Pretty in Pink

No More Killing Innocent Birds: Stop Pigeon Shoots: Petition

Guardians Of Life

Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Pennsylvania is the only state left that allows this horrible practice.

Pigeon shoots have been banned in every part of the country except for the state of Pennsylvania, so call on the President of the Pennsylvania State Senate, Floor Leaders, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the Pennsylvania State Governor to end the barbaric ‘tradition’ of pigeon shoots! It is inherent cruelty of shooting live, captured birds for sport, and this practice needs to end!

Today, Pennsylvania is the only remaining state that allows the practice to continue. In 2014, a bill to end pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania was allowed to expire after the NRA stepped in at the 11th hour with some heavy-handed lobbying [3] which put animal cruelty above that of animal rights.

Not only are 75% [4] of people in the state are in favor of a law that…

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Heroic Pigeons

Humane PA

By Elissa Katz, President, Humane PA PACSee the source image

During World War I, a pigeon named Cher Ami flew for the US Army Signal Corp in France, and served on the front lines for many months. She is credited with single-handedly saving the lives of over 200 American soldiers by flying 25 miles and through a sky of bullets, sustaining serious injuries in the process, to deliver a life-saving message to the Allied lines on behalf of the embattled 77th Infantry Division.  Cher Ami was awarded the French Croix de Guerre and the “silver medal” by General Pershing for his heroism and bravery.

What a contrast with how we treat pigeons in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, pigeons like Cher Ami are netted, often unlawfully and from out of state, stockpiled, and then used for live target shooting competitions known as pigeon shoots.

The British depended on pigeons so extensively during…

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Rescued Birds Are Helping Veterans Manage PTSD | Care2 Causes

PTSD can be a terrible and insidious health problem and a hard one to treat because of the many layers of trauma that can underpin the condition.

But animal companions, and recently birds, like parrots, have proved to be a powerful source of

joy and wellness for people dealing post traumatic stress. To understand why birds are particularly good companion animals for people with PTSD, it’s first worth learning a bit about the health problem.

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually caused by a significantly traumatic event or prolonged exposure to trauma that may span months to many years. PTSD usually occurs right after the event itself, but in some cases it may show up several months or even years after the catalyst event.

The way PTSD manifests can be different for every person dealing with this condition and can depend on the trauma that person endured. However, common symptoms can include flashbacks or nightmares of the traumatic event itself or stress responses such as pain, sweating, feeling sick and trembling, to name just a few. These may occur as a result of stimuli that “trigger” the memory or may come on without warning.

PTSD is perhaps most widely understood by the general public as a condition effecting combat veterans, whose prolonged exposure to scenes of war and combat have had an impact on their mental wellbeing. However, PTSD can occur among almost all demographics. Women—for example those who have been in an abusive relationship—or children who have undergone prolonged stress or suffered the loss of a parent can also suffer from PTSD

PTSD can manifest through persistent negative self-talk that reinforces the person’s feelings of anguish surrounding the event. It can also lead to a state known as “hyper arousal” which might best be explained in this context as someone always being on edge. This can lead to sufferers having short tempers or being quick to anger or upset. In some extreme cases, PTSD can cause angry or even violent outbursts, though the actual number of PTSD sufferers who are violent is much smaller than media portrayals lead us to believe, and there is surprisingly little evidence to specifically link PTSD with violence.

Other problems that can manifest because of PTSD include an inability to concentrate, a “mental fog” state and an avoidance problem where sufferers will attempt to minimize their negative feelings. This can lead to sufferers not seeking treatment, avoiding responsibilities or stressful situations like employment, or attempting to medicate themselves in a variety of ways. Self-medication can manifest as obsessive behaviors, like over-exercise, through to alcohol and drug use, casual sexual encounters and more.

How is PTSD treated?

It is possible to successfully treat PTSD, but it is among the more complex class of mental health disorders. PTSD is distinct from panic disorders and depression, but the conditions can overlap, meaning that treatment has to take in some or many of these factors.

Treatment often involves therapy of some kind, sometimes underpinned by various medications designed to give the emotional breathing room for that therapy to take effect. These can include:

CBT, where patients learn to challenge negative thought patterns and introduce new thoughts to replace those old systems
eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, where eye movements are used during the recounting of past traumas as a means of helping a patient walk through the trauma while distracted (though exactly why this works isn’t fully understood)
group therapy medications specifically used for PTSD, like paroxetine and sertraline.

However, PTSD sufferers can find it hard to undergo therapy precisely, because it’s difficult to relive or deal with the past trauma that they have struggled with. This is where support animals can be effective.

Support animals don’t magically make PTSD symptoms go away, but they do offer love and support that can anchor people dealing with PTSD. Dogs and other support animals are also good at picking up when their human companions are in distress and lend support without their human needing to specifically communicate their distress, something that PTSD sufferers can find very difficult.

