Author Topic: News: Vultures & Condors  (Read 1763 times)

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Offline The Peregrine Chick

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News: Vultures & Condors
« on: January 07, 2011, 09:57 »
Woman, bird arrested for allegedly being spies

In the worldís most unsettled region, itís easy to get jumpy and see spies around every corner. Or nesting in every tree. Or biting tourists.

Iranian news agencies say a 55-year-old American woman has been detained on espionage allegations after she was found with "spying equipment." Reportedly, that may include a microphone or some other electrical device hidden in her teeth.

The woman, the fourth U.S. citizen to be arrested in Iran in the past two years, was picked up by customs officials in the border town of Nordouz, northwest of Tehran.

But the arrest hasnít ruffled as many online feathers as the cloak-and-dagger apprehension by Saudi Arabia security agents claiming to have brought down a high-flying spy, code-named R65.  

The officials are accusing Israel of sending a specially trained vulture into their airspace near the city of Hayel.  The feathered operative apparently made locals nervous by looking down on them last week. When captured, the bird was found with a GPS transmitter and tag with the number R65 from Tel Aviv University stamped on it.  Suspecting a clever Zionist plot, officials locked the bird up.  Researchers in Israel say the bird is just a normal vulture, and part of an innocent long-term study.

But itís not the first accusation of suspected animal agents being sent off to do dirty work on foreign soil. When tourists near the coastal resort of Sharm el Sheikh were attacked by a shark late last year, one Egyptian official reportedly suggested the biting menace might be an Israeli-trained provocateur. And spy birds are nothing new to the world of spooks and watchers. In 1940, British covert operatives were involved in a battle of the skies, by training peregrine falcons to take down Nazi-trained homing pigeons.

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors / 2011
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 13:32 »
... And spy birds are nothing new to the world of spooks and watchers. In 1940, British covert operatives were involved in a battle of the skies, by training peregrine falcons to take down Nazi-trained homing pigeons.[/i]

Ooooo! Scarey stuff! Better not consider putting a GPS on any of our Peregrine falcons! ;)

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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News: Vultures & Condors / 2012
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2012, 17:00 »
Vultures Dying at Alarming Rate

ScienceDaily (Nov. 17, 2011)

Veterinary drug residue in cattle and livestock carcasses is killing South Asian vultures.

Vultures in South Asia were on the brink of extinction until Lindsay Oaks and Richard Watson, from The Peregrine Fund in the US, undertook observational and forensic studies to find out why the number of birds was falling so rapidly. They discovered the vultures were being poisoned by residues of an anti-inflammatory drug (diclofenac) used in cattle and other livestock, whose carcasses they feed on. The work is presented in a chapter of the new book, Wildlife Ecotoxicology -- Forensic Approaches, published by Springer.

According to the authors: "The story is far from over and the stakes are high. The failure to effectively control carcass contamination by diclofenac will likely lead to extinction of these magnificent birds which, through their scavenger role, have controlled the spread of infectious disease for millennia, as well as provided other important ecological services."

Oaks and Watson describe their scientific investigations, including their many challenges and setbacks, following the unprecedented decline in the population of two of the world's most abundant raptors -- the Oriental White-backed vulture and the Long-billed vulture -- in India in the 1990s, and neighboring Pakistan by the early 2000s. They describe how they were able to prove that the commonly used anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, fed to ailing cattle and other livestock, was being ingested by the wild birds feeding on the carcasses and causing visceral gout, a manifestation of renal failure.

The authors go on to discuss their efforts in 2004 to get the governments of India, Pakistan and Nepal to take note and act, faced with the irrefutable proof that diclofenac was responsible for the declining numbers of vultures at such a catastrophic rate. They demonstrate how solid science can facilitate a rapid regulatory response -- with India, Nepal and Pakistan all banning the manufacture of veterinary diclofenac in 2006.

In spite of the researchers' 10-year crusade and significant accomplishments, veterinary diclofenac continues to be used widely and illegally almost four years after the drug was banned, leaving the fate of wild Gyps vultures in doubt. The authors highlight a number of potential measures which could lead to a more effective implementation of the ban.

