Mark Faherty

Here we are in mid-February, and with the snow flying and storms raging, you’d think we’d be done with finding new rare birds overwintering here on the Cape and Islands. Fall migration, which brings most of our rare birds, seems a distant memory. We scoured the landscape during the Christmas bird counts, the hotspots have all been birded countless times, and all the rare feeder birds have been called in and documented. Or at least one would think so. But one would be wrong, because wacky birds that we have somehow missed continue to turn up each week.

 

Joanna Vaughan bit.ly/2kPJKDi / bit.ly/1dsePQq

The coast assumes a different character in winter. In A Cape Cod Notebook, Robert Finch sets out on a solitary walk in the Provincelands, visiting the dune shacks that stand against the wind in a desolate landscape.

FreeFoto.com

It's still very much winter around here, but daylight is increasing and some migrating birds are starting to show up! Great horned owls may already be sitting on eggs. On The Point, it's our monthly Bird News program with Mark Faherty, ornithologist and science coordinator at Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, hosted by Mindy Todd.

public domain clip art

Happy Valentine's Day from third-grade students at the Tisbury School on Martha's Vineyard!  The children wrote their Valentine greetings under the guidance of school librarian Whitney Burke.   Thanks to the staff at the Tisbury School for assisting.

Sea ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.
Brocken Inaglory / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

While New England is being pummeled by a series of winter storms, a different kind of storm has been wreaking havoc at the North Pole. For the third time this winter, a storm has pushed north from lower latitudes, bringing with it temperatures close to the melting point. It’s the kind of event that typically only happens once or twice each decade.

Meanwhile, sea ice – both Arctic and Antarctic – are at an all-time low for this time of year. What’s the connection? The short answer, of course, is it’s complicated.

John Holdren, science advisor and director of OSTP under President Obama.
Elsa Partan / WCAI

President Donald Trump has yet to name a science advisor, a position that dates back to the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. It wouldn't be the first time that a president has decided he's better off without one. 

President Nixon wasn’t happy with the advice he was getting from his Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  He fired his science advisor and he dissolved the office of science and technology. But in 1976, Congress decided the executive branch really needed such an office and so it restored it by law.

John Severns / Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Here's something you don't see everyday: two thirds of a legislative body not only supporting a bill, but actually co-sponsoring it. One hundred thirty-four Massachusetts state Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of legislation intended to help bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

New Bedford Whaling Museum

The 19th century was a time of numerous rebellions in Ireland, most of them unsuccessful. Many Irish rebels were taken prisoner and sent by their British captors to the notoriously squalid Fremantle Prison in Australia – a fate regarded as essentially a death sentence.

Dan Tritle

WCAI's Brian Morris talks to local journalists about some of the top news stories of the week.  His guests include Cynthia McCormick of the Cape Cod Times; Sara Brown with the Vineyard Gazette; Tim Wood of the Cape Cod Chronicle; Josh Balling of the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror; Ed Miller from the Provincetown Banner; Jim DeArruda of the New Bedford Standard Times; and Barry Stringfellow of the Martha's Vineyard Times.

Poetry Sunday: Eileen Huang

Feb 12, 2017

Eileen Huang reads her poem, "Looking Through Photos of the Tiananmen Square Massacre."

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