In addition, the very act of having to care for an animal can help bring a focus to the lives of PTSD sufferers that is outside of their own distress, thus helping to break the negative thought patterns or at the very least offering distraction.

Why Birds are so Helpful for People Dealing with PTSD

Some birds, such as ravens and parrots are incredibly intelligent and can learn to understand or even mirror basic language skills. Birds also display some surprisingly “human-like” behaviors, but at the same time have particularized and often demanding needs to which a human companion will have to attend. This creates a new dimension of interactivity for PTSD sufferers.

While there is a lack of specific wide-scale research on birds as animal companions for PTSD sufferers, there is growing anecdotal support for their abilities to help. So much so, in fact, that a number of groups, including Parrots for Patriots, have launched with the specific aim of matching abandoned birds with veterans who may be in need of an animal friend to care for and from whom they can take support. These birds don’t just help PTSD sufferers, but they may be particularly well-served by this scheme.

Below is a video from Serenity Park Sanctuary that demonstrates what a difference various schemes like this can have for veterans and people dealing with PTSD:

It’s worth noting that service birds which help with diagnosed mental health conditions have a complex status under the Americans with Disabilities Act and may not be protected in all spheres like other service animals are. It is important to know your rights, if you are thinking about adopting a rescued bird as a service animal, and the facility from which you are receiving your animal will likely be able to give you all the information you will need.

https://www.care2.com/causes/rescued-birds-are-helping-veterans-manage-ptsd.html

Photo credit: Getty Images.

Petition: To Governor of Texas Greg Abbott

change.org
Renee Lockett started this petition to Governor of Texas Greg Abbott
2 minutes

Every year, hundreds of Brown Pelicans are run over by cars along a 3-mile stretch of Highway 48 in south Texas during cold fronts. Strong winds force the pelicans onto the highway and they cannot get out of the way of cars going 75 mph. Last week, 53 pelicans were run over in one evening. I am one of the volunteers who assists to rescue pelicans that end up stranded on the highway and cannot take flight due to roadway concrete barriers and strong winds. It is a very dangerous situation for everyone. The stretch is between Port Isabel, Tx. and Brownsville, Tx. near the Carl Joe Gayman Bahia Grande Restoration Channel.

By lowering the speed limit on this 3-mile stretch, conditions would be safer for pelicans, motorists and fishermen who frequent the area. This stretch passes through an area of vital habitat for pelicans which they use for fishing and roosting, and thus fly over it on a daily basis. The links below show news reports of what is happening to the pelicans year after year. Local school children also chimed in with a song and letters to convey their thoughts and feelings. By signing this petition, you will be joining us in asking Governor Abbot to please step in to get the speed limit lowered for this 3-mile stretch of wildlife habitat along Highway 48. Thank you for your time and consideration.

  1. Pelicans in Peril on Highway 48 News Report
  2. School Children Sing for Highway 48 Pelicans

  3. Pelican Plight/Speed Limit on Highway 48 News Report

Sign petition

https://www.change.org/p/greg-abbott-lower-speed-limit-to-save-hundreds-of-brown-pelicans-from-death-each-year-in-south-texas

Why “Dove Releases” Are Cruel

bruidsduiven1177684548.jpg

pigeonrescue.org

Warning: Includes graphic photos showing what happens to “released doves”.

When you hear about a “dove release” or “wedding doves”, it usually means that Homing Pigeons, selectively bred to be all white, small and dove-like, were rented so as to be ceremoniously released. (They don’t call them “wedding pigeons” for some reason…)

Most will survive the flight home.
White Homing Pigeons released at a wedding

Homing pigeons released as “wedding doves”. Photo by Jim Kennedy

But the reality is very different from the fantasy.

The “dove release” business perpetuates the idea that white birds can be “set free” and they will just fly away and live happily ever after. Even under the best of circumstances, trained “wedding doves” are hurt, lost and killed trying to get home. It’s even worse when do-it-yourselfers mistakenly buy white Ringneck Doves and King Pigeons to release. Nearly all of them will die.

Honor-SFACC-A370888-062515-IMG_7884-e1437521382781

“Wedding dove” lucky to be rescued & taken to a shelter

Please help counteract this fantasy with the reality. We have to speak up for the birds because no one is listening to them. We strongly recommend against using these gentle, loyal birds in this uncaring way.

A nice employee at Evergreen Cemetery called to tell me that managed he to save six of a flock of white doves “released” at a funeral. The mourners had to pull them out of the cage and throw them in the air but even so, only a few flew anywhere (they knew they weren’t safe). One was hawk-struck, another run over… others flew away (but they won’t survive).We all know people who will be having weddings, funerals, graduations and other ceremonies and rituals… Please help educate people to how cruel and unfair this is to the birds.

