Author Topic: News: About Birds  (Read 8970 times)

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Online The Peregrine Chick

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News: About Birds
« on: March 11, 2011, 13:06 »
Oldest recorded wild bird raising a chick


Wisdom, a 60-year-old+ Laysan albatross.
John Klavitter , U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross at least six decades into her life, has startled federal biologists by raising a chick.

Nestled amid other hatchling's nests, the chick turned up in a February survey at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Islands, report U.S. Geological Survey and Fish and Wildlife Service scientists.

Wisdom "has sported and worn out 5 bird bands since she was first banded by USGS scientist Chandler Robbins in 1956 as she incubated an egg," says a statement. That means the albatross is at least 60, since the species first lays eggs at five.

"Just the idea of a bird 60 years old or more still bearing young is amazing," said Bruce Peterjohn of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., by phone. Only one other wild bird, an albatross of another species, is known to have lived to 61. Wisdom will tie that bird's record if she lives another year, says Peterjohn. "Most Laysan albatrosses live to 30 or 40, just to make it to 60 is pretty incredible."

Since 1920 U.S. and Canadian scientists have banded about 64.5 million birds and recovered bands from about 4.5 million of them. One irony of Wisdom's story is that Robbins, who originally banded the bird in 1956, also rebanded her in 2003. Robbins is in retirement but still works with USGS biologists in the bird banding program. "He is very proud of this bird, as you can imagine," Peterjohn says.

Central to Samuel Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" poem, the albatross is known as a soaring seabird, famed for its broad wingspan. They breed on Pacific islands such as Midway. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, 19 of 21 albatross species are threatened with extinction, including the Laysan albatross, largely from pollution and predation by rats and other pests that prey on their young.

Although albatrosses mates for life, "I suspect she has gone through a few mates," Peterjohn says. The chick noted in the February survey is still healthy, he reports, and will likely stay on Midway until June or July. Young Laysan albatrosses live at sea for the first two to three years of their flying life.

"Albatrosses are indeed among the longest-lived birds in the world. Researchers had speculated that they could live this long, but what is really remarkable is that they not only can live this long, but still successfully reproduce. Particularly for a female which typically bears more of the reproductive cost than a male," says wildlife biologist Lindsay Young of Pacific Rim Conservation in Honolulu. "It is also amazing that we know the age of this bird because of banding efforts that went on decades ago, and that the same individual was found almost 60 years later amongst literally millions of other birds breeding on the island. It really is a needle in a haystack. It makes you wonder how many other birds live this long, but we just don't get to find out either because we don't actively monitor them, or because we can't find the older individuals."


http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2011/03/oldest-recorded-wild-bird-bears-chick-wisdom-albatross-midway/1


this one is courtesy of Loriann

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 13:18 »
WOW!  :o

Offline birdcamfan

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 16:22 »
And she's beautiful for an old bird!

Offline bcbird

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 17:34 »
Oldest recorded wild bird raising a chick


this one is courtesy of Loriann

Thanks, Loriann!!

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 19:20 »
And she's beautiful for an old bird!

Yes, she is very beautiful looking! :D

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 16:57 »
Hundreds of Threatened Species Not On Official U.S. List, Research Shows

ScienceDaily (Dec. 12, 2011)

Many of the animal species at risk of extinction in the United States have not made it onto the country's official Endangered Species Act (ESA) list, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

National "red lists" are used by many countries to evaluate and protect locally threatened species. The ESA is one of the best known national lists and arguably the world's most effective biodiversity protection law.

A study -- now published in the latest issue of Conservation Letters -- has compared the ESA list of endangered species with the world's leading threatened species list, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

The study has found that of the American species included on the IUCN Red List, 40% of birds, 50% of mammals, and 80-95% of other species such as amphibians, gastropods, crustaceans, and insects, were not recognised by the ESA as threatened.

This amounts to approximately 531 American species on the IUCN Red List that have not made the ESA protection list. These include bird species such as the critically endangered Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris), the endangered ashy storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa), and the vulnerable cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea).

"The ESA has protected species since its establishment in 1973, and it may have prevented 227 extinctions. However, the implementation of the ESA by successive US governments has been problematic, including poor coverage of imperilled species, inadequate funding, and political intervention," says study leader Bert Harris, a native of Alabama who is undertaking his PhD with the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute and School of Earth & Environmental Sciences.

"Vague definitions of 'endangered' and 'threatened' and the existence of a 'warranted but precluded' category on the ESA list are also contributing to the gap in species classification," he says.

Mr Harris says a detailed evaluation of the ESA's coverage of the IUCN Red List was "well overdue."

"The ESA is a powerful environmental law but its impact is limited. With many species being overlooked, this does not bode well for the ESA's ability to mitigate species decline before they become critically imperilled.

"The IUCN Red List is imperfect, but it is the leading global threatened species list. It involves collaboration of many scientists, and regular refinement of its categories and criteria," Mr Harris says.

The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of California, Santa Cruz, the National University of Singapore and the University of Göttingen, Germany.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212132632.htm

Offline RCF

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 09:00 »
Migrating Whooping Crane fatally shot April 20th 2012

An adult whooping crane that spent the winter in Texas was shot in a South Dakota cornfield before it could reach the endangered birds' breeding grounds in Canada, federal wildlife officials said.

http://www.caller.com/news/2012/apr/24/migrating-whooping-crane-is-fatally-shot-in/

Offline birdcamfan

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 17:41 »
Wow! I'm embarrassed to be human!

