Monday, April 30, 2007

Prothonotary Warbler in political history

The Google news alerts certainly can reveal some unexpected tidbits about birds. For instance, did you know that a Prothonotary Warbler identified a suspected Communist in 1948?

According to this article today, a Congressional panel investigating Whittaker Chambers' accusation that Alger Hiss was a spy for the Soviet Union believed that Chambers knew Hiss because the accused confirmed Chambers' description of Hiss' PRWA sighting.

The article includes some natural history, quotes from biologists, links to range maps and Breeding Bird Survey results, info about the species' status, and tips about where and when to see PRWA around D.C. You never know where a bird will show up... even on National Review Online.

2 Comments:

Blogger John said...

I'm not sure what the situation was in the 1940s and 1950s, but prothonotary warblers are not all that rare along the Potomac and around D.C. We even have them breeding in a few locations in the District.

April 30, 2007 9:00 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hunh. The linked article says this: Prothonotary warblers are rarely seen on the Potomac. “Up there, it’s a scarce bird,” says Charles Blem, a retired Virginia Commonwealth University biologist. They’re known as forested wetland specialists. In other words, they like swamps. They’re much more common in southeastern Virginia and Lousiana, as this map shows.

May 01, 2007 9:09 AM  

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