Photo by Carol Fletcher taken at Heart & Soul Animal Sanctuary

Never buy and release birds for weddings, funerals, prayers, blessings, as a “kind act” or other ceremonies. White doves and other birds (like King Pigeons) sold to you have no survival skills and will suffer and die, bringing neither joy nor honor to any occasion. Releasing store-bought birds is both cruel and illegal.

Four-week old King Pigeons rescued after their “release” at a funeral

And even when done “properly”, by hiring a professional to release trained white Homing Pigeons, casualties are still common. Note: We recommend against all releases of domestic birds. We have rescued plenty of lost and/or injured white Homing Pigeons too.

Screen-Shot-2015-07-21-at-1.53.02-PM

See the heartbreaking story of Pope Francis’ 2014 “release” in the Ukraine http://www.pigeonrescue.org/2015/07/21/why-dove-releases-are-cruel/.

This custom needs to end

This custom needs to end

Predators recognize what we do not

This happens to a lot of the “doves” (Homing Pigeons) released by Popes and others. Here’s a “symbolic appeal for peace” by Pope Benedict XVI in 2013.

Pope Benedict XVI

Wild vs. Domestic is not “nature”

The odds of survival for true doves (white Ringneck Doves) & King Pigeons are much worse. Whether they are being used for a ceremony or misguidedly “set free”, most of them don’t survive long enough to be rescued. When unprotected, their life span, whether in the city, a park or the wild, is hours to days. These King Pigeons youngsters (sold as squab at a live poultry market and “set free” in Golden Gate Park, beat the terrible odds and were rescued. (One of them, Duke, is still available for adoption along with his mate Nieve.)

 

 

Domestic King Pigeons have no survival skills
Rescuer and Good Samaritan with rescued baby King Pigoen

Thesewere very lucky to be rescued

And even if they lucky enough to be rescued, they are still at risk. Many are weak, sick, traumatized, injured as well as at risk of being killed in overfull shelters. After watching yet another one of these innocent victims die, I posted this on Craigslist:

ReleasingPigeonsisMurder

It says, To the well-intended but misguided people who buy baby King Pigeons (squab) from live poultry markets and “set them free”- don’t! You are just killing them in another (and not very merciful) way. These baby birds have no survival skills and, even if they were to live to adulthood, they still won’t. They are DOMESTIC. They are preyed upon by hawks, gulls, ravens, dogs, cats, raccoons, mean people and hit by cars if they don’t starve or die from disease. (If you eat squab- beware. The majority of the baby king pigeons- squab- that live long enough to make it to an animal shelter are sick- from Trichomoniasis, PMV, chlamydophilia and more.)

I was contacted by the shelter again today to try and save one of these poor, sweet creatures but she died within the hour. She was 5 weeks old. If you want to help King Pigeons, do something meaningful. Volunteer at the shelter. Protest live animal sales. Donate. Adopt some and provide them with the decent life they deserve. But please please please don’t buy them and “set them free” in the parks thinking you have helped them. You haven’t. You have put them in an even worse predicament than they already were (as bad as that was).

Here’s a picture of today’s victim (found in MacLaren Park a week ago and kept until her inability to breathe got her finder to take her to the animal shelter). Despite our best efforts, she was too sick to be saved. And here are pictures of what happens to many of the others “set free”.

Please- RELEASING BABY KING PIGEONS (AND ANY OTHER DOMESTIC ANIMAL) IS MURDER. Don’t do it.

“Released” domestic birds have no survival skills. They are killed by hawks, ravens, gulls, dogs, cats, raccoons, mean people and cars.

King Pigeons “released” at Our lady of Peace Church

King Pigeon we spent hours trying but failed to rescue

Despite all the many birds we rescue, this is the fate of many that get “released”.

Common fate for a “released” King Pigeon

Dying in Dozens: Fancy Pigeons “Released” Dying in Park 8/22/14

Never “set free” domestic birds!

Please share with your friends, family and colleagues. This happens a lot!

http://www.pigeonrescue.org/2015/07/21/why-dove-releases-are-cruel/

Inside the Strange World of Dried Hummingbird Love Charm Trafficking

There’s a witch in San Diego who cast spells to “trap a man” and “dominate him” so he’ll always come back. She has a shop on San Ysidro Boulevard, one mile from the busiest Mexican border crossing into the United States, near pawn shop, liquor store, and a furniture Market, in the Smokenjoy hoolan Lounge, where aDJ music thumps on Friday nights.

But you don’t need to go to a shop for magic – you can join the tens of thousands of watching her on YouTube. Like the wicked Martha Stewart creating potions instead of potpourri, she provides step-by-step instructions for her spells.

