crow, there’s a lot of disagreement among ornithologists about whether the Northwestern Crow may just be a subspecies of its American Crow cousin. For now, based on the size difference and their quite different calls, the American Ornithological Union thinks it is a different species. Camera geek stuff: f8, 1/250, ISO1000. The white drops are rain. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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