Warning…. can be very addictive 🐦
Dozens have birds have been killed by collisions with the clear glass panes of the U.S. Bank Stadium. Adding a less reflective coating to the glass could potentially spare thousands more birds from meeting the same fate in coming years. Demand that the owners of the stadium make it more bird-friendly to prevent a possible ecological disaster.
A true sign of friendship is when your friend is totally okay with sharing their food with you! That’s exactly what this sweet cat does when his bird friend comes over to take a few bites of food.
Source: Sweet Cat Shares Food With Bird
By: Susan Bird
Here’s something to think about whenever you pass by a new housing development. Researchers now say that as we continue to add to burgeoning suburban sprawl, we’re cheating songbirds out of the prime years of their reproductive lives.
University of Washington (UW) researchers released a study in December 2016 that paints a sad picture for certain types of songbirds. It seems that as we keep building houses and other infrastructure, we often disrupt their lives in ways they have a tough time recovering from.
The research team spent a decade following the movements and breeding habits of six types of birds who live in areas east of Seattle. Between 2000 and 2010, some of these sites transitioned from forested areas to new suburban developments. What happened to the hundreds of birds tracked in this study is a cautionary tale for us all.
Songbirds tend to fall into two types:
Avoiders – These birds mate monogamously, avoid places where humans are, and need groundcover and brush like felled trees, shrubs, ferns and root balls in order to breed. The Pacific wren and Swaison’s thrush are two examples of “avoider” songbirds in the Pacific Northwest.
Adapters/Exploiters – These birds do well around humans, aren’t always monogamous, and often live in backyards or birdhouses. They seem not to be bothered at all by the loss of forested areas or increased human activity. Bewick’s wren, the song sparrow, the dark-eyed junco and the spotted towhee are examples of “avoiders” or “exploiters”living in the Seattle area.
As you might expect, the “adapters” and “exploiters” studied by the team did pretty well when formerly forested areas underwent development. These birds are flexible and adaptable. They’re prepared to live, mate and begin a family nearly anywhere.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
Photo credit: Thinkstock
The “avoiders” didn’t fare as well. The loss of underbrush and trees proved devastating enough that they left the newly developed area entirely. For them, leaving means relocating to areas about the size of one and a half football fields away.
For a monogamous bird, having to flee home often ends up splitting mated pairs permanently. That meant the birds had to spend time finding a new home and then finding a new mate.
The life span of a bird isn’t particularly long. Unfortunately, UW’s researchers found that “avoider” birds lost up to half of their breeding years when forced to relocate. That’s not good. For rarer species, it’s especially problematic.
“The hidden cost of suburban development for these birds is that we force them to do things that natural selection wouldn’t have them do otherwise,” the study’s lead author, UW professor John Marzluff, said in a UW news release.
Most of us don’t even consider an impact of this type when we buy a parcel of property and build houses or a shopping center on it. We don’t think about the animals and birds who make a home in the trees and underbrush on that property. Maybe we assume they’ll head for the hills and find a new place to live.
Most probably do, but we’re often blissfully unaware of the long-term damage we might be doing to creatures like “avoider” birds. Without question, there are fewer of them around because our desire for more and more development affects their lives in profound ways.
“To conserve some of these rarer species in an increasingly urban planet is going to require more knowledge of how birds disperse,” Marzluff said in the UW news release. “I expect that as we look more closely, we will find birds that are compromised because of us.”
Losing your lifelong mate and half your breeding years is no small matter. As we continue to sanction urban sprawl, we risk compromising more and more bird species.
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Adorable Turkeys Are Being Thrown Out of Planes in Arkansas Town for Barbaric Fall Tradition
The small Arkansas hamlet of Yellville is holding on to a fowl tradition.
For the past 71 years, live turkeys have been dropped from an airplane, 500 feet above the town square as its annual Turkey Trot Festival gets underway. Four to five drops are made on both days of the festival, with one to three turkeys toss out of the plane each pass. In this year’s event, turkeys were dropped over the town on Oct. 7 and 8. One bird died in each toss, which preceded a scramble of festival visitors trying to claim the shaken and scared turkeys as their own. While Yellville authorities say their hands are clean in the matter, animal rights organizations and compassionate activists are calling for the immediate end to the horrific event.
