More Bird Die Offs – What Is Happening?

Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds dead in one of the Southwest’s largest bird die-offs on record, U.S.

Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds dead in one of the Southwest's largest bird die-offs on record, U.S.

Mystery ensues across New Mexico as hundreds of thousands of migratory birds have been found dead across the state in one of the Southwest’s largest bird die-offs in recent memory. Scientists are examining the reason behind the alarming event, looking at possible factors such as the wildfires on the West Coast, the cold snap in the Mountain West, or the drought in the Southwest.

“It’s just terrible,” said Professor Martha Desmond from the New Mexico State University, noting that the figures are larger than ever seen before.

“The number is in the six figures. Just by looking at the scope of what we’re seeing, we know this is a very large event, hundreds of thousands and maybe even millions of dead birds, and we’re looking at the higher end of that.”

The mysterious deaths began around August 20, when a large number of dead birds were discovered at the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range and White Sands National Monument.

Scientists initially believed that it was an isolated incident, but it turned out to be a bigger problem when hundreds more dead birds were seen in other regions across the state, including Doña Ana County, Jemez Pueblo, Roswell, and Socorro.

Residents reported seeing birds behaving unusually prior to their deaths. For instance, birds that are commonly seen in trees and shrubs have been found on the ground chasing bugs. Many birds appeared lethargic and unresponsive while on the ground until they get hit by cars.

Desmond, along with other biologists from White Sands Missile Range, started identifying, cataloging, and analyzing around 300 dead birds to learn more about their condition when they died.


Martha Desmond/New Mexico State University

Among the species of dead migratory birds found were warblers, sparrows, bluebirds, blackbirds, the western wood pewee, and flycatchers. Some were also found in Colorado, Texas, and Mexico.

One of the factors being considered by biologists is the wildfires on the West Coast, which may have forced the birds to migrate earlier. “Birds who migrated before they were ready because of the weather might have not had enough fat to survive,” Desmond explained.

“Some birds might have not even had the reserves to start migrating so they died in place.” She added, “We began seeing isolated mortalities in August, so something else has been going on aside the weather events and we don’t know what it is. So that in itself is really troubling.”

Some of the birds will be examined at the US Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Oregon to identify their exact cause of death, but it would take some time to get the results. Desmond remarked that climate change played a role in mass deaths.

“This is devastating,” she continued, “We lost three billion birds in the U.S. since 1970, and we’ve also seen a tremendous decline in insects, so an event like this is terrifying to these populations and it’s devastating to see.”


Image credit: Martha Desmond/New Mexico State University

Meanwhile, Jenna McCullough and Nicholas Vinciguerra, doctoral ornithology students from the University of New Mexico, surveyed the affected area and gathered a total of 305 birds, including 258 violet-green swallows.

“Many of them have little to no fat, many are underweight, and there’s not a lot of external signs that they have been inhaling a lot of smoke,” said McCullough.

Dr. Andrew Farnsworth, a senior research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, noted that the deaths started before the sharp temperature drop in New Mexico last week, adding that the die-off amounted to a major event,” in the wider problem of migratory birds being killed by other instances.

“It’s different this year than other years,” he said, also noting that the wildfires could be a potential factor. “We’ve had plenty of hot summers but very few that have had these huge-scale fires combined with heat combined with drought.”

Tristanna Bickford, a spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, agreed that it would take time before biologists conclusively identify the reason for the die-off.

Some specimens will also be sent to the National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin for examination, where it would take months to diagnose the cause.

“This is definitely not a normal thing,” stated Bickford, urging people to wear gloves if they collect specimens and hand them over to authorities.

Featured image credit: Martha Desmond/New Mexico State University


Comet Pan-Starrs Over the VLA

COMET PAN-STARRS UPDATE: As it emerges from the glare of the evening sun, Comet Pan-STARRS is becoming even more photogenic. Last night, March 17th, Alan Dyer caught it setting behind the Very Large Array, a radio telescope in Socorro, New Mexico:

Movie-goers will remember seeing the VLA in Carl Sagan’s movie Contact starring Jodie Foster. Among astronomers, the array is even more famous for real-life scientific discoveries. On March 17th, the great telescope was window dressing for a comet.

“Light from the nearly quarter Moon high in the sky illuminated the landscape and highlighted the rims of the 27 dishes of the VLA,” says Dyer. “Fortunately, the array was arranged in its most compact formationfor easy photography – at times the dishes can be spread out over many miles.”

“The comet appeared in deep twilight,” he continues. “A classic curving dust tail is now obvious in photos. This comet will bear watching and shooting over the next month, no matter where you are in the northern hemisphere.”