Offline RCF

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 21:04 »
Angry birds halt mail in Winnipeg neighbourhood

Several residents on Ralph Avenue in Winnipeg's Transcona neighbourhood have been unable to receive their mail due to crows or ravens dive-bombing their mail carrier.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/06/21/mb-angry-birds-mail-winnipeg.html

Offline irenekl

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 10:04 »
BIRDS GO POSTAL

Hilarious! You gotta read some of the comments CBC viewers have posted on this story.  Theres wit in this town :D


Offline birdnut

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 10:52 »

This is my favorite:

"This is just the beginning. In a few years, these birds will be elected to a majority Government and will enslave us!"


...Can a postie carry an umbrella and the mail at the same time?

Offline jadoo

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 11:36 »

This is my favorite:

"This is just the beginning. In a few years, these birds will be elected to a majority Government and will enslave us!"

...i wonder if the writer was dissing the Selinger majority government, the Harper majority government (politically, diametrically opposed), or just majority governments in general?

Offline GCG

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2012, 12:51 »
Angry birds halt mail in Winnipeg neighbourhood

Several residents on Ralph Avenue in Winnipeg's Transcona neighbourhood have been unable to receive their mail due to crows or ravens dive-bombing their mail carrier.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/06/21/mb-angry-birds-mail-winnipeg.html

 ;D ;D Just had to respond to this post. My son is a Canada Post carrier. Earlier this week, while talking to him, (he has bluetooth and earpiece) while delivering his route, he was being divebombed by a crow. This is frightening and is happening all over. Not the route as above. Across town. Scary, boys and girls! :o
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 17:36 by gemcitygemini »

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2012, 12:54 »
That surely can't be a very pleasant experience but I guess they need to be grateful that they're not being dive bombed by a raptor such as a peregrine falcon. ;)

Offline Elaine L

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2012, 17:08 »
This brings to mind Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "The Birds".  I found this movie scary, particularly as I could see how this could possibly happen; after all, how would you survive if all the birds in the world decided that they had enough of humans?!  Anyway, the book was even more scary.

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2012, 10:28 »
Three Cornell undergraduate ornithologists found and named a new species of Barbet ...

New Species Discovered by Cornell Grads, Named for Cornell Lab Director


And a longer article about the expedition itself ...

Stretching the Canvas

Offline RCF

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2012, 18:24 »
Puffin patrol rescues more birds than ever

The Puffin Patrol in Witless Bay, Newfoundland collected 37 disoriented puffin chicks, a record number, on Friday night, and released them into the wild on Saturday morning.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2012/08/12/nl-puffin-patrol-more-rescues-812.html

Offline susha

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2012, 19:14 »
Wonderful story!  Thanks RCF!

Offline allikat

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2012, 00:01 »
Very cool story!  Thank you very much RCF for posting it!!!

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2012, 22:07 »
I love the Puffin Patrol story! Thanks for posting the link RCF!  :-*

Offline RCF

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2012, 20:44 »
Where is that titmouse going with all your sunflower seeds? How far will a chickadee travel for food in a day, or a month? Is "your" favorite nuthatch also a regular at someone else's feeders? We know surprisingly little about the habits of our most familiar birds

http://eepurl.com/o-tnH

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2013, 13:20 »
And she is at it again - at at least 62 years of age!!!

Mom again at 62: world's oldest wild bird hatches new chick
Albatross 'Wisdom' has raised 30 to 35 chicks so far
posted: 6 Feb 2013 - CBC News



(Wisdom on the left trying to nudge her younger mate off her egg in late November)

A wild bird believed to be the oldest in the world is still making babies and flying 80,000 kilometres a year in her seventh decade of life.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross who nests in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, about 2,800 kilometres northwest of Hawaii, hatched her latest newborn early Sunday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey repoprted in a news release.

Peter Leary, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist who observed the hatching, reported that the chick appeared to be healthy.

After returning from foraging at sea on November 29, 2012, Wisdom (left) attempts to nudge her mate off the nest for her turn at incubating the couple's egg. (Pete Leary/USFWS)Wisdom is at least 62 years old, but could be older than that. She was first banded by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1956 while incubating an egg, so she must have been old enough to breed by then.

Albatrosses typically breed starting at eight or nine years of age. But if Wisdom was an early breeder and started at age five — the earliest possible breeding age for her species — she would now be 62.

To her human followers, Wisdom is "simply incredible," says Bruce Peterjohn, chief of the USGS's North American Bird Banding Program.

"If she were human," he said, "she would be eligible for U.S. Medicare in a couple of years yet she is still regularly raising young and annually circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean."

According to the USGS, albatrosses lay one egg a year, although they occasionally take a year off from breeding. Peterjohn estimates that Wisdom has likely raised at least 30 to 35 chicks to date. Most recently, she has nested every year since 2008.

There are 21 known species of albatross in the world. The Laysan albatross is one of only two that are not considered to be threatened with extinction



Link to story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/02/05/technology-oldest-bird-albatross-wisdom.html

Offline susha

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2013, 19:15 »
This is astounding!  I love this :o

Offline bcbird

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2013, 22:52 »
Thanks, TPC.  

It's great to see this story continue.

Offline MayShowers

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2013, 12:30 »
Absolutely amazing!

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2013, 18:00 »
Incredible! :o What great genes she must have!

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2013, 12:39 »
How Birds Got Their UV Vision
Tanya Lewis, LiveScience - 11 Feb 2013

If optimists see the world through rose-colored lenses, some birds see it through ultraviolet ones. Avians have evolved ultraviolet vision quite a few times in history, a new study finds.

Birds depend on their color vision for selecting mates, hunting or foraging for food, and spotting predators. Until recently, ultraviolet vision was thought to have arisen as a one-time development in birds. But a new DNA analysis of 40 bird species, reported Feb. 11 in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, shows the shift between violet (shorter wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum) and ultraviolet vision has occurred at least 14 times.

