#363 Guam Kingfisher

Extinct in the Wild

In 1986 there were only 29 of these birds known to be left in the wild. They were all captured, and captive breeding programs were started. There are still fewer than 200 of them alive, but that is much better than only 29. The main reason for their near extinction was the introduced brown tree snake. Feral cats likely helped with the population decline as well. There is very little hope that they will be able to return back to Guam, no matter how many are in captivity. The brown tree snake and cats would essentially have to be eradicated in order for the bird to survive, and that is not an easy thing to do. Other islands are hoped to possibly be suitable, but it has not happened yet. They are apparently sort of like roosters, they start their first call at dawn and were practically considered a clock by some locals. They are about the size of an American Robin at 9 inches long. Though they are kingfishers, they don't much eat fish. They prefer to eat insects, along with small crustaceans and lizards.


Whew, I managed to make the whole drive in the daylight. Usually when I do this sort of thing it is usually dark on the way back because I've had to wait there or it is winter and there is less daylight. I have a lot of friends in England, so I looked up the drive and it is almost exactly the same distance as my computer tells me it is to go from Plymouth, England up to Edinburgh, Scotland. The change in scenery though when you go from Western Oregon to Eastern Oregon, and then up into Eastern Washington, it is nothing like you will find in England or Scotland. The drive was right around 485-490 miles total for me. We go from my area's very green forests and hills that most states would consider mountains to essentially desert with low hills covered in brown grass and tumbleweed, nowhere near as many trees plus the ones they have are smaller. It is extra hot this week and my oldest will be outside marching for 2 weeks...hopefully he stays safe. I took a before picture of our arms so we could compare how much of a tan he gets to how sadly pale I stay. I was out in the sun for as long as it took to unload his stuff and I swear I started getting a sunburn. My car has a none too accurate outside temperature that it displays. I couldn't check what the weather app said because I don't use the phone while driving (well, I do use the GPS), and at one point it said where I was had the temperature of 104 degrees (Fahrenheit obviously). I do better in the heat than the rest of the family, because I'm still cold when it is 74 degrees I'm just glad I got home at a reasonable time and managed to get the painting done..

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