Unusual number of Arctic snowy owls spotted in U.S.

The Extinction Protocol

January 6, 2014ALBANY, N.Y.Snow-white owls with luminous yellow eyes are thrilling bird-watchers as the magnificent birds set up winter residence at airports, fields and beaches far south of their normal Arctic range. The Florida Times-Union reports that one of the Arctic birds has been spotted since last week in Little Talbot Island State Park. It’s only the third-ever sighting of a snowy owl confirmed in Florida. Park services specialist Peter Maholland says bird watchers have been flocking to northeast Florida to catch a glimpse of the white bird. Snowy Owls are familiar to children as Harry Potter’s pet. They are the largest North American owl, and they’re typically found in Canada and the Arctic. Experts say snowy owls fly farther south when their population spikes or their food source becomes scarce. An invasion of snowy owls has been reported this winter across the Midwest, Northeast and…

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Giant sinkhole reported in Peak District of Derbyshire, UK

The Extinction Protocol

January 6, 2014UNITED KINGDOMA large sinkhole has appeared in part of the Peak District in Derbyshire. The hole, which eye witnesses said measures about 160ft (49m) wide, has opened up in the village of Foolow. Caver Mark Noble, 58, from Eyam, said he saw the hole during a walk on Christmas Day, but believes the land began to fall the day before. He said he has explored the caves at Foolow in the past as huge cavities were left in the area from an old lead mine. Mr Noble said: “It’s quite a large hole and it’s getting bigger all the time. It’s probably increased by about 10% since it opened up. It is quite interesting but there are two other similar large holes that appeared about half a mile away from this one in the 1970s, so it’s not a new thing.” –BBC
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17: Indonesia’s Sinabung Volcano erupts 50 times in one day

The Extinction Protocol

January 6, 2014INDONESIAAuthorities have extended a danger zone around a rumbling volcano in western Indonesia after it spewed blistering gas farther than expected. National Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says more than 50 eruptions on Saturday sent lava and searing gas tumbling out of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province down the southeastern slopes up to 5 kilometers (3 miles) away. He said the volcano’s danger zone to the southeast was extended from five to seven kilometers (three to four miles) after the new eruption.  It was still spitting clouds of gas and lava as high as 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) on Sunday, but no casualties were reported. More than 20,000 people have been evacuated from villages around the crater into several temporary shelters. Sinabung has been erupting since September. –Emirates 24

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