"Birds see color in a different way from humans," study co-author Anders Ödeen, an animal ecologist at Uppsala University in Sweden, told LiveScience. Human eyes have three different color receptors, or cones, that are sensitive to light of different wavelengths and mix together to reveal all the colors we see. Birds, by contrast, have four cones, so "they see potentially more colors than humans do," Ödeen said.

Birds themselves are split into two groups based on the color of light (wavelength) that their cones detect most acutely. Scientists define them as violet-sensitive or ultraviolet-sensitive, and the two groups don't overlap, according to Ödeen. Birds of each group would see the same objects as different hues.

The specialization of color vision has its advantages. For instance, a bird with ultraviolet-sensitive vision might have spectacularly bright plumage in order to impress a female, but that same plumage might appear dull to predator birds that see only in the violet range.

Feathery findings

The study researchers sequenced the DNA from the 40 species of birds, from the cockatiel to the whitebearded manakin. They extracted DNA from the bases of feather quills, blood, muscle or other tissue. From that DNA, the scientists reconstructed the proteins that make up the light-sensitive pigments in the birds' eyes. Differences in the DNA revealed which birds were sensitive to violet light versus ultraviolet.

"That change is very simple, apparently," Ödeen said. "It just takes a single mutation" in the DNA sequence. While that change may seem insignificant, it can be compared to the difference humans see between red and green.

The researchers mapped the birds' evolutionary relationships using data from their study and others. The color mutation that made bird lineages with violet vision evolve to see in ultraviolet and vice versa occurred at 14 different times in their map, and probably even more among all birds, Ödeen noted.

Why the bird lineages switched their color sensitivity — essentially species of a certain branch on the family tree evolved to have the reverse type of vision — is still something of a mystery. The ability to attract mates while still evading predators could be one reason. Ultraviolet light might also provide higher contrast that makes finding food easier. Other factors are environmental — open spaces have more UV light than do forests, for example. Ultimately, the color sensitivity may be a result of other changes that affect the amount of ultraviolet light the birds' eyes receive.

It seems the evolution of color vision in birds is much less black and white than was once thought.



Check out the story online (including a quiz) here - http://www.livescience.com/26994-how-birds-uv-vision.html

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2013, 13:04 »
"Noah and the Bunnies" - A great story about a homing pigeon/rock dove at a rehab centre...  8)

http://www.wildroserescueranch.com/noahandthebunnies.html

Offline irenekl

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2013, 00:59 »
Such a sweet story kinderchick, I love that!!

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2013, 13:20 »
this is a bit longer than most our news stories but well worth the read ...

Operation Easter: the hunt for illegal egg collectors
by Julian Rubinstein
The New Yorker / July 22, 2013


http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/07/22/130722fa_fact_rubinstein?currentPage=all

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2013, 20:00 »
Very interesting reading, indeed. As TPC has said, a long article, but well worth the read.

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2013, 20:47 »
Good article.  I cannot understand why some people would collect what are basically egg shells and by doing so, destroy the possible life that was in them, especially from endangered birds.  ???

Offline Moonstar

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2013, 07:17 »
If birds are poisoned, does it act quickly or are they able to fly around awhile before it kills them?
If they are able to fly around then would poisoned pigeons or any other poisoned birds harm the falcons if one of them happened to be a meal? 
Just wondering because of those black birds that were possibly poisoned by poison left out for the pigeons.

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2013, 10:09 »
Good question moonstar.  I was wondering the same thing as were these birds died is not all that far from the Radisson or HSC.

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2013, 13:17 »
If birds are poisoned, does it act quickly or are they able to fly around awhile before it kills them?
If they are able to fly around then would poisoned pigeons or any other poisoned birds harm the falcons if one of them happened to be a meal?  
Just wondering because of those black birds that were possibly poisoned by poison left out for the pigeons.

In case folks were on holidays, this is what Moonstar is referring to: Dead birds fall 'like raindrops' in Winnipeg's North End

To answer your question Moonstar, it would depend on the poison and how much ingested that would influence whether the birds could fly around.  But yes, they can fly after poisoning but whether they will and how far depends on the bird, poison, location, etc.  

If it was poisoning, what type of poison was used is nearly impossible to say without the necropsy results.  There are pigeon control products that don't kill the pigeons but do make them sick and they then move along.  Most folks who understand anything about pigeon control know that poisoning doesn't work, you need to exclude them from their roosting locations and exclusion techniques are primarily non-toxic and non-lethal.  Folks who don't know about pigeon control might do something like use rat poison or some such but pigeons aren't stupid and they won't eat it but other species might.  And sometimes folks get creative and use products that are for other purposes but they use it because it is on hand.  

Having said that, there have been intentional poisoning of pest bird species such as this one in South Dakota a couple of years ago

Now grackles are omnivores - they eat pretty much anything: crops, bugs, eggs/chicks, garbage, you name it, that's why they are so successful. (All About Birds - Common Grackle) And they are gregarious so they could have all been affected at the same source and that is a lot of ground to cover.  So it could have been intentional, unintentional or accidental - once they have performed toxicological testing, they should have a better idea of what it could have been.

I know that pest control firms in Winnipeg avoid using poisons wherever possible so they don't have indirect/incidental deaths.  And they know about the peregrines.  There used to be poison on rooftops all the time when the project first began and so far as I can recall, we have never had an incidental death on record.  We have had poisoning but it was accidental - for example when a chick ingested some oil.

Hope this answered your question ...

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2013, 13:18 »
As an addendum ...

