Birds: Miscellaneous Notes, Observations, Etc.

RaM

Justified & Ancient
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Not sure about the Owl not wanting to be touched, some time back in the early hours
there was this god awful noise going on outside, in the end I got up went out and it
was a Little Owl perched on next doors chimney, I told it to bugger off as you do
were opp on it dived off the chimney and passed so close to my head it's wing brushed
my neck, it then shut up and perched on a street light about 100 yards way and I
went back to bed.
 

Spookdaddy

Cuckoo
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Midwich
Not sure about the Owl not wanting to be touched, some time back in the early hours there was this god awful noise going on outside, in the end I got up went out and it was a Little Owl perched on next doors chimney, I told it to bugger off as you do were opp on it dived off the chimney and passed so close to my head it's wing brushed my neck, it then shut up and perched on a street light about 100 yards way and I went back to bed.

Not sure about little owls (I love those birds - unfortunately very rare around where I am), but some larger owl species can be quite aggressive in self defence. You certainly have to be a sensible around tawny owls when they're nesting, and it's one reason it's not recommended to put owl boxes too close to human habitation. Famous ornithologist and bird photographer, the late Eric Hosking, lost an eye to a tawny owl. (It's one of the reasons I was not as immediately circumspect as many people seem to be in regard to the 'owl theory' defence used in the Netflix documentary, The Staircase - and those barred owls are considerably more hefty than tawny owls, and known to be aggressive.)

I once got an emergency call off my mum and dad to go round and release a tawny owl that had become trapped and panicky in their garage. Cornered like that many animals can become aggressive - I gathered it up after throwing a tarp over it, but I was layered up in canvas work gear, and wearing goggles, welding gloves and my climbing pot before I went anywhere near it. Poor bugger must have thought it was being abducted by an alien.
 

uair01

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I think birds in general have become more urban. In Rotterdam we have crested grebes in the city centre! A century ago a Dutch naturalist had to walk for hours to see one.
I love those birds with their punk hairdos and their lovely mating dances.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
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I'm expecting the headline "Seagull Steals Identity" next.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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I'm expecting the headline "Seagull Steals Identity" next.
Always did wonder how Jonathan Livingston Seagull got ahead.
 

Tempest63

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It’s pigeon and dove Armageddon where we live. Never have we seen so many pigeons/doves dead on our daily dog walks. We have seen a massive increase in the number of buzzards on the land where we shoot over recent years, and there are always hawks over the nature reserve, so we are assuming that some of these birds are making their way into the urban areas and are decimating the pigeon and dove population.
We have a malting near to us which is home to a zillion collared doves that looks like it has become a pantry for some of the local predatory birds.
 

michael59

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EiCWUKkWoAowuf4.jpeg
 

hunck

Antediluvian
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It’s pigeon and dove Armageddon where we live. Never have we seen so many pigeons/doves dead on our daily dog walks. We have seen a massive increase in the number of buzzards on the land where we shoot over recent years, and there are always hawks over the nature reserve, so we are assuming that some of these birds are making their way into the urban areas and are decimating the pigeon and dove population.
We have a malting near to us which is home to a zillion collared doves that looks like it has become a pantry for some of the local predatory birds.

If it were buzzards or hawks they'd be catching them to eat - all you'd find is a bunch of feathers where they've plucked them.
 

Tempest63

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If it were buzzards or hawks they'd be catching them to eat - all you'd find is a bunch of feathers where they've plucked them.
A hell of a lot of them are headless and some are opened but but not finished off. We do find a good few that are just wings and a bit of bone.
 

Sid

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A hell of a lot of them are headless and some are opened but but not finished off. We do find a good few that are just wings and a bit of bone.
"Headless ~ not finished off," etc, sounds more like the work of cats 'Tempest 63.' From what I have encountered myself, Cats do have a common habit of chewing off the head of birds first, and leaving the remains behind.
 

hunck

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"Headless ~ not finished off," etc, sounds more like the work of cats 'Tempest 63.' From what I have encountered myself, Cats do have a common habit of chewing off the head of birds first, and leaving the remains behind.