Yellville and the turkey drop have been the subject of protest for over 30 years now, ever since national news media first covered the event in the 70s. The town stopped officially endorsing the event in 1990, according to Roadside America, and for over 15 years the registered pilot has been Dana Woods, of nearby Mountain View. The turkey drop was skipped from 2012 to 2014, not out of concern for the turkeys, but because of weather and pressure from protesters.Defenders of the drop claim the turkeys should be able to fly before hitting the ground.
“They’re not going to crash,” county judge Terry Ott told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “They’re birds. They can fly.”
But others, including poultry science professor Yvonne Vizzier Thaxton, beg to differ.
“Placing turkeys in an environment that is new to them is stressful,” Thaxton told blogger Max Brantley at Arkansas Times. “In the case of an airplane, the noise would also be a stress-producing fear reaction. Dropping one from 500 feet is a horrific act of abuse.”
The National Wild Turkey Federation holds that wild turkeys can fly in excess of 55 miles per hour, and may fly often to roost or escape predators. There’s no typical need to survive a 500-foot drop in the life of a wild turkey, however.
According to Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the FAA in Fort Worth, as quoted on Arkansas Online, there is no law against throwing things out of a plane, so long as there is no risk of injuring people or property on the ground. And while Lunsford said the FAA heard at least seven complaints about the turkey drop that day, his office still refers all animal cruelty cases to other appropriate channels.
“We don’t endorse the practice of heaving unsuspecting turkeys out of aircraft for entertainment purposes, but our regulations don’t specifically exclude live animals as ‘objects,’” Lunsford said.
Elsewhere in the Turkey Trot Festival, along those objectifying lines, is the annual Miss Drumsticks beauty contest, where women’s upper bodies and faces are hidden as spectators judge their legs.
The future of Yellville’s turkey drop is yet to be determined, but you can lend a voice to help. Follow the button below to our next page, where you can sign a petition and tell the Governor of Arkansas, the Arkansas Attorney General, and the Arkansas Aviation and Aerospace Commission to work together to spearhead the prosecution of any person involved in the abuse of turkeys in Yellville and enact legislation which prevents this from occurring again in the future.
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Oct 5, 2016 — JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 2 October 2016 – African Grey parrots were granted much-needed protection from the wildlife trade by the delegates at the Conference of the Parties to CITES 17 (CoP17), which voted to end all commercial trade in wild African Grey Parrots. The proposal was submitted by Gabon, and co-sponsored by Angola, Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Senegal, Chad, the United States and the European Union. During the debate many other African states spoke up in support of the proposal.
“This is a very important decision and a critical step towards securing the future for these fantastic birds,” said Dr. Rowan Martin, Director of the World Parrot Trust’s Africa Programme. “In parts of Africa, wild populations have suffered dramatic declines and this action was urgently needed to stop Africa’s forests falling silent.”
African Grey parrots are one of the most sought after and highly traded species in the world. Since 1975 more than 1.3 million of these parrots have been reported in international trade. Once widespread over most of Africa, recent field data from multiple range states confirm widespread population collapses in wild Grey Parrots. Local extinctions have also occurred. There have been substantial irregularities in trade and exports have frequently exceeded recommended quotas. Given the overwhelming evidence of the dangers to these parrots, many African countries and regional and international NGOs have sought to encourage global bodies such as CITES to provide the maximum protection required for African Grey parrots to survive in the wild.
Tony Juniper, leading environmentalist and World Parrot Trust ambassador, stated, “This decision is very good news for one of the world’s most charismatic and beautiful parrots. A barbaric and unnecessary trade has been behind the precipitous decline that has been documented during recent years, and I’m certain this ban will lead to a more positive outlook.”
A milestone decision has been reached for the conservation of these birds, but much more has yet to be accomplished to ensure the species’ preservation, including boosting enforcement and compliance in range states and importing countries and the development of in-situ conservation projects
Download a copy of the full media release here:
Learn more about the work being done by the World Parrot Trust at our website: https://www.parrots.org
This petition made change with 73,989 supporters
A licence to hunt buzzards, a previously endangered species, has been issued to an anonymous landowner. This will increase the amount of illegal killings and may endanger the species once more. Demand an end to the licencing program.
Help us bring justice to 200 killed geese
Global Conservation Group
Jun 30, 2016 — This week, we asked you to take action with us to urge a Wisconsin city not to kill 200 geese.