There was a similar case with that I heard about from a raptor researcher doing some work in Argentina.  Swainsons Hawks were found dead and dying from where they had literally dropped from their perches on the branches in an avenue of trees beside a field that had just recently been sprayed with pesticide.  The pesticide was an organophosphate insecticide/pesticide (DDT is an organochlorine pesticide).  Swainsons tend to prey a lot on insects in the area (grasshoppers = lots of protein) and the hawks congregate in large groups.  Field was sprayed, grasshoppers ate sprayed crops, hawks ate grasshoppers then went to perch and started dying.  Hundreds of hawks that turned into thousands that year.  That particular type of organophosphate pesticide entered the market in 1964, Silent Spring came out in 1962 and DDT started to be banned in the late 1960s. 

Here's more:

Interestingly, there was a Swainsons mass death due to a hailstorm in Argentina:

Offline Moonstar

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2013, 15:43 »
Thanks for your answer.  I guess we just have to hope it won't hurt the falcons or any other birds, what ever it was.

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2013, 20:14 »
Thanks for your answer.  I guess we just have to hope it won't hurt the falcons or any other birds, what ever it was.

Looking back over my response I realized that I forgot to mention that the peregrines tend not to take prey birds that look/could be ill so chances are that even if they were to come across an ill/poisoned bird it would be unlikely that they would prey upon it.  And now that the story has made the news hopefully if is poison laid down whoever did it will stop rather than risk further publicity ... And yes hopefully all our birds will be safe from that and similar hazards!

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2013, 22:20 »
Thanks for your very thorough & interesting reply to Moonstar's question, TPC. I had actually wondered about the safety of our Winnipeg peregrines as well.

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2013, 12:40 »
Birds obey the speed limit when it comes to keeping away from cars, study finds
Calgary Herald - 21 Aug 2013

It appears birds observe the speed limit — even if drivers don't.

A new study by two Quebec researchers has found that birds flee from the path of an oncoming vehicle based on the posted speed limit, and not the actual speed of the vehicle.


read the rest of the story - Birds observe speed limit when it comes to keeping away from cars, study finds

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2013, 00:05 »
Now that's a very interesting article about the behaviour of birds. Thanks for posting it, TPC. :)

Offline Doreen

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2013, 15:55 »
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Toxicology-results-determine-grackles-were-poisoned---224450531.html  :(


From TPC: For anyone wanting to refresh their memories of the original incident, here is Moonstar's original post
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 16:57 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2013, 17:27 »
It seems strange to me that only the grackles were affected by this poison.  It makes me think they were targeted.  I would hope not, but can't shake the thought.  By the way, I have lots of grackles in my yard, along with Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Sparrow, Crows, once a Sparrow Hawk and both red and gray (grey) squirrels.  I love them all and feed them all.  My cats also love to watch them from both outside and inside my house.

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2013, 21:52 »
I also have many of the birds that you have named in my backyard, Jazz, & we too feed them all, including the Grackles. And our cats love to watch them too, from their indoor perch. Awful to hear that someone or some business would deliberately poison them. Is the use of anticholinesterase legal, TPC? ??? I remember several years ago some of the downtown businesses in Kingston, Ontario were poisoning the pigeons in the area. Consequently, a peregrine falcon who had dined on one of these pigeons was poisoned as well. Very sad. :(

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2013, 23:38 »
Is the use of anticholinesterase legal, TPC? ???

Yes, some.  The "reversible" forms are used in human medical treatments (glaucoma, Alzheimers, etc).  The partially or non-reversible forms include insecticides such as malathion (for mosquitoes) and aldicarb and carbofuran (aphids + more).  Aldicarb is to be completely banned in the USA by 2018 and carbofuran (aka Furadan) is banned in Canada & the EU and the USA is working on a ban as both of these are very toxic to, well, everything else.

There's a decent list with links on the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetylcholinesterase_inhibitor

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2013, 10:47 »
First Prosecution of Wind Company for Killing Birds
American Bird Conservancy News Release
22 November 2013

(Washington, DC) The Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced a settlement on the prosecution of Duke Energy’s wind developments in Wyoming in connection with the deaths of 14 Golden Eagles and 149 other protected birds, amounting to $1 million in fines and mitigation actions. This is the first prosecution of a wind company in connection with bird mortality.

“This is a welcome action by DOJ and one that we have long anticipated,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy (ABC), one of the nation’s leading bird conservation groups and a longtime advocate for stronger federal management of the wind industry. “Wind energy is not green if it is killing hundreds of thousands of birds. We are pro-wind and pro-alternative energy, but development needs to be Bird Smart. The unfortunate reality is that the flagrant violations of the law seen in this case are widespread.”

“Today’s enforcement action is the first and only time a line in the sand has been drawn by the government,” said Dr. Michael Hutchins, Coordinator of ABC’s National Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign. “The boundaries for the wind industry are voluntary, meaning that companies have been able to pay lip service to bird protection laws and then largely do what they want. Poorly sited wind projects exist or are being planned that clearly ignore the advice of federal and state biologists who have few, if any, means of preventing them from going ahead.”

The charges stem from the discovery of 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds, including hawks, blackbirds, larks, wrens, and sparrows, by the company at its “Campbell Hill” and “Top of the World” wind projects in Converse County between 2009 and 2013. The two wind projects comprise 176 large wind turbines sited on private agricultural land.

ABC has called for the prosecution of wind companies over violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act on numerous occasions, including requests to Congress and officials of both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and DOJ.