Agreed - sounds more like cats than buzzards or hawks.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
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Okay, I'll just delete it.

No, no, no ... :dsist:

No need to delete it. I've copied the post over to the Birds Aren't Real thread and restored it here (where it also fits).
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
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Eblana
Killer toxin uncovered.

FOR 25 YEARS, a mysterious killer has been on the loose across the American south, responsible for the deaths of over 100 eagles and thousands of other birds.

The first victims were found in the fall of 1994 and winter of 1995 when 29 bald eagles died at or near Lake DeGray, Arkansas. At first, the birds seemed to be untouched. But during an autopsy, scientists found lesions on their brains and spinal cords, a condition they named avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM). Researchers at the Department of Fish and Wildlife searched for diseases or toxins like DDT that might cause this debilitating disease, but they found nothing.

The mystery went unsolved.

The killer appeared again a few years later in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Texas. In addition to bald eagles, it had started attacking water birds like Canadian geese, coots, and Mallard ducks. First it rendered the birds unable to fly. They stumbled around, their wings drooped, they looked catatonic or paralyzed. Then—in as few as five days—they were dead.

Now, in a paper published today in Science, an international team of researchers from Germany, the Czech Republic, and the United States have finally identified the culprit, a previously unknown neurotoxin called aetokthonotoxin, which could be produced by a deadly combination of invasive plants, opportunistic bacteria, and chemical pollution in lakes and reservoirs. ...

https://www.wired.com/story/scientists-finally-identify-a-deadly-toxin-thats-been-killing-birds/
 
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ramonmercado

CyberPunk
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Eblana
There's a cuckoo err, I mean a goose in the nest.

A goose has taken over a platform built for a pair of breeding ospreys whose nest was destroyed in a chainsaw attack.

The greylag goose has taken over the temporary platform at Llyn Brenig, which borders Conwy and Denbighshire.

The felling of the original platform on the night of Friday 30 April was captured on CCTV.

Members of Brenig Osprey Project hope the pair of ospreys will eventually be attracted back to use the new platform.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-57128038
 

uair01

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Rotterdam
Saturday afternoon I parked my car on the communal parking spot behind the apartment building. I left the car holding two paper bags of fresh bread. Immediately a jackdaw landed in front of my feet and looked at me expectantly. I had to give him/her a piece of bread of course.

I know they're smart, so this does not surprise me. What surprises me is that: 0) our local jackdaws are not this tame, 1) this was the first time I saw a jackdaw in this parking place (and I know all our local birds generally well), 2) I had never seen anyone feeding the jackdaws. So where did he get his training from?
 

Nosmo King

I'm not a cat
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Saturday afternoon I parked my car on the communal parking spot behind the apartment building. I left the car holding two paper bags of fresh bread. Immediately a jackdaw landed in front of my feet and looked at me expectantly. I had to give him/her a piece of bread of course.

I know they're smart, so this does not surprise me. What surprises me is that: 0) our local jackdaws are not this tame, 1) this was the first time I saw a jackdaw in this parking place (and I know all our local birds generally well), 2) I had never seen anyone feeding the jackdaws. So where did he get his training from?
Jackdaws rock :p
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
Saturday afternoon I parked my car on the communal parking spot behind the apartment building. I left the car holding two paper bags of fresh bread. Immediately a jackdaw landed in front of my feet and looked at me expectantly. I had to give him/her a piece of bread of course.

I know they're smart, so this does not surprise me. What surprises me is that: 0) our local jackdaws are not this tame, 1) this was the first time I saw a jackdaw in this parking place (and I know all our local birds generally well), 2) I had never seen anyone feeding the jackdaws. So where did he get his training from?
They are fast learners.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
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Eblana
Maybe birds can smell after all.

Almost 200 years ago, the renowned U.S. naturalist John James Audubon hid a decaying pig carcass under a pile of brush to test vultures’ sense of smell.

When the birds overlooked the pig—while one flocked to a nearly odorless stuffed deer skin—he took it as proof that they rely on vision, not smell, to find their food. His experiment cemented a commonly held idea. Despite later evidence that vultures and a few specialized avian hunters use odors after all, the dogma that most birds aren’t attuned to smell endured.

