By now, we have all heard about and seen multiple shocking images of plastic pollution in oceans. Whether it’s theseahorse with its tail wrapped around an earbud, or the remote islandparadise turned into a plastic nightmare, it’s clear that the world has reached beyond breaking point with this material.
Taiwan made a good start by banning free plastic bags in2002, which made it one of the first places to start banning free plastic bags. However, there is much more to do. The ban only applies to mainstream shops. Small businesses continue to use plastic bags.
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Sialia sialis POPULATION: 20 million TREND: Increasing HABITAT: Open habitat near trees, such as savannas, forest clearings, pasture, parks, and golf courses.
The vibrant colors and soft, musical warbles of the Eastern Bluebird are a welcome sight on a cold, snowy day. Bluebirds have long been considered harbingers of spring, and their willingness to nest in open, human-modified habitats makes them popular among birders and non-birders alike.
The Eastern Bluebird’s genus, Silia, is part of the larger thrush family, making the bluebird a relative of theWood Thrush,Bicknell’s Thrush, andSwainson’s Thrush. There are eight recognized subspecies of Eastern Bluebird, found in North America, Mexico, and Central America.
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Pharomachrus auriceps POPULATION: Unknown, but considered fairly common TREND: Stable HABITAT: Humid mountain and cloud forests of South America
A handful of spectacular species, found only in the Americas, are known as “quetzals.” All are part of the trogon family — colorful, fruit-eating tropical birds that include the better-known Resplendent Quetzal and Haiti’s national bird,Hispaniolan Trogon.
The name “quetzal” is from the Nahuatl (Aztec) quetzalli, meaning “large brilliant tail feather,” and Golden-headed Quetzal fits the bill perfectly. This beautifully plumed species has a distinctive golden-bronze head, iridescent green body and wings, and long wing and tail coverts.