“All wind projects will kill some birds. It is sadly unavoidable, but some areas are worse than others, and we can predict where many of these will be,” said Hutchins. “The problem with the Duke Energy wind facilities in Wyoming is very similar to problems that exist elsewhere. Wind farms are being built without adequate plans to mitigate and compensate for bird impacts.”

ABC has developed a risk assessment map to provide general guidance on siting, though it is not a replacement for project-specific environmental assessments. Wind projects in lower-risk areas are likely to be less expensive to mitigate and compensate for through programs such as “habitat banking.”

The Department of Energy in 2010 published a renewable energy plan for the U.S. that called for a 12-fold increase in wind-generating capacity by the year 2030. In 2009, the wind industry was estimated to be killing about 440,000 birds. In 2012, a new estimate by Dr. Shawn Smallwood suggested that it was killing closer to 600,000 birds.

“Killing half a million birds by today’s wind industry is a significant figure, but how many more will be killed when the country has fully built out a program 12 times larger that operates without strong siting and operating guidelines?” asked Hutchins. “The wind industry should be treated like other for-profit energy industries. We believe it’s necessary to enforce development restrictions on wind, such as avoiding bird migration corridors and places where protected species and sensitive habitats are present.”

In March 2012, the FWS published voluntary operating and siting guidelines for the wind industry, following consultations with a Federal Wind Advisory Committee dominated by supporters of wind energy. Three months earlier, in December 2011, with the help of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal (MGC), a Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm, ABC formally petitioned the FWS to establish a mandatory wind project permitting system—a process that would ensure that wind developments are well sited, operated, and mitigated, with paid permits to cover costs. Were it to be adopted, this system would prevent the most damaging wind developments while allowing ones less harmful to birds to proceed in conjunction with certain mitigations. This followed an ABC campaign that gathered support from more than 150 organizations and 20,000 concerned citizens asking the Department of Interior for mandatory standards, not voluntary guidelines. Included in this group were the Sierra Club, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, American Birding Association, and many state Audubon societies.

ABC’s work on Bird Smart wind is generously supported by the New York-based Leon Levy Foundation.

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2013, 18:36 »
OK.  A settlement was reached.  I don't see where there are any guarantees that wind farms will not be put in the migratory paths, or did I miss something?  Also, are they going to dismantle the ones that are already in these paths?  Still a lot of questions needing answers.

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2013, 13:57 »
A fellow birder sent me this link and I thought I would pass it along as a new year's present to you all as I will be shutting down the forum in a few days to start the upgrade.

BirdWatching Magazine has just published its annual list of the year's most important stories about birds, bird conservation, and birding.
2013 in review: The 42 most important stories about birds and birdwatchers - http://bit.ly/1dPj3SL

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2014, 01:02 »
Hawk Mountain to buy land bordering trail
by Stephen J. Pytak / Republican Herald
26 Dec 2013

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary plans to buy land bordering the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Jerry Regan, president of the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, said Thursday.  It is 25.3 acres of woodland which will become part of the sanctuary, a roughly 2,500 acre wildlife protected habitat in Schuylkill and Berks counties, Mary Linkevich, Hawk Mountain's director of communication and grants, said Thursday.

"There are all types of wildlife that use it, amphibians, mammals, birds, and it's stop-over habitat for raptors," Linkevich said.

It will cost Hawk Mountain $210,000 to buy the property. Earlier this month, the sanctuary received a $100,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources toward the purchase, Linkevich said.  "We've been awarded the grant, which means the state made the announcement," Linkevich said. The sanctuary will buy the property in early 2014, she said.  

It's one of three DCNR grants the sanctuary recently received, Linkevich said in a press release Thursday. The other two are:
- $250,000 to help build a fully-accessible walkway which connects the Outdoor Amphitheater, Visitors Center, Native Plant Garden and Hawk Mountain Road.
- $200,000 for upgrades at the Irma Broun-Kahn Education Building.

These three grants, which total $550,000, were made available through the Pennsylvania Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, the Environmental Stewardship Fund and federal funding sources, Linkevich said in the release.

"We are very grateful to state Sen. David Argall and state Rep. Jerry Knowles for their assistance and leadership, and to the Berks and Schuylkill County commissioners, as well as the supervisors of Albany, and West Brunswick supervisors, all of whom wrote letters of support," Linkevich said.

On Thursday, Linkevich said the sanctuary owns: 1,407.8 acres in Berks County and 1,046.3 in Schuylkill County. This doesn't count the 25.3 acres of woodland in Kempton, Albany Township, Berks County, which the sanctuary plans to buy in early 2014, she said.  That 25.3 acres is privately owned. Linkevich and Regan would not release the name of the landowner Thursday.  It borders the Appalachian Trail and Hawk Mountain Road, she said.

"It's forested with 120-year-old maple woodlands with hemlock groves which provide important lower-elevation mixed forest habitat. Biological inventories completed by Hawk Mountain show the area is used by the pileated woodpecker, black bear, wild turkey, wood thrush, chestnut-sided warbler, scarlet tanager, the state-threatened timber rattlesnakes and many other Appalachian forest species, as well as migratory raptors who use it for stop-over resting and feeding," Linkevich said.

The sanctuary worked hard to acquire the property to prevent a private landowner from buying it and developing it, she said.

"A possible private sale and development on this parcel presents the highest risk to the character of Hawk Mountain's gateway experience and for hikers along the Appalachian Trail, and would certainly degrade its outstanding wildlife values," Linkevich said.  "And this was a matching grant from the state. Since the project was estimated to be $200,000, we had to come up with $100,000".

To acquire that $100,000 match, the sanctuary took a zero-interest loan from Norcross Wildlife Foundation, she said.  Meanwhile, Linkevich said the sanctuary is looking to invest in 59.8 acres of riverside property in West Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County.

"It's immediately below the North Lookout at Hawk Mountain. We continue to raise funds in hopes to purchase development rights. We continue to raise funds in hopes to purchase development rights. We are not buying the property, but a conservation easement," she said.  

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2014, 19:45 »
A fellow birder sent me this link and I thought I would pass it along as a new year's present to you all as I will be shutting down the forum in a few days to start the upgrade.

BirdWatching Magazine has just published its annual list of the year's most important stories about birds, bird conservation, and birding.
2013 in review: The 42 most important stories about birds and birdwatchers - http://bit.ly/1dPj3SL

Thanks, TPC! :-* Added this link to my favourites for when the Forum is down for maintenance. Hope it won't be for too long. ;)

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2014, 19:51 »
How wonderful to hear that Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was able to acquire this piece of land and prevent a private owner from purchasing & developing it! ;D

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2014, 14:20 »
For the birds (and the bats): 8 ways wind power companies are trying to prevent deadly collisions
by Roger Drouin for The Grist

Hundreds of thousands of birds and bats are killed by wind turbines in the U.S. each year, including some protected species such as the golden eagle and the Indiana bat. That’s only a small fraction of the hundreds of millions killed by buildings, pesticides, fossil-fuel power plants, and other human causes, but it’s still worrying — especially as wind power is experiencing record growth.  Both the wind industry and the federal government have been under intense public scrutiny over the issue in recent weeks. In late November, the Obama administration fined Duke Energy Renewables $1 million for illegally killing birds, the first time a wind company has been prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. (read more)

Here are eight things the industry is trying or considering in an effort to reduce bird and bat mortality.

1. Smarter siting - It’s all about location, location, location. The No. 1 way to prevent bird deaths is to do a better job choosing sites for wind energy development, said raptor researcher Richard Gerhardt: “It’s an issue of where you put the turbines.” (read more)

2. Radar - The industry is also turning to radar technology that could detect when eagles and other birds are approaching. Turbines could be slowed or shut down when the radar, along with employees monitoring the horizon, determine birds are within a certain zone. (read more)

3. GPS tracking - Thus far there have been no reported California condor deaths caused by wind turbines. And at least one company is trying to ensure the endangered birds can coexist with the growing wind energy presence in the state. (read more)

4. Ultrasonic acoustics - Most birds killed by wind turbines die because they get hit by spinning blades. Many bats seem to die for a different, even gorier reason: the lower wind pressure near the blades causes their lungs to explode. Because birds and bats react differently to turbines, scientists are pursuing different methods to protect them. (read more)

5. Leaving turbines off when wind speeds are low - The second strategy that has been shown to help reduce bat deaths is waiting longer to turn on the turbines, until wind speeds are higher.  “Bats like to travel in very low-wind conditions,” Hein said. (read more)

6. Painting turbines different colors - Some research has shown that migratory tree bats are attracted to turbines, but the reason isn’t known, Allison said. One study found that they may associate the turbines with a body of water. (read more)

7. Designing new turbine shapes - Earlier designs were found to attract roosting birds, which would perch and nest inside the turbines’ lattice-style structures, but newer designs discourage roosting. (read more)

8. Strike detection - If a turbine could recognize when it has been hit by a bird, it could potentially slow itself down or shut off to minimize the risk to other birds in the area.  (read more)

Morgan is hopeful that the research at Mesalands and elsewhere will eventually lead to a notable reduction in bird and bat mortality. “Man is good at solving problems when someone is willing to invest in the science,” he said.  Reducing wind development’s impact on endangered species and other wildlife would help the industry avoid problems with the federal government and boost wind power’s public image.

Allison believes there is also another motive: “They want to do it because they are conservation-mined, too. Many people in the wind industry work in the industry because they believe they’re doing something to reduce the impacts of climate change, which many believe is the single biggest threat.”



I encourage everyone to read the full story!!
http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/01/02/2-bald-eagles-found-shot-to-death-in-montgomery-county/

Offline dupre501

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2014, 13:22 »
The thought of all of this is a bit disturbing.

The BrightSource solar plant in Ivanpah Dry Lake, near the California-Nevada border, uses mirrors to focus and concentrate the suns rays and direct them to boiling towers to generate steam and turn turbines to generate power. Birds which fly through these concentrated rays have feathers ignite and fall to their deaths. They theorize that insects are drawn to the light, and birds hunting the insects follow them into these concentrated rays.

BrightSource is proposing building another LARGER site located along a flight path for birds between the Colorado River and California's largest lake.


BrightSource solar plant sets birds on fire as they fly overhead
CBC News / AP 11 Aug 2014

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/brightsource-solar-plant-sets-birds-on-fire-as-they-fly-overhead-1.2739512

Offline sparkster

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2014, 20:08 »
That is terrible! The poor birds. :'(

Offline burdi

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2014, 20:39 »

This is heartbreaking news :'(


Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #55 on: August 19, 2014, 20:17 »
Yes, very, very heartbreaking, to say the least. I do hope the "powers that be" are able to resolve this very concerning issue. :'(

Offline irenekl

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #56 on: August 20, 2014, 09:56 »
I find this horrifying and can't believe its allowed to continue even one more day.  Very disturbing to me how so many people really don't have any feeling about bird/animal life and all other aspects of nature that are a gift to us and a blessing to our lives.  I shudder at the thought of what this planet will look like in another hundred years. 
(didn't get my morning coffee today and I think its affecting me, I'm in a rage >:()

Offline burdi

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #57 on: August 20, 2014, 14:41 »

You said that very well, Irenki.


Offline birdcamfan

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #58 on: August 23, 2014, 07:37 »
The thought that they would continue or "go bigger" is disgusting.

Offline GCG

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2014, 08:43 »
Climate change threatens birds, pushes them north
MSN News / CBC News 10 Sept 2014

http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/climate-change-threatens-birds-pushes-them-north-1

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Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: CBC article - photos of Manitoba breeding birds
« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2014, 15:12 »
I love all of Dennis' photos.  I really, really wish I could take photos even half as good as his.

Offline GCG

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National Bird Project
« Reply #62 on: January 26, 2015, 07:36 »
Canadian Geographics is sponsoring a contest, National Bird Project, to designate an official bird for Canada by 2017, the country's sesquicentennial. Yes, the PF is there in the raptor category.  :)

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/nationalbird/

Offline GCG

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Re: National Bird Project
« Reply #63 on: January 26, 2015, 07:50 »
One last thought, in addition to the birds already listed, you can add your own personal selection, located at the bottom. After much thought, I wonder if I can add the name "The Peregrine Chick" to the list............... ;D
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 10:01 by gemcitygemini »

Offline dupre501

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New York state turns out lights for migrating birds
« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2015, 15:23 »
On the CBC Technology & Science website

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/new-york-state-turns-out-lights-for-migrating-birds-1.3052171

Nighttime lights can disorient birds, make them crash into windows

Thomson Reuters Posted: Apr 28, 2015 1:04 PM ET| Last Updated: Apr 28, 2015 1:05 PM ET

On their arduous flights North to their breeding grounds, birds migrating up the U.S. East Coast will have one less peril to worry about - bright lights from state-owned and -managed buildings in New York.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said that state buildings will turn off non-essential outdoor lighting from 11 p.m. until dawn during peak migration in the spring and fall.

The state is along the Atlantic Flyway, one of four major routes for birds coming North in the spring from their warmer winter hideouts.

To get here, many migrating species - including colorful warblers and other song birds - fly at night and navigate by the stars, using constellations to guide them.

But outdoor nighttime lights, especially in bad weather, can disorient the birds and cause them to crash into windows, walls, floodlights or the ground.

The phenomenon, called "fatal light attraction," has killed an estimated 500 million to one billion birds annually in the United States, the governor's office said, citing U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Migrating birds even fly right through the towers and canyons of New York City. Earlier this month, a Chuck-will's-widow - a brown, nocturnal insect-eater with a lizard-like head so flat and large it can swallow small birds whole - spent several days just a few blocks from Times Square, perched atop a branch in New York City's Bryant Park on 42nd Street.

Now bright lights will be turned off by New York state during the spring rush north from April 15 until May 31 and again during the fall migration south to warmer climes from Aug. 15 until Nov. 15.

Lights Out program

By joining with the National Audubon Society's Lights Out program, the state buildings follow other well known structures that have also agreed to limit lighting, including Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and the Time Warner Center.

"This is a simple step to help protect these migrating birds that make their home in New York's forests, lakes and rivers," Cuomo said in a statement.

Lights Out efforts are already protecting birds in the east coast cities including Baltimore and Washington, and in other U.S. metropolitan areas including Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco, according to Audubon.

Bird lovers can learn more about the Lights Out program by visiting the state's new website www.iloveny.com/birding.

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: New York state turns out lights for migrating birds
« Reply #65 on: April 30, 2015, 23:00 »
This "Lights Out" program is such a great idea. I wish more big cities than were mentioned in the article would adopt the idea.

Offline MayShowers

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Re: New York state turns out lights for migrating birds
« Reply #66 on: May 01, 2015, 05:56 »
What a wonderful piece of news, thanks for posting dupre501. 

Offline allikat

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Re: New York state turns out lights for migrating birds
« Reply #67 on: May 01, 2015, 12:16 »
Finally!.....people are realizing after losing billions of birds to shut off the lights when no one is home.
It's a start with hopes that others will soon follow.

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Offline Kinderchick

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Re: CBC/ Backpack geolocators
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2015, 20:12 »
That is a very interesting article, gemcity.
Thanks for posting the link!  :)

Offline Kinderchick

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News: Species-at-risk in Ontario
« Reply #70 on: May 29, 2015, 23:12 »
This is not good news...  :'(

"Ontario’s Divisional Court has upheld a provincial regulation that exempts major industries from the Endangered Species Act and allows them to kill species at risk and destroy their habitat."

See link below...

http://www.ontarionature.org/media/news_template.php?n_code=740



Offline allikat

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Re: News: Species-at-risk in Ontario
« Reply #71 on: May 29, 2015, 23:22 »
This is very frustrating and a tragedy.
I did however, notice there were contact #'s.
So, its time to voice our concerns. 
Be proactive and support our fragile environment.  Call.

Offline burdi

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #72 on: December 08, 2017, 01:59 »
Not so bird-brained after all: Pigeons understand the abstract concepts of space and time in a similar way to humans

By Harry Pettit For Mailonline
PUBLISHED: 19:00 GMT, 4 December 2017 | UPDATED: 19:06 GMT, 4 December 2017

Pigeons are smarter than we thought, according to new research.

The birds judge the abstract concepts of space and time in a similar way to humans, the first time a non-primate species has been shown to do so.

Crucially, pigeons use a different region of the brain to process space and time, suggesting they evolved the ability separately to humans. 

'In the same way we might need to estimate the arrival of our pizza delivery, or figure out if there is enough space for us to park our cars, it might be useful for a pigeon to estimate when it is lunchtime so it can get delicious breadcrumbs, or the size of a potential competitor,' study coauthor Dr Victor Navarro, a psychologist at the University of Iowa, told MailOnline.

The research adds to growing evidence that that lower-order animal species such as birds, reptiles, and fish are capable of high-level, abstract decision-making.

'The cognitive prowess of birds is now deemed to be ever closer to that of both human and nonhuman primates,' said study lead author Professor Edward Wasserman.

'Those avian nervous systems are capable of far greater achievements than the pejorative term "bird brain" would suggest.'

Read the rest here and "watch the full video" of a pigeon in the study

Link to article in Current Biology

Offline carly

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #73 on: March 30, 2018, 14:51 »

Offline bcbird

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #74 on: March 30, 2018, 18:28 »
Thanks for posting this article, Carly.
It was fascinating to learn how nature assures that calcium in the eggshell is not wasted. 
It is used for slowly mineralizing the chick's skeleton and after the hatch the remainder is eaten and so taken back by the mother bird.

Offline burdi

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #75 on: July 18, 2018, 20:07 »
'Getting a little strange': Unexplained jump in number of crows, merlins dying in Winnipeg, rehab centre says

Roughly 30 merlins, 50 crows died after coming to Prairie Wildlife rehab centre with odd symptoms this month

CBC News · Posted: Jul 18, 2018

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-crows-merlins-dying-1.4752106

Public awareness notice: PWRC has seen a large number of crows and Merlins coming into the centre and dying. This is not a typical year. If you see young Merlins on the ground or dead, please contact us 204-510-1855 asap as the dead ones are being tested for the cause.

https://www.facebook.com/pwildlife/photos/pb.134920943252207.-2207520000.1531954019./1742277922516493/?type=3&theater

Offline burdi

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #76 on: July 20, 2018, 16:44 »
The recent news regarding merlins and crows is worrisome and heartbreaking, I find. Thankfully those in the know are trying to find the cause as well as a way to treat the affected birds.   

I’m including a couple more links with further information.

Birds sent for testing after abnormal number of deaths in some species

By Gabrielle Marchand: https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/birds-sent-for-testing-after-abnormal-number-of-deaths-in-some-species-1.4020630

What's Killing The Birds In Southern Manitoba?

By Shannon Dueck: https://steinbachonline.com/local/what-s-killing-the-birds-in-southern-manitoba

Offline burdi

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #77 on: July 23, 2018, 23:28 »
Mystery illness striking down crows and merlins in Winnipeg

https://winnipeg.citynews.ca/video/2018/07/21/mystery-illness-striking-down-crows-and-merlins-in-winnipeg/

There's mention of a golden eagle who died from the illness that is killing crows and merlins in this video. And the wildlife centre had been planning to release the eagle in September. This is so sad to hear, but no further information was provided and I’m wondering where and when the eagle was rescued.

TPC, do you happen to know anything more about this golden eagle and have you heard of any other birds affected by this illness?

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #78 on: August 13, 2018, 17:08 »
Mystery illness striking down crows and merlins in Winnipeg

https://winnipeg.citynews.ca/video/2018/07/21/mystery-illness-striking-down-crows-and-merlins-in-winnipeg/

There's mention of a golden eagle who died from the illness that is killing crows and merlins in this video. And the wildlife centre had been planning to release the eagle in September. This is so sad to hear, but no further information was provided and I’m wondering where and when the eagle was rescued.

TPC, do you happen to know anything more about this golden eagle and have you heard of any other birds affected by this illness?

Nope ‘fraid not.  If I do hear something I will pass it along.

Offline burdi

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #79 on: August 15, 2018, 01:48 »
Mystery illness striking down crows and merlins in Winnipeg

https://winnipeg.citynews.ca/video/2018/07/21/mystery-illness-striking-down-crows-and-merlins-in-winnipeg/

There's mention of a golden eagle who died from the illness that is killing crows and merlins in this video. And the wildlife centre had been planning to release the eagle in September. This is so sad to hear, but no further information was provided and I’m wondering where and when the eagle was rescued.

TPC, do you happen to know anything more about this golden eagle and have you heard of any other birds affected by this illness?

Nope ‘fraid not.  If I do hear something I will pass it along.

I imagine the golden eagle was just passing through when rescued. Thanks for mentioning you’ll pass along information if you hear something.

Offline Alison

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #80 on: September 05, 2018, 15:06 »
Just wondering if there has been any more news about the strange deaths of crows and merlins in Winnipeg?

Offline Alison

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #81 on: November 17, 2018, 22:25 »
November 2018

More than half of the world's raptor populations are declining

State of the world's raptors: Distributions, threats, and conservation recommendations

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718305871?via%3Dihub

Online The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #82 on: June 17, 2019, 20:57 »
Remove bird feeders to battle spread of deadly parasite, bird society urges
Canadian Press / 17 June 2019



HALIFAX - Nova Scotians are being asked to remove bird feeders and close up bird baths as a fatal disease spread by damp, human-provided seed is killing purple finches.

David Currie, president of the Nova Scotia Bird Society, says the cases of trichomonosis around the province are an annual occurrence, but they seem to have arrived quickly and intensely during a particularly cool and wet spring.

The fatal disease is caused by a tiny parasite being transmitted from bird to bird through moist bird seed, wet areas and in bird baths.

Currie says there have been seven reports of the disease around the province, prompting his group to suggest people follow the advice of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and remove the feeders and bird baths.

The parasite causes inflammation of the bird's glands and windpipes, leading to lethargy and making it difficult for the birds to breath.

Currie said it primarily harms purple finches, which aren't currently endangered, but the fatal illness occasionally spreads into other seed-eating birds.


Source: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/greenpage/remove-bird-feeders-to-battle-spread-of-deadly-parasite-bird-society-urges-511404362.html