“This is the honey jar” she tells viewers while introducing the ingredients on her workbench: photographs of two would – be lovers, a piece of paper with their names written on it three times, a small glass jar and a dead hummingbird. She rolls the tiny animal inside the photographs and wraps the cigar shaped bundle with hot pink yarn nearly the same shade as her long, fake fingernails.

Showing only her arms and lower body on camera, she shields her identity as she swaddles the packages in a sarcophagus of tacky flypaper, Dipset in cinnamon spice, squeeze it into the jar, and spitz it with perfumes and oils – pheromones – “so he’ll stay sexually attracted.” Restless balm “so he’ll be like, oh my God, I need to call her.”  Sleep oil “so he’ll be like a zombie.” Attraction oil “so he’ll be like, ‘Goddamn, you’re so beautiful, you so fine.” Dominating oil “so you’ll dominate his thoughts.”

Continue reading…

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/04/wildlife-watch-illegal-hummingbird-trade-love-charm-mexico-witchcraft/?beta=true&utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=pom_20180429&utm_campaign=engagement&utm_rd=13280708075

When to Expect Hummingbirds in Your Yard This Spring

audubon.org
When to Expect Hummingbirds in Your Yard This Spring
By Geoffrey S. LeBaron
5-6 minutes

As warmer weather approaches, multitudes of migrant birds are on track for arrival in North America. Among them are those favorite avian gems, hummingbirds. The spring arrival—or year-round presence—of hummingbirds in yards varies across the country, but current studies point out some new potential challenges to migrating hummingbirds, such as changing bloom times of nectar plants and an earlier arrival of spring on their wintering and breeding grounds. Here we’ve gathered general guidelines to current hummingbird migration patterns for various sections of the country, as well some tips on the different feeding strategies you can use to attract them to your yard. Additionally, you can also learn more about how to help hummingbirds below.
Eastern United States

Over most of the eastern two-thirds of North America, from central Canada southward, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird reigns supreme. Predominantly a neotropical migrant, it winters from southern Mexico to Costa Rica. Each spring, this species arrives in numbers along the Gulf Coast by early March, filtering northward over the next two months until arriving in northern states and southern provinces by late April or early May. Migrating males usually arrive a week or so before females at any given location. Climate change is affecting the migration of Ruby-throats, though. As conditions warm on the wintering grounds, data indicate that they leave their winter homes earlier on their way to the Gulf Coast. Interestingly, it also appears that hummingbirds then hang around in the Gulf Coast for longer than normal, perhaps to recuperate from their trip across the Gulf of Mexico.

Migrating hummingbirds start to visit flowering plants and nectar feeders in March and usually stick around through May. To have resources ready for northward migrants in regions where hummingbirds are absent in the winter, it’s best to put nectar out by early March if you live in the Southeast, and by late April if you live in the Northeast.
Southeastern United States

The Southeastern coast, from Cape Hatteras southward, in Florida, and especially around the Gulf Coast, is different from the rest of the eastern United States. Here hummingbirds are likely to be present year-round, with both higher diversity and greater numbers of birds present in winter! As such, supplying nectar sources and insect-laded gardens is appropriate year-round in these regions. In coastal Texas and Louisiana, hummingbirds may visit feeders in the late winter and early spring.
Mountainous West

In the mountainous West, a variety of hummingbirds, including Broad-tailed, Black-chinned, Rufous, and Calliope, arrive in spring as the first flowers bloom. Starting in early March, these species will appear in yards near the Mexican border, and by early to mid-May will be found in the northern Rockies. Rufous Hummingbirds winter primarily in southern Mexico and breed as far north as southeastern Alaska. These hardy little birds can survive sub-freezing temperatures on practically any night of the year, but they can’t go without nectar and small insects, none of which are available in the winter in this region. Climate change and earlier blooming times for wildflowers may be affecting all of these species, as they do not appear to be shifting their arrival times to match the early blossoming times of their favorite food sources. Nectar feeders and selected wildflower plantings in yards can help these species fuel up for their continued migration and upcoming breeding season.
Southwest and West Coast

In the Southwest and in the West to British Columbia, hummingbirds are present year-round. In southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, many sought-after species, including Blue-throated, Magnificent, Broad-billed, and White-eared hummingbirds, frequent backyard nectar feeders, and even-rarer visitors can also make an appearance.

Hummingbird lovers on the West Coast from California to British are also fortunate. Large numbers of hummingbirds, especially Anna’s to the north and Allen’s to the south, are likely to be found in good numbers in hummingbird-friendly yards year-round. Migrant Rufous Hummingbirds also move northward early—as far north as Oregon by the end of February—on their way to their coastal Alaskan breeding grounds.
Two Ways to Help Hummingbirds

Grow Native Plants: Growing plants that are indigenous to your area is a great way to both attract and help the hummingbirds you love. Native plants provide shelter and food, including a healthy environment for insects, part of the hummingbird diet important during breeding season. Get a list of native plants customized for your area by visiting our handy Plants for Birds database.

Become a Community Scientist: You can protect hummingbirds by helping crowdsource invaluable data using Audubon’s free Hummingbirds at Home app or website. You just submit your observations on when hummingbirds feed on nectar-bearing plants in your yard or community. To get started, go to hummingbirdsathome.org

http://www.audubon.org/news/when-expect-hummingbirds-your-yard-spring?ms=digital-eng-email-ea-x-20180428_hummingbird_medium&utm_source=ea&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20180428_hummingbird&utm_content=medium

EAGLES CAN CARRY HOW MUCH WEIGHT?

A LITTLE BIRD TRIVIA AROUND THE DINING TABLE

Bald Eagles weigh 6.6 to 13.9 lb and can carry about 3 to 4 lbs. Typical Wingspand (adult) is between 5.9 and 7.5 ft. females are about 25% larger than males averaging 12 lbs. against the male’s average weight of 9 lbs. Lifespan in the wild is 20 to 25 years. Scientific name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

Dr. David M. Bird

Imagine being out on the edge of a soggy field in early morning intently peering into some shrubbery for a closer peek at a small songbird. Suddenly you hear a very loud thump only a few feet away and you see a large branch weighing over ten pounds with its heavy end embedded into the soil. Curious as to its origin, you gaze upward to see an adult bald eagle veering away high in the sky. And your first thought might be…..”wow…..what if that log had hit me in the head?!”

Bald Eagle

A bald eagle lands in a tree above Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park

It turns out that such an event actually happened! In the early morning light on November 4, 2015, Alex Lamine was filming Mom Berry, one of the adult bald eagles nesting on the campus of Berry College, an educational institution begun in 1902 in Rome, Georgia. The college is home to several pairs of nesting bald eagles and an army of eagle voyeurs who watch the eagles’ nesting activities on a web cam. The first eagle pair showed up on the main campus in the spring of 2012, nesting in the top of a tall pine tree right near the main entrance. Two eaglets were successfully fledged in 2013, one in 2014, and two this past summer. A second nest on a more remote campus fledged three young in 2014, but was not active this year. A bald eagle carrying a 12-pound branch?! Sounds almost impossible, doesn’t it, but it not only happened but it was captured on film as well. This observation immediately raised three questions about bald eagles and eagles in general, and set off a flurry of emails among eagle experts, including yours truly. First, did the bird actually ‘carry’ an object weighing 12 pounds? Second, how much can eagles carry in the air? And third, do bald eagles actually gnaw off limbs from trees?

Amy Ries, who writes a blog for the Raptor Resource Project raptorresource.blogspot.ca/2015/11/how-much-can-bald-eagle-carry was quite impressed with the herculean feat and to learn more about it, she passed on the observation to a number of bald eagle experts. She was inclined to think that the branch was already in a falling motion from the tree and thus, does not support an assertion that bald eagles can fly for any distance carrying a 12-pound object, especially a branch heavy at one end and light at the other, in just one foot.

James Grier, a retired professor at North Dakota State University in Fargo, was the first eagle expert to respond. Growing up in the world of raptor research with Jim throughout all of my life, I am well aware of his decades of climbing to bald eagle nests in the Lake-of-the-Woods region of Ontario to band eaglets in order to learn more about their movements and fidelity to nesting sites. He said that unlike ospreys which carry fish with both feet while also orienting it with the air flow to reduce drag, bald eagles usually just grab either prey or nest materials with one or both feet and carry it dangling and swinging, and yes, sometimes dropping it. Flight conditions are also important, the best ones being high air pressure with a steady wind, and equally critical, lots of room for a good take-off and an ability to stay airborne. Even under such conditions, Jim said that it can still be a lot of work and effort for the eagles to carry large items. He added that sometimes if eagles can get a large item into the air but not all the way back to the nest, they will stop somewhere along the way such as on higher ground, a low tree branch, or an open tree, to get rid of dead weight such as the entrails, further disassemble it, and/or even eat some of it.

Bald Eagle Hunting“I remember being at blinds and hearing the heavy, labored wing-beats from eagles carrying large items into the nest. I could sometimes hear the flapping from a long distance out where it almost sounded like someone beating on the side of a boat it was so loud!” Jim explained, “One of the more interesting items I remember, it wasn’t a big item but a duck that was still alive when the eagle brought it into the nest. The eagle had a hold of the duck by the back and was carrying it in one foot. The duck was looking around and its feet were paddling the air like mad when the eagle landed on the nest with it!”

On the weight-carrying question, Chuck Sindelar, also a long-time bald eagle expert in Wisconsin, was the next to weigh in (sorry… couldn’t help myself!). He believes that an eagle can seldom fly with any more than half of its body weight.

Jon Gerrard concurs with this feeling. He studied bald eagles in Saskatchewan with Gary Bortolotti (R.I.P.) for many years and he quotes a story from their wonderful co-authored book entitled “The Bald Eagle: Haunts and Habits of a Wilderness Monarch”. A female of a pair of bald eagles nesting on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana in the 1890s caught and carried snow geese weighing from 4.5 to 6 pounds for up to a mile and a half to their nest. But here is the key point — the eagle was actually flying downhill! This means that the goose was caught high in the air and the eagle basically glided downward to its nest with its prey. And this was not a one-time occurrence — more than 35 snow goose heads were found in that particular nest at one time. Since the female weighed between 8 to 11 pounds, this suggests a weight-carrying capacity of half its body weight, but for “downhill” flights only.

With all due respect to all of the aforementioned bald eagle experts, I honestly know of no one who has accumulated as many hours of watching these magnificent birds as David Hancock, the founder of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation based in Surrey, British Columbia. He basically lives and breathes ‘bald eagles’! From his late teenage days to today, David has been an avid student of these birds and he is famous for helping to pioneer the web cameras on many of their nests much to the delight of millions of eagle enthusiasts all over the world. Surely he would have some comment on this observation.

And so he did. A number of years ago, he and some assistants were three miles offshore from the Queen Charlotte Islands. They watched a male bald eagle swoop down, catch a large red snapper, and then carry it in its talons at a speed of 25 to 30 miles per hour toward an island. After about three-quarters of a mile, the eagle dropped the fish but then immediately flew down and grabbed it again. Two hundred yards later and about a half-mile from shore, it repeated this scenario, once again relinquishing the fish to the water’s surface. Not to give up on its prize though, this stubborn bird next landed on the fish and used its wings to row it to shore! All bald eagle experts will tell you that these large birds are quite good at swimming with their wings.

Bald Eagle Catching A Fish

There’s more to this story though. Wanting to know more about the fish’s weight, David flushed the eagle off the snapper and weighed it in at one and a half pounds. He also added that the fish “tasted marvelous”!

The whole incident drove David to undertake some weight-carrying tests with some captive bald eagles. He found that for 100 yards, males could carry objects weighing two pounds, and females about three pounds. Upon hearing about this latest “branch” incident, he too felt that the bird was likely carrying it “downhill” or the branch was in a falling motion from the tree, as Amy postulated.

On a related note, I contacted Sergej Postpalsky, a raptor expert in Michigan, and I asked him what was the largest prey he had seen carried by ospreys in his 40 years of studying this species in the Great Lakes. About two pounds, he replied, and on more than once occasion. Not bad for a bird that weighs less than half of a female bald eagle!

The other aspect of the original observation focused on the ‘gnawing” behavior whereupon the eagle apparently was seen chewing on the limb to remove it from the tree. Jim Grier confessed to knowing that bald eagles do engage in that activity, but knew little else about it.

Adult Bald Eagle with two chicks in a nest in a tree on the side of a cliff.

Chuck Sindelar has seen both bald and golden eagles break sticks off standing trees by hitting them with their feet with enough force to snap them off, but did not mention any observations of them actually gnawing on them to facilitate breaking them from the tree. Jon Gerrard has often seen bald eagles at Besnard Lake, Manitoba breaking off limbs in this manner, but none as big as the one collected by the Berry College eagle. He added that they are usually dead limbs. Jon also wondered whether the eagle in question actually did some gnawing at the thick end of the branch before breaking it off because this would not fit with the fact that the eagle was clutching the thin or outer end of the limb before dropping it. He suggested that perhaps the bird gnawed the limb part way through at the thick end, and then flew to grab the thin end and then using its momentum, broke it off at the thick end. Years ago, I watched a video of ospreys in Scotland wherein the birds would dive at a tree with some speed and use their feet to snap off dead branches from trees for nesting material, but there was never any prior gnawing involved.

All in all, it was a very interesting anecdote which sparked some very healthy debate among several eagle experts. As Jim Grier points out, “With today’s technologies including the eagle nest cams, more eagles around, and a lot more people watching and taking/recording pics and videos, I think we’re going to get more anecdotes like this, insights into the eagles’ lives that we’ve never seen before, and learn a lot more than we did in the past.”

I could not agree more.
The latest from Dr. Bird

https://www.askprofessorbird.com/single-post/2017/04/20/Watching-Bird-Behavior

10,000 Birds | Can A Hawk Carry Off Your 12-Pound Pet?

My niece came across this and posted it on her Facebook page…

The answer is: no.

No hawk can carry off a 12-pound pet. No hawk can carry off a 3-pound pet. The largest hawk in North America (the Ferruginous Hawk) weighs at most four pounds, so leaving the ground carrying three – let alone twelve – would be aerodynamically (not to mention logically) impossible. Red-tailed Hawks weigh about two pounds.

That did not stop a New Jersey animal shelter from publishing this rabble-rousing flyer on Facebook, all written in alarming red capital letters:

PARK RANGERS AND VET OFFICES ARE PUTTING OUT WARNINGS. THIS YEAR THE HAWKS REALLY SEEM TO BE OUT IN FORCE OFF THE EAST COAST.

THE PETS THAT ARE IN REAL DANGER ARE THE ONES WHO ARE 12 POUNDS AND UNDER. THESE ARE THE PETS THAT HAWKS CAN SWOOP DOWN AND GRAB.

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS OUTSIDE WITHOUT SUPERVISION.

One could joke about the squadrons of hawks out patrolling the beaches, or the park rangers suddenly worried about the safety of household pets, but before it was taken down the post had over 108,000 views, 4,200 Likes, and 1,000 comments. And since these things never really disappear, it’s still out there.

The frustrating responses went like this: “OMG!” “Yikes!” “I had no idea!” “How awful!” The frightening responses went like this: “Just shoot ‘em.” “That’s why we need more trapping.” “I’m going to string wire all across my backyard!”

Wildlife lovers and rehabilitators, as always, tried to intervene. “I have been caring for raptors for almost 29 years and not even a Bald Eagle can carry off 12 pounds,” wrote Eileen Wicker, the Executive Director of Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky. “Please disregard this for the rubbish it is!”

If you see a flyer such as this and you’re unfamiliar with wildlife, you can 1) believe the hundreds of people who write things like “I know for a fact a Barn Owl can carry off a 3-pound Chihuahua!” (Barn Owls weigh about a pound); 2) access fact-filled sites like the Peregrine Fund or the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; or 3) call any raptor rehabilitation center, and whoever answers the phone will tell you that the information on Facebook is bunk.

There’s one more option, if you’d like to combine learning and entertainment: 4) watch this Monty Python clip, which does a fabulous job of explaining exactly what we’re talking about using a coconut, European Swallows, and King Arthur:

Once you watch it, every time someone posts about a murderous hawk carrying off twelve pounds, you’ll be able to set them straight.

One might say the heart of the person who wrote the flyer was in the right place. But they were abysmally ignorant, not only of the facts but of the damage that can be done by posting something so stupid. Predators have a hard enough time surviving without having to deal with the fallout from something they’re incapable of even doing.

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This is not to say they might not take a swipe at a very tiny dog. If you have a one, be careful and use common sense. If you have a cat, keep it inside.

“All birds of prey are protected by state and federal law,” says Eileen Wicker. “If you harm one or threaten one in any manner, you are subject to a fine and prison term. Appreciate their beauty, and their value to our earth.”

All photos courtesy of Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky.

http://www.10000birds.com/can-a-hawk-carry-off-your-12-pound-pet.htm

Why Is This Northern Cardinal Yellow? | Audubon

Why Is This Northern Cardinal Yellow?

Yes, that is a cardinal. We asked experts how this redbird might have gotten its golden feathers.

By Purbita Saha
February 22, 2018

The bombshell yellow Northern Cardinal from Alabama (left) compared to a regular old Northern Cardinal (right). Photos: Jeremy Black Photography; Diane Wurzer/Audubon Photography Awards

“If you see one cardinal, you’ve seen them all,” said no one ever. As common as they are, Northern Cardinals rank among the most-loved birds in the eastern United States (unless you’re a Chicago Cubs fan). The National Audubon Society should know: Our Facebook followers can’t seem to get enough of them.

So, it’s no surprise when a cardinal turns heads—except in Charlie Stephenson’s case, where that double take may have resulted in some whiplash. Back in January, she found an impossibly bright male in her backyard in Alabaster, Alabama. But instead of the typical ruby-red color scheme, this Northern Cardinal looked like it had been dipped in a bucket of turmeric.

After hosting the oddball for weeks, Stephenson invited fellow Alabaman Jeremy Black over to photograph it. The resulting images hit the internet last weekend, and boy, were people psyched . . . and confused.

Thankfully, Stephenson had already consulted Geoffrey Hill, an ornithologist and coloration expert at Auburn University. He told her that the bird probably had a genetic mutation that renders the pigments it draws from foods yellow rather than red. The condition he cited, xanthochroism, has been seen in other cardinals, along with eastern House Finches and maybe Evening Grosbeaks.

But that’s just one theory behind the bird’s wardrobe malfunction. As Geoff LeBaron, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count director, points out, the cardinal’s crest and wing feathers look frayed in photos. While wear and tear is a natural part of a bird’s life, it can be exacerbated by a poor diet or environmental stressors. These health issues could also lead to changes in how carotenoids—plant-based pigments that turn feathers red, orange, and yellow—are expressed.

Although this alternative theory is plausible, ultimately, LeBaron agrees that genetics could be the sole factor. But the only way to solve the case is to wait for the cardinal to swap its feathers. “Time will tell with this bird,” LeBaron says. If it sticks around Alabaster and is still yellow next winter, a mutation is the likeliest culprit. But if it comes out red after another molt, it means the bird somehow recalibrated its pigments.

As birds have shown over and over, there are always new plumage puzzles to investigate. Remember the half-female, half-male cardinal that made the news a few years ago? That turned out to be a an obscure type of hermaphroditism—a phenomenon that affects many types of animals.

For Stephenson’s yellow cardinal (not to be confused with a Yellow Cardinal), we’ll have to see if its look is permanent. Regardless, at least it wore its golden feathers boldly. “If I fly or if I fall, at least I can say I gave it all.” That one’s from RuPaul.

http://www.audubon.org/news/why-northern-cardinal-yellow?=&utm_source=ea&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20180305_engagement&utm_content=medium

Stop Slaughtering 3,000 Birds Every Day in Iran Wetland

Every day 300,000 birds, including endangered and threatened species, are slaughtered illegally for food and trophies. If nothing is done, these birds will go extinct and the whole ecosystem will suffer. Sign the petition to urge Iran’s Department of the Environment to help stop these killings.

Source: Stop Slaughtering 3,000 Birds Every Day in Iran Wetland

These Birds Build Big Nests It Doesn’t End Well National Geographic

The world’s oldest known wild bird is about to become a Mum at 67, baffling scientists (Midway atoll, USA)

The ocean update

January 8th, 2018. One Laysan albatross is brazenly defying the norms for her species. Wisdom, the world’s oldest known wild bird, has returned to home port and laid an egg – at the magnificent age of 67 years old.

View original post 586 more words

“Snowball the Cockatoo Can Dance Better Than You” National Geographic

Petition: Wealthy People Are Kicking Birds Out of Trees to Protect Their Cars

Wealthy residents of  an exclusive neighborhood in Bristol have attached anti-bird spikes to trees in an effort to protect their expensive cars from bird droppings. According to reports the spikes have  made the trees completely uninhabitable to  birds. Please sign this petition urging the Bristol city council to take these spikes down immediately.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/593/246/473/

Some birds use discarded cigarettes to fumigate their nests


https://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21729739-they-help-keep-parasites-bay-some-birds-use-discarded-cigarettes-fumigate?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/somebirdsusediscardedcigarettestofumigatetheirnests

Audubon California – Starr Ranch | live webcams: barn owl, red-shouldered hawk, black-chinned hummingbird

Warning…. can be very addictive 🐦

http://starrranch.org/blog/

Protect Birds from Deadly Collisions with Glass Stadium

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.

Source: Protect Birds from Deadly Collisions with Glass Stadium

Protect Northwest Forests for Spotted Owl – American Bird Conservancy


https://secure2.convio.net/abcb/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=197

Petition – Eagle Rule – American Bird Conservancy


https://secure2.convio.net/abcb/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=257

Petition – Time to End Bird Deaths in Pipes – American Bird Conservancy


https://secure2.convio.net/abcb/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=175

Help Protect Seabirds! – American Bird Conservancy


https://secure2.convio.net/abcb/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=227

American Bird Conservancy’s “Together for Birds” Petition – American Bird Conservancy


https://secure2.convio.net/abcb/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=115A5FE499745A80BE0A2A61FDC5F149.app203a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=290

Petition: Urgently stop all hunting in Freshwater Lagoon, Ca, to protect the threatened pochard!


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/271/617/387/?z00m=28752125&redirectID=2294329110

Sweet Cat Shares Food With Bird (Video)

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

All Those Nice Houses We’re Building Are Affecting Songbird Reproduction | Care2 Causes


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.

                             

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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. 

Copyright © 2017 Care2.com, inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved

Petition:Owls Are Forcefully Constrained And Immobilized At “Interactive” Cafe In Japan – World Animal News

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http://worldanimalnews.com/owls-forcefully-constrained-immobilized-interactive-cafe-japan/

Don’t Legalize the Killing of Buzzards

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

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.

Source: Don’t Legalize the Killing of Buzzards

Petition · Stop the Cormorant Slaughter on Oregon’s East Sand Island! · Change.org


https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-cormorant-slaughter-on-oregon-s-east-sand-island?source_location=discover_feed