New Mexico Cuts Philosophical Objections from Vaccine Exemptions

State Cuts Philosophical Objections from Vaccine Exemptions

By Dr. Mercola

The ethical principle of informed consent means that you have the human right to be fully informed about the benefits and risks of a medical intervention and be free to make a voluntary choice about whether or not to take the risk. The right to make an informed, voluntary vaccination choice for yourself (or your minor child) is an inalienable human right because vaccination, like any medical intervention, involves taking a risk that could cause harm or even death.

There is no guarantee that receiving a vaccine (or any other drug) will not cause a complication and lead to serious injury – or that it will protect you from the disease it is supposed to prevent.

But across the United States, people are fighting for their right to choose not to be injected with vaccines against their will because vaccine exemptions have come  under constant attack.


  • State health officials in New Mexico changed the vaccine exemption form so that philosophical objections are no longer an option. The New Mexico Department of Health simply said they changed the form because the prior one allowed for “misinterpretation of the law.” From now on, parents will be required to state their religious beliefs in order to qualify for a non-medical vaccine exemption for their children to attend school.
  • California, Washington and Vermont also recently made it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinations.
  • Those who promote forced vaccination often cite incorrect data as “support,” such as the false statement that recent pertussis outbreaks could be traced back to unvaccinated populations.
  • The right to make an informed, voluntary vaccination choice for yourself (or your minor child) is an inalienable human right because vaccination, like any medical intervention, involves a risk that could cause harm or even death.

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New Ireland, PNG Strong Earthquake

Very powerful earthquake east of New Ireland, PNG

Last update: August 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm by By

Very powerful earthquake east of New Ireland, PNG

USGS New Ireland Region, Papua New Guinea Aug 02 09:56 AM 6.3 70.6

A very strong earthquake at intermediate depth to the east of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. The earthquake was felt as a light shaking 180 km to the north. Theoretical calculations from USGS did expect a moderate shaking (MMI V) at the closest populated areas at Southern New Ireland. PNG people are experiencing often very strong to massive earthquakes. does not expect any serious damage or injuries from this earthquake.  This is the second very strong earthquake in the area in only a couple of days. The Magnitude was to weak and the depth to deep to generate even a small tsunami.


NM Fire Spotted by Satellite

NASA PHOTO: New Mexico Wildfire Over Gila National Forest Spotted By Satellite

Posted: 06/04/2012 6:16 pm Updated: 06/04/2012 6:16 pm

 nasa photo new mexico fire

May 30, 2012, a wildfire burning in Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico had burned more of the landscape than any other fire in the state’s history.

By OurAmazingPlanet Staff

A NASA Earth-observing satellite has snapped a photo of the huge wildfire chewing up vast swathes of southwestern New Mexico.

The Whitewater-Baldy fire, which was sparked by a lightning strike on May 16, has burned roughly 377 square miles (976 square kilometers) as of today (June 4), making it the largest wildfire in New Mexico history. NASA’s Aqua spacecraft captured a view of the conflagration from space, showing vast plumes of smoke billowing over the rugged Gila National Forest near the borders with Arizona and Mexico.

Aqua took the photo on May 29 with its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, NASA officials said.

More than 1,000 firefighters have been battling the blaze, which remains less than 20 percent contained. The area’s rugged terrain has hampered progress, as have strong winds.

Though Whitewater-Baldy is big, it currently pales in comparison to some other wildfires that have torched the continental United States. For example, last year’s Wallow Fire— which spread from an unattended campfire in eastern Arizona — burned 841 square miles (2,178 square km).

The great Yellowstone fire of 1988 burned nearly three times that much land, scorching roughly 2,340 square miles (6,060 square km) across Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, including much of Yellowstone National Park. And a 1910 blaze in Idaho and Montana covered about 4,700 square miles (12,173 square km), killing nearly 90 people in the process.

Before Whitewater-Baldy grew so large, New Mexico’s biggest wildfire had been the Las Conchas blaze, which burned 244 square miles (632 square km) in 2011 in the northern part of the state.


Albuquerque Flash Mob

If I Had the Chance, I’d Ask the World to Dance

by BURQUESTYLE on APRIL 11, 2012 ·

By Jdel. Photos by Jdel and Solve Maxwell.

Billy McCall watched a video on YouTube of a handful of middle-aged gentlemen jamming out in the woods to techno music blasting from the trunk of a car.  That was all it took for him to realize that a dance party can — and should — be started anywhere.

He created the Facebook group called the Duke City Dance Party and posted a couple of notices about a flash-mob style gathering at the Dunkin Donuts parking lot along Central and University. Word spread, the post was re posted, and thus sprung their first impromptu dance party.


Twist and Shout. Check out homie getting down with that crutch.

