DNR Weekend Reading: Songbirds, spotted owls and women with chainsaws

Skunk cabbage eaten by bear
Bears love skunk-cabbage fruit. This photo shows a bear’s claw marks, where it held a leaf down to get at the plant’s fruit. All of the skunk cabbage in this Southwest Washington wetland with these perforations were also missing their fruit. Photo: Steve Burinsky/DNR.

Here are selected articles from recent publications about science, climate and the environment for your DNR Weekend Reading:

Science Daily: Songbirds Migrate On Strict Schedule
 A new study by York University researchers finds that songbirds follow a strict annual schedule when migrating to their breeding grounds–some birds depart on precisely the same date each year.

Oregon State University: Active Forest Management to Reduce Fire could aid Northern Spotted Owl
The northern spotted owl, a threatened species in the Pacific Northwest, would actually benefit in the long run from active management of the forest lands that form its primary habitat and are increasingly vulnerable to stand-replacing fire, researchers conclude in a recent study.

Green (New York Times): The Chain Saw Circle: Women of the Woodlands
Women who own woodlands constitute a fast-growing demographic, according to the federal Department of Agriculture, which is allocating funds to the Oregon extension service to develop Women Owning Woodlands (WOW) networks nationwide. While some women acquire their forests through a purchase, the majority of women inherit them from a parent or husband while in middle or later years.

Science Daily: Spillways Can Divert Sand from River to Rebuild Wetlands
Researchers could have a new method to rebuild wetlands of the Louisiana delta, thanks to a chance finding during severe flooding of the Mississippi River. Civil engineers and geologists found that when the Bonnet Carre spillway was opened in 2011, a high percentage of the river’s sand load diverted into the spillway–a goal of research work to build up wetlands.

Scientific American: A Single Brain Structure May Give Winners That Extra Physical Edge
What separates a gold medalist from an equally dedicated athlete who comes in 10th place? The insular cortex, a small structure deep in the brain, may give winners an extra edge.

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