Now, that dogma is being eroded by findings on birds’ behavior and molecular hardware, two of which were published just last month. One showed storks home in on the smell of freshly mowed grass; another documented scores of functional olfactory receptors in multiple bird species. Researchers are realizing, says evolutionary biologist Scott Edwards of Harvard University, that “olfaction has a lot of impact on different aspects of bird biology.”

Forty years ago, when ethologist Floriano Papi proposed that homing pigeons find their way back to a roost by sniffing out its chemical signature, his colleagues scoffed at the idea. They pointed out that birds have several other keen senses to guide them, including sight and, in the case of pigeons and some other species, a magnetic sense. “By then, biological textbooks already stated unequivocally that birds have little to no sense of smell, and many people still believe it—even scientists,” says Danielle Whittaker, a chemical ecologist at Michigan State University. ...

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/202...-cant-smell-scientists-are-proving-them-wrong
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
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Eblana
Their goose will be cooked for drowning the geese.

MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) — Ten geese drowned in a South Florida lake after a homeowners association’s attempt to trap, sedate and euthanize them went horribly awry, resulting in it facing a likely fine.

The SilverLakes homeowners association in Miramar hired a company, Pest Wildlife Pro, to remove 25 geese because some residents in the suburban Fort Lauderdale neighborhood found them to be loud pooping machines, although others saw them as majestic, the South Florida SunSentinel reports.

Rolando Calzadilla, the company’s owner, said he fed the geese bread laced with sedatives Tuesday, but a loud car spooked the drugged birds and they flew off. Ten fell into the lake and drowned, while he found the other 15 and euthanized them offsite.

Calzadilla said residents who saw what was happening charged at him and were yelling and screaming. He said he had to call police for help, saying “the situation was out of control.”

“Everyone hates the dog catcher in the neighborhood. It was just a bad situation,” he told the newspaper.

Calzadilla said the residents who like the geese and name them are “never, never the same people” as the ones who get stuck with the noise and cleanup. ...

https://apnews.com/article/environm...ldlife-birds-fff973e014e21fd517a9a180ee433f66
 
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staticgirl

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Oct 12, 2003
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833
Found this weird story whilst checking out another story in the Irish Archaeology Finds thread

Battle of the Starlings

400 years ago, a deadly aerial battle took place in the skies over Cork. The conflict was between two warring factions and it resulted in multitudes of dead and injured. This battle took place over the weekend of October 12th - 13th in the year 1621 and it went down in local lore as "The Battle of the Starlings"...
...City dwellers ran for cover as the two armies of Starlings entered into a ferocious battle. Birds belted into each other in high velocity. Beaks stabbed into breasts and claws tore into wings. Dead and injured birds fell from the sky and landed on streets and rooftops. The sight was amazingly gruesome and then, it suddenly ended. What was left of the two armies regrouped and retreated back to their camps...
https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/battle-of-the-starlings-cork

I wondered at first if it was a highly colourful description of a mumuration but the falling birds suggests something more was going on...
 

hunck

Antediluvian
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Hobbs End
I’ve just started noticing some birds have recently started singing at close to 11.45pm each night. They're quite punctual - just now noticed them starting at 11.36. Not full on but sporadic. Don’t know what kind of birds. They keep it up for a few hours.

I know birds have started singing when there’s less traffic to compete with but the fact I haven’t noticed it before at this time leads me to think it’s a fairly new thing round here. I’m not on a busy road & it’s pretty quiet long before 11.45.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
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Eblana
I’ve just started noticing some birds have recently started singing at close to 11.45pm each night. They're quite punctual - just now noticed them starting at 11.36. Not full on but sporadic. Don’t know what kind of birds. They keep it up for a few hours.

I know birds have started singing when there’s less traffic to compete with but the fact I haven’t noticed it before at this time leads me to think it’s a fairly new thing round here. I’m not on a busy road & it’s pretty quiet long before 11.45.

Get Max to shoot 'em for you.
 
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