The poppers popped, and the breakers breaked.

Peeps from Critical Mass were jammin on their bikes.

Getting wild with the noise makers


Hair, the musical

McCall, in his finest dance wear.

Artis, from ABQ Nightvision, put down his camera for a minute and showed us his moves.

Even Burquestyle’s own Solve Maxwell got down with his bad self.


The party started promptly at 6:50 and ended roughly twenty minutes later. The idea behind the short spurts of dancing? “I know people have stuff to do,” McCall says. “If you want to dance for three hours straight, you go to a nightclub. If you want to dance for a few minutes, meet some cool people, you come here — to Dunkin Donuts,” he laughed.

Greg Beliveau, owner of said Dunkin Donuts, looked out the window and saw people dancing in his parking lot. “Of all the things I have seen on the streets of Albuquerque, this may be the strangest,” he said.

That doesn’t mean he is a naysayer. “No, I think it’s great. Had I known they were coming, I would have called Channel 4 and told them to come down and get some footage of the flash mob in my parking lot.”

McCall says he appreciates Beliveau’s support. He also knows there is a fine line between spreading the word and receiving too much media and being told to shut down.

“Hopefully there will be more impromptu parties in other spots in the future,” he said. “Anyone can plan them. If you feel like dancing, pick a place and let us know. Albuquerque needs to get weirder.”


Dormant New Mexico Volcano Erupting?

3/24/2012 — Volcanic plume erupts from New Mexico DORMANT volcano

Posted on March 24, 2012

watch the video update here:


Carrizozo lavic fields — New Mexico .

Starting yesterday afternoon (3/23/2012) going into sunset … a plume of some sort erupted from VERY close (13 miles) to the Carrizozo Lavic/Volcanic fields.  Coordinates of the plume epicenter/origin point…  33°48’50.13″N , 106° 4’55.15″W

For sure it is NOT a fire (pictures show DIRT and DESERT).. NOT a dust devil (too big and stay stationary at origin point) .. NOT a thunderstorm (clear day / plume comes from ground source) .. NOT military target practice (public area).

screenshots from College of Dupage Weather Center :  view the 1km VISIBLE Satellite view (3/23/2012 going into sunset).

If its not a fire, dust devil, military test, or weather… then…. What does that leave us?


1. It erupts very close to a dormant volcano

2. There are no forests to burn and pictures actually show straight DIRT and DESERT

3. Clear day, no storms or even cloud cover

4. Point of origin from single point on the ground

5. Not military testing (public area)

6. Erupts in the afternoon into sunset like ALL THE OTHERS

Im not going to give a long drawn out explanation.. at this point.. people should know by now where I stand on this whole matter.

Simply put, we are witnessing a venting of some sort coming from a dormant volcano —- this is due to the EXTREME pressure on the north American Craton (laurentia) .  We are seeing activity across the board.. strange rumbles in the middle of the craton (wisconsin).. and steam venting at OTHER dormant volcanic spots along the edge of the plate (link to videos covering previous plume events is below).

I say across the board literally.. from the west coast to the east coast.. earthquakes at dormant volcanoes, reports of rumbles and strange odors from near dormant volcanoes/deep earth fracking sites.

It should be obvious by now.  The north american plate is in a REAL state of unrest — we are seeing the signs of heavy movement… for instance.. see the my video below about yellowstone having some very strange signatures.. and also I speak about the Wisconsin rumbles..

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Rio Grande Rift Earthquake Potential

Some earthquakes expected along Rio Grande Rift in Colorado and New Mexico, new study says

January 12, 2012

Some earthquakes expected along Rio Grande Rift in Colorado and New Mexico, new study saysEnlarge

( — The Rio Grande Rift, a thinning and stretching of Earth’s surface that extends from Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains to Mexico, is not dead but geologically alive and active, according to a new study involving scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. 


“We don’t expect to see a lot of earthquakes, or big ones, but we will have some earthquakes,” said CU-Boulder geological sciences Professor Anne Sheehan, also a fellow at CIRES. The study also involved collaborators from the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Tech, Utah State University and the Boulder-headquartered UNAVCO. The Rio Grande Rift follows the path of the Rio Grande River from central  roughly to El Paso before turning southeast toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Sheehan was not too surprised when a 5.3 magnitude  struck about 9 miles west of Trinidad, Colo., in the vicinity of the Rio Grande Rift on Aug. 23, 2011.  The quake was the largest in Colorado since 1967 and was felt from Fort Collins to Garden City, Kan.

Along the rift, spreading motion in the crust has led to the rise of magma — the molten rock material under ’s crust — to the surface, creating long, fault-bounded basins that are susceptible to earthquakes, said Sheehan, a study co-author and also associate director of the CIRES Solid Earth Sciences Division. The team studied the Rio Grande Rift region to assess the potential earthquake hazards.