This morning, hundreds of babies saw their mothers brutally killed right in front of their eyes. Their lifelong mates saw their partners brutally killed right in front of their eyes. All because some in the city deemed them a “nuisance.”
We are very disappointed in Oconto Falls city officials for moving forward with the unnecessary brutal killing of 200 geese this morning. They knew we wanted to meet with them at 1:00pm to discuss the matter in person, however they decided it was best to kill the animals before our staffers made the three hour drive to their city. In addition, city officials received thousands of phone calls and emails this week politely urging them to explore more humane methods. Rather than listening to them, they actually hung up on our phone calls. Our organization even offered to cover all expenses for any humane options if the killing was called off.
In an effort to make it clear that these actions will not be tolerated, Global Conservation Group just approved the most aggressive campaign in our history against the City of Oconto Falls. We will boycott the city, place advertisement campaigns all around the country, and file hundreds of FOIA (open records requests) to look through all the city’s emails, phone logs, council meeting transcripts and more to determine if they had a financial incentive to kill all these innocent animals. After all that, we will file lawsuits, issue national press releases, and file criminal complaints against those who allowed the killing to move forward despite steep opposition from the community and the world.
Help fund our campaign and investigation. Please consider making a contribution to ensure this brutal slaughter never happens to another group of animals again. Please chip in here: https://www.gofundme.com/savewigeese
Jordan W. Turner
Global Conservation Group
URGENT: Wis. City Plans to Kill 200 Geese Tomorrow!
5,225 needed to reach 50,000
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by Global Conservation Group · 44,781 supporters
Urgent: Help us save 200 geese before a Wis. city kills them!
Global Conservation Group
Jun 27, 2016 — The City of Oconto Falls, Wisconsin plans to brutally slaughter 200 “nuisance” geese this Thursday. Non-lethal remedies are more effective, less costly, and better for everyone involved. However, the city simply refuses to consider or explore other methods.
Canadian Geese mate for life, which makes killing them all the more cruel. Please stand with Global Conservation Group to peacefully protest the city’s deplorable plans. All materials will be supplied.
Please also politely contact the following city officials urging them to cancel the slaughter in favor of more effective, non-lethal solutions:
Mayor: (Office) 920-846-4505 (Home) 920-846-3530
Protest to Cancel Oconto Falls Plans to Brutally Kill 200 Geese
Protest to Cancel Oconto Falls Plans to Brutally Kill 200 Geese
Millions of migratory birds are being subjected to slow, painful deaths when they get caught in trees covered in sticky substances, known as glue traps. Urge officials to act urgently to end this cruel hunting practice.
Another oil spill has poisoned the Gulf of Mexico, at a time when the Gulf has still not recovered from the massive BP spill of 2010. Apparently nothing has changed since that disaster. Demand that all drilling in these waters be stopped.
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Pierre Selim via wikimedia
Very sad. Bird eyes with cataracts:
(k) robin (Erithacus rubecula), significant haze on cornea
Photographs of selected eyes from Chernobyl birds.
From: Mousseau TA, Møller AP (2013) “Elevated Frequency of Cataracts in Birds from Chernobyl” http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0066939
Lucky for us some few are still doing serious academic research. If animals can’t see well, with some exceptions, they can’t find food and die, or can more easily be killed by predators. The frequency and severity of cataracts increases with background radiation. In the abstract below “reduced fitness” means they are unfit for survival! Overall, increasing radiation was related to fewer birds, suggesting “effects of radiation on other diseases, food abundance and interactions with other species. There was no increase in incidence of cataracts with increasing age…”. Cataracts in humans at Chernobyl and elsewhere are also discussed:
Mousseau TA, Møller AP (2013) “
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A baby crow was reportedly attacked by a group of boys who beat it with sticks, even as the bird’s family screamed from the tree above. Someone intervened, but the bird may not survive. Demand that these people be charged and punished for this senseless violence.
Thousands of critically endangered tropical birds are being illegally killed and sold for their valuable, ivory-like “helmets.” Sign the petition below to demand an increase in Indonesian law enforcement to protect these birds from going extinct.
A beautiful, endangered parrot died after being cruelly shot with a BB gun. Demand that the police investigate this heinous crime.
Thirteen bald eagles died under questionable circumstances, and authorities are concerned that poison may have been involved. Demand the outlawing of all poison near bald eagle habitats and protect this vulnerable species.