Category: Environment

BirdWatching – Binoculars and Beyond


Birdwatching, also referred to as “birding,” is the activity of observing and identifying birds in their natural habitat and understanding their ways of life. Bird watching is a popular hobby. It allows the hobbyists to spend their free time leisurely and peacefully exploring the nature.

Birding is more than merely observing birds. It gives the enthusiasts an opportunity not only to identify different types of birds, but also understand and appreciate the beauty and harmony in nature. The activity hones such skills as keen observation, listening, exercising patience, and being in tune with nature, not to mention photographing.

Birdwatching can feel like quite a treasure hunt as one spots different types of the avian creatures for the first time, especially when they are of rare species. Birds are considered to be among the best ambassadors from the natural world, and birdwatching brings enthusiasts closer to nature. The activity helps people understand the various aspects of nature that contribute to making suitable habitats for different types of birds.

Most bird watchers start by identifying birds in their own area. As they become more familiar with the birds in their immediate area, they often expand the territory that they travel. As the bird watchers spot and discover different species, they are motivated to travel farther and farther. Some serious enthusiasts travel the country, even the world in pursuit of their hobby.

A basic bird watching checklist of items to have includes:

  • Binoculars: Helpful for closer observation of birds at a distance, without disturbing and affecting the birds’ behavior in their natural environment.
  • Field guide: A comprehensive field guide is immensely helpful in identifying the birds In the given region.
  • Journal and pen: Most avid bird watchers make notes of their experiences. Keeping a journal helps remember the location the birds are found in, what the birds look like, the sounds they make, the behaviors they exhibit, and other vital details.
  • Camera: Many bird watchers love to bring cameras with them. Snapping a few pictures of birds they observe in their excursions helps them identify the birds better and use them to get excellent photographs to help them document their experience.

A hobby that began in the early 20th century as enthusiasts used to observe and study birds by shooting them down, birdwatching changed into a more peaceful activity. With tools like scopes, binoculars, cameras, and field guides widely available, bird watching allows people to observe these exotic creatures while they are left to live peacefully in their natural environment.

Amita Vadlamudi’s favorite bird pictures can be seen on her Pinterest and Flickr sites.




An Overview of Minimizing Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint pic

Carbon Footprint

Amita Vadlamudi, a computer systems engineer with a major financial services provider, is an active environmentalist. Amita Vadlamudi enjoys spending her time researching a variety of topics, from matters of climate and weather to the characteristics of earth’s landforms and waterways.

There are a number of steps environmentalists can take in order to minimize their carbon footprint. One of the most effective actions an individual can take involves finding a workable alternative to driving an automobile. Walking or cycling is a viable option in many scenarios, while further distances can be achieved through public transportation or carpooling, all of which can help lower carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Any person concerned about the environment should also look into low carbon vehicles, including electric cars.

An individual’s carbon footprint can also be reduced at home. Installing proper insulation not only help maintain heat during the winter and cool air in the summer, but can yield financial gains in the form of state programs such as Energy Upgrade California. Homeowners may further optimize the energy efficiency of their home by installing solar panels and LED lighting systems.

Conserving the Nation’s Natural Treasures

Theodore Roosevelt pic

Theodore Roosevelt

Amita Vadlamudi possesses over three decades of experience as a computer systems engineer. In addition, Amita Vadlamudi pursues a number of interests, including fitness, volunteerism, and history. She particularly enjoys learning about American history.

The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt is known as an early champion of conservation efforts. Unlike many of his contemporaries who were pursuing industrial growth at an unprecedented rate, Roosevelt recognized that the nation’s natural resources were not inexhaustible and needed to be protected and used in a wise manner.

Because of this belief, Roosevelt created five national parks during his presidency, thereby doubling the number already in existence. He also signed the Antiquities Act, making national treasures such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the Natural Bridges in Utah national monuments. In an effort to conserve the nation’s forests for continued use, he also turned 100 million acres of land into national forests. In all, he is credited with protecting about 230 million acres of public land.

Later, in 1916, Woodrow Wilson established the National Park Service, which unified the management of federal parklands. After 100 years, the National Park Service continues to protect the nation’s natural treasures, ensuring that generations to come can enjoy the beauty of the land.

A Complex, Changing Pacific Ocean Environment

Pacific Ocean Becomes a Caldron pic

Pacific Ocean Becomes a Caldron

A longtime computer systems engineer, Amita Vadlamudi provided support for mainframe and Unix systems. Amita Vadlamudi has a longstanding interest in the environment and the way in which diverse ecosystems operate. A recent New York Times report titled “The Pacific Ocean Becomes a Caldron” explored various factors, including El Nino, that are impacting the world’s largest body of water.

The powerful equatorial El Nino weather system is causing a warming of the ocean’s surface, which in turn releases heat into the atmosphere. For many in drought-impacted California, this is a positive force, as it unleashes much-needed rainfall and snow. A longer-term force at work is the Pacific decadal oscillation, which spans decades of warmer or colder water. The fact that the oscillation has been in a cool state since 2000 has mitigated the effects of heat that greenhouse gases generate, as part of global warming.

Most immediately worrisome is “The Blob,” a persistent zone of warm water off the Western US coast that is nutrient poor and which scientists do not fully understand. This has affected species such as sea lions and fur seals, and brought tropical sunfish as far north as Alaska.

Climate Change Affecting the Sex Ratio of Florida’s Baby Loggerheads

Amita Vadlamudi is a longtime IT professional with extensive experience in designing computer systems. With a passion for protecting the environment, Amita Vadlamudi has a strong interest in the intersections between climate, weather, and the earth’s ecosystems.

Many scientists agree that climate change is already having a significant impact on widlife, with walrus and polar bear habitats particularly affected. A recent discovery is that global warming may also be impacting the sex ratio among baby loggerhead turtles in Florida.

Sea turtles are a species that develop into females and males while incubating within eggs. Temperature is a major factor in determining the sex of the offspring, with temperatures of 84 degrees and lower favoring the development of males. Higher temperatures are more conducive to females being born. With global temperatures on a marked increase, Florida Atlantic University biological scientists are taking a serious look at how both temperature and rainfall (which may exert a cooling effect) affected sex ratios among baby loggerheads. The finding is that extremely hot years over the past decade have produced 90 to 95 percent baby female populations.