Using Global Positioning System instruments at 25 sites in Colorado and New Mexico, the team tracked the rift’s miniscule movements from 2006 to 2011. “Questions we wanted to answer are whether the Rio Grande Rift is alive or dead, how is it deforming and whether it is opening or not,” said Sheehan.

Some earthquakes expected along Rio Grande Rift in Colorado and New Mexico, new study says
The high-precision instrumentation has provided unprecedented data about the volcanic activity in the region. Previously, geologists had estimated the rift had spread apart by up to 2 inches or 5 millimeters each year, although the errors introduced by the scientific instruments were known to be significant. “The GPS used in this study has reduced the uncertainty dramatically,” Sheehan said.

Using the latest high-tech instrumentation, the scientists found an average strain rate of 1.2 “nanostrain” each year across the experimental area, the equivalent of about one-twentieth of an inch, or 1.2 millimeters, over a length of about 600 miles.  “The rate is lower than we thought but it does exist,” Sheehan said.

The researchers also found the extensional deformation, or stretching, is not concentrated in a narrow zone centered on the Rio Grande Rift but is distributed broadly from the western edge of the Colorado Plateau well into the western Great Plains. “The surprising thing to come out of the study was that the strain was so spread out,” Sheehan said.

Results of the study are published in the January edition of the journalGeology.

The team plans to continue monitoring the Rio Grande Rift, probing whether the activity remains constant over time, said lead study author Henry Berglund of UNAVCO, who was a graduate student at CU-Boulder working at CIRES when he completed this portion of the research. Also, the team may attempt to determine vertical as well as horizontal activity in the region to tell whether the Rocky Mountains are still uplifting or not, Berglund said.

“Present-day measurements of deformation within continental interiors have been difficult to capture due to the typically slow rates of deformation within them,” Berglund said. “Now with the recent advances in space geodesy we are finding some very surprising results in these previously unresolved areas.”

As far as the potential for future earthquakes in the region, the study’s results are unequivocal, however. “The rift is still active,” Sheehan said.

The new study also is co-authored by CU-Boulder Associate Professor and CIRES Fellow Steven Nerem, Frederick Blume of UNAVCO, Anthony Lowry of Utah State University, Mousumi Roy of the University of New Mexico and Mark Murray of  Tech.

Provided by University of Colorado at Boulder


Power Outtages CA to Mexico


Major power outage hits from San Diego to New Mexico on Thursday

Published on September 8, 2011 5:10 pm PT
– By Dave Tole – Writer
– Article Editor and Approved – Warren Miller

No larger image

( — Power is out from San Diego into Arizona, and New Mexico in spots, blamed on hot conditions in the Southern California desert.

San Diego Gas and Electric spoke this evening when millions of people were affected with a power outage before 4 p.m. local time.

he spokesperson states that “power will be restored soon as other plants come online” but does not have an approximate time for it.

The internet is abuzz with possible reasons. An X-Class solar flare erupted from the Sun a couple days back which could result in a solar storm today or tomorrow.

Then you have the more realistic reason being the hot temperatures over 115 degrees overloaded the grid in the desert, causing the blackout.

“Temperatures are very hot out there in the Southern California desert,” said TWS Senior Meteorologist Kevin Martin. “Anytime you have something of that magnitude you will get power failures. It is a plausible option but not for sure.”

Others tell it was traced to someone removing a piece of monitoring equipment at a power substation in Southwestern Arizona.


More on Colorado/New Mexico Earthquake

Unusually strong earthquake in Colorado / New Mexico, United States – Roads have been damaged

Last update: August 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm by By Armand Vervaeck and James Daniell

Earthquake overview : After having experienced a foreshock with a magnitude of 4.6 at 5:30 PM on August 22, a second strong mainshock measuring 5.3 magnitude (5.5 initially reported)  scared the Trinidad, Raton area.

Landscape near Trinidad, Colorado – Panoramio image courtesy Slakingfool –

UPDATE : few homes have been damaged during this earthquake. No collapsed homes, but cracks in walls, broken windows, collapsed chimneys, etc. labels this as ‘minor damage’

UPDATE : Report from a girl on facebook : My father lives West of Trinidad (epicenter area ER) (Valdez-Segundo area) His chimney collapsed, walls were cracked, dishes broken. Some objects fell off the wall, but luckily everybody is safe.

UPDATE : Colorado State Patrol is reporting there is damage to I25 near mile markers 5 and 8. That is south of Trinidad, near the New Mexico border. Las Animas County reports damage to highway 12.  They also say there is structural damage to some buildings in the area.

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