This forensic work and other scientific detective cases are featured in Wildlife Ecotoxicology -- Forensic Approaches. The editors present case-by-case examinations of the science, describing the challenges biologists personally face while doing their research and bringing these issues to the public and regulatory forum.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111117135719.htm

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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News: Vultures & Condors / 2013
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 18:06 »
Church turns to effigy to scare vultures
27 Jan 2013, UPI


JACKSONVILLE, N.C., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The vultures were circling a North Carolina church -- literally -- prompting members to commission a vulture effigy to scare the real birds away.

The strange tactic worked and the birds, which had been destroying the Bethlehem Baptist Church roof, now roost and eat elsewhere, The Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C. said Saturday.

"They were actually breaking pieces off the roof and eating it," church secretary Susie McBarn said. "That couldn't have been good for them."

The effigy, prepared by a taxidermist and installed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, hangs upside down from the church's steeple



Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2013/01/27/Church-turns-to-effigy-to-scare-vultures/UPI54021359320214

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors / 2013
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 05:44 »
When you click on the link you get the message that the page you are looking for is no longer available.

Offline bcbird

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Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors / 2013
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 18:37 »
Yes, the second link worked.  Thank you. :)

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors / 2013
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 19:09 »
thanks bcbird!  :)

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors / 2013
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 18:46 »
http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2013/01/27/Church-turns-to-effigy-to-scare-vultures/UPI-54021359320214/

Try this link.  

Yes! Thanks, bcbird. I wasn't able to open the 1st link but am able to open this one. :-*

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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News: Vultures & Condors / 2014
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 19:41 »
Sad news ...

Zion National Park's Condor No. 299 Is No More
NPT Staff / National Parks Traveller / 2 Jan 2014



Condor No. 299, arguably the most-viewed condor in Zion National Park, has died. The bird's body was found in a remote canyon southeast of the park.  The 11-year-old male was found after a search that involved a telemetry flight via airplane. It also took biologist Eddie Feltes a hike of several miles and a 300-foot rappel to recover the carcass.  Park officials hope a laboratory necropsy will shed light on what killed the condor.


source:  http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2014/01/zion-national-parks-condor-no-299-no-more24462

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors / 2014
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 19:50 »
Why One Virginia Town Wants to Kill a Vulture and Hang its Corpse
Judy Molland / Care2 / 2 Jan 2014

Seen on the wing, the turkey vulture is an awe-inspiring and graceful bird.  Designed for soaring flight, with a nearly six-foot wing span and a light body weight, turkey vultures are able to buoyantly ride rising columns of warm air to heights of almost 5,000 feet and to travel up to 40 miles per hour with almost no flapping of the wings.

Wow!

Seen up close, however, this creature is not so beautiful: an unfeathered and red-skinned head, long bare legs and weak talons, with the hind toe small and dysfunctional. Hence, they seek out carrion, since they donít have the talons to kill their own prey.

In December, the town of Vinton, Va., decided that they had had enough of the migrating raptors.

As The Roanoke Times reported:  They materialized almost overnight, dozens of them, swooping in wraithlike and ready to roost. Vinton Town Manager Chris Lawrence had seen it before ó beady-eyed buzzards loitering in his neighborhoods, an annual migratory menace. It wouldnít be so bad if their acidic droppings didnít remove paint from cars, or if they abstained from pecking at roofs. But they do, close to 100 of them.

Even though Lawrence admitted that the town was partially responsible for the vultures choosing this neighborhood, as town officials hadnít covered buried roadkill well enough, Vinton police officers fired booming guns into the air to drive the birds away, and most left.

Vinton Plans to Kill One Vulture and Hang the Remains

Lawrence is planning more drastic measures for 2014.

Turkey vultures are classified as migratory birds, which means that they are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  However, the town could apply for a federal permit to kill one vulture. The remains would be hung near the vulturesí roosting site, and the vultures would disperse because they donít like to be around their own dead.

