At the Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary in the northeast of England (England, for the uninitiated, is a series of small wet rocks in the North Atlantic Ocean), penguins have been given anti-depressants because penguins are apparently pretty perceptive and are aware of the awful place in which they live. This winter has been the wettest on record in Scarborough, and while the Humboldt penguin (native to coastal Chile) is perfectly capable of dealing with brutal cold, these particular penguins are no match for the psyche-destroying sleet of an English winter. Hopefully they'll be kept away from the knives.
Photo by Fruggo
"A Swedish homeware company has produced a luxury bird house, complete with swimming pool and garden furniture."
San Francisco's once-barren industrial waterfront between the Giants ballpark and Candlestick Point is rapidly becoming a 13-mile-long green patchwork of restored wetlands, parks and a maritime museum connected by bicycle paths, walking trails and the nearby Third Street MUNI light rail. It's part of the greening and peopling of Port District waterfronts that includes an accidental bird wonderland where a cargo pier was never completed, the open space around Candlestick Park (which will be demolished this year and replaced with 6,000 homes) and lots of little pieces along the shore being put together by the Port of San Francisco and the city's parks department.[...]
"Research published today in the journal Biology Letters followed urban birds and measured the amount of cellulose acetate (from cigarette filters) in their nests. The nests with more butts had fewer parasites."
Hahaha, these baby birds think they're people! People who cannot stop fighting over raw meat!
Outside my third-floor window, in a narrow, leafy lane of Bandra West, a suburb of Mumbai, a crow had got itself stuck in some leftover Christmas decorations that were hanging off a tree. One of its feet was caught in string and the crow was dangling in mid-air. As it became more aware of its situation, it became more frantic, wrapping the string around its foot more securely. I’m not an animal activist and crows are not likable but I could not watch it die a slow, painful, and terrified death.
It was too high up and too far away from my building for me to be able to [...]
"It’s very rare in the U.K. to have a national police operation of this kind. The others are for drug trafficking, human trafficking, and football hooliganism." —You can try to guess but it is probably just easier to click and see.
"A pheasant with a temper problem is stalking the lanes of a Shropshire village, forcing local resident Sally-Ann Hudson to arm herself with gloves and a badminton racquet when she approaches the bird." There is video, but this might be one of those cases where it's just better to imagine.
"The ants are savage, relentless, capturing as many as 30,000 prey items in a single day. They scale trees to pull down giant scorpions, raid wasps’ nests and overwhelm the defenses of even the most violent Africanized bees. Any life form lying in the ants’ path knows its only chance is to try to leap away—and the antbirds know it, too. The birds swoop down and pick off as many of the harrowed menu items as they can get away with, a kleptoparasitism that ends up reducing the ants’ hunting success by one-sixth. Each of the three types of antbird makes its grab from a particular position around the [...]
"Terror experts called in after Turkish villagers mistake bird for Israeli spy… because it had overly large nostrils"
There is literally nothing on the internet that interests me today; the only thing I found interesting enough to read fully was this three-sentence description of Canadian primates on Wikipedia:
The only primates that live in Canada are human beings. They are only distantly related to the New World monkeys of Central and South America, and the species originated in east Africa. Humans first arrived in large numbers to Canada around 15,000 years ago from North Asia, and surged in migration starting 400 years ago from around the world, especially from Europe.
Which is pretty funny but not really enough for a post, you know? So I'm just going [...]
Finally, our president has taken the battle home in our long war against birds. So long, eagles and hawks! Get stuffed! (If they can still stuff the twisted half-carcasses—more than half a million a year!—that remain after our wind turbines do their work.) MAKE LIKE THE BEES AND DROP DEAD.
Oh man, this total environmental collapse is going to be awesome!
"H7N9 bird flu is considered a low pathogenic strain that cannot easily be contracted by humans," the AP reports from Beijing. Well that would be very comforting for humans (if not for birds), except for the sad fact that the wire story is about the first two humans known to be killed by H7N9. Another infected human is in critical condition.
But it's supposedly a low-level virus and not the SARS kind of crazy—that virus jumped to humans from a weird kind of wildcat cruelly captured and then kept in cages to sell to bad people at markets. SARS eventually killed 775 of the 8,000 infected during that [...]
The Blog Lord Giveth and the Blog Lord Taketh Away. (Well, nine hours later.)
"[U]ntil the age of seven, children are, at least in some respects, no brainier than birds."
"i swear to god i could make a beat with a banjo and a church organ only and someone will call it 'dystopian sci fi'." —A couple weeks ago, rapper/producer and Def Jux Records founder El-P wrote a funny and true tweet about the cliches that critics use to describe his work. But with stuff like this new trailer video for his forthcoming album Cancer 4 Cure, can he really blame them? Not that I mind at all. I like dystopian sci-fi.