Open thread

You absolutely must go see today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.  It’s beyond spectacular.  It’s a celebration of light: fireworks, lightning, and a comet all in the same picture.  Wow!

And some more cool photos.  This time: It’s the Sumela Monastery in Turkey.  “It clings to the wall of a steep cliff facing the Altındere valley in the region of Macka in Trabzon Province, Turkey.”

This is very, very sad.  “A whooping crane was spotted alive on Sunday after it was believed killed with 17 others in severe Florida storms, according to an organizer of a migratory project. [. . .] The 18 whooping cranes were being kept in an enclosure at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge near Crystal River, Fla., when violent storms moved in Thursday night. The birds were led south in December by ultralight aircraft as part of a project to create a second migratory flock. [. . .] The whooping crane, the tallest bird in North America, was near extinction in 1941, with only about 20 left. The other wild whooping crane flock in North America has about 200 birds and migrates from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. A non-migratory flock in Florida has about 60 birds.”  I’m glad at least one survived, but it’s terribly unfortunate to know Mother Nature undid in one night what humans have been trying to do for many many years.

Birds in the News 69 (v2n20) is available.  There are plenty of stunning photographs as well as a large amount of avian news.  Fly on over and check it out.

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