Thatís right: just like that infamous spot at London Bridge in England, where for over 300 years in medieval times alleged traitorsí heads were put on spikes as a warning to anyone thinking of challenging the Royal Crown, a dead vulture would be hung to discourage other vultures from even thinking of coming close to Vinton ...



Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/is-killing-a-vulture-and-hanging-its-corpse-the-right-thing-to-do.html

Offline Alison

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2017, 03:07 »
Today, September 2, is International Vulture Awareness Day.



Vultures have always been much maligned, and sometimes even feared, but they are extremely beneficial birds. They are the clean-up crew of the avian world, and they do an excellent job. They help to keep the countryside clean, and thereby prevent the spread of disease.

They have their own special beauty, and the most magnificent wings.

I read a few days ago that vultures, as a group, are now the most endangered birds on the planet.

Their numbers have been decimated by the veterinary use in livestock of Diclofenac, which is extremely toxic. Although the effects of Diclofenac have long been known, it has not been banned. When vultures consume carrion containing Diclofenac, they will die, and it is a horrible way to die. In India, vultures have been almost completely exterminated by Diclofenac; their numbers have decreased by 97.4%.

Below is a short video from SEO Birdlife in Spain in which a vulture asks "Who is the vulture, you or I?"

"I keep the countryside free of illness.

I save millions of euros.

I protect your health.

Nevertheless,  you kill me.

Diclofenac, which is used to treat livestock, can end up in me.

There are alternatives which are not toxic, and not more expensive.

Banning the use of Diclofenac is just a matter of common sense.

Do not be a vulture like me.

Let me be the only vulture."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_hvP_0sfGg

And a very short video of Cinereous Vultures:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToJEorKfm8c

Offline bcbird

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2017, 11:58 »
Thanks for the heads up, Alison, on International Vulture Awareness Day.

My husband and I are always entertained watching the soaring feats and "tippy" flight of Turkey Vultures in the summer heat of  the Okanagan Valley in BC.  Once we stop seeing their early morning upward spirals, we know that autumn will soon arrive.

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2017, 17:56 »
Thank you for reporting on the plight of turkey vultures, Alison. Theyíre so important to us, and I greatly admire them.

Offline burdi

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 19:11 »
Further information on turkey vultures can be found at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 


Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Offline Alison

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2018, 22:19 »
That is horrible news about the Andean Condors, TPC. Vultures and Condors continue to be persecuted for no reason. They are beautiful and beneficial birds.

Offline Alison

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2018, 22:33 »
For the first time, there has been an observation of a Cinereous Vulture in Mauritania. From SEO BirdLife:

First observation of a black vulture in Mauritania! We banded him, as a chick, at the colony in the Valle del Lozoya, RascafrŪa, Madrid, on July 13, 2017.

The numbers in this colony have increased from 60 pairs in 2007 to 120 pairs currently. 64 chicks were born in the colony in 2017. There is a webcam which follows one of the nests. Last year's chick, Niebla (whose name means "Mist" or "Fog"), fledged successfully on August 29, and continued to return to the nest to eat, sleep and spend time with his parents until the cam was finally turned off for the season.

The cam is active during the breeding season.

http://www.seo.org/webcambuitre/



The young Cinereous Vulture was seen in the company of a Griffon Vulture and a Brown-necked Raven.



First record for Mauritania:

In December 2017, the Dutch birding group Banc díArguin recorded a first-winter Cinereous Vulture at Iouik (Iwik) which is located in the Banc díArguin National Park, north-western Mauritania. The bird was wearing a yellow colour ring, so most likely from Spain. The bird was photographed with two other scavengers, a Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) and a Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis). This is the first known record for this Palearctic vulture for Mauritania.


http://www.magornitho.org/2018/01/first-cinereous-vulture-mauritania/

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2018, 11:32 »
They are pretty vultures that's for sure ... keeps cool company too.  Would have been interesting to know what they were waiting/hoping to dine on ...  ;D

Offline Alison

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Re: News: Vultures & Condors
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2018, 15:18 »
This beautiful black vulture showed up on cam at the northeast Florida bald eagle nest:

Photos: American Eagle Foundation.