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Plague-infected squirrel shuts Los Angeles park

Wildlife News

25 July 2013  BBC News

Parts of a national forest in California have been evacuated and closed down after a squirrel was found to be infected with the plague.

Los Angeles officials say visitors were ordered to leave the Angