Author Topic: News: About Birds  (Read 8969 times)

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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.

Offline 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 ...

Offline 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.

Offline 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.

Offline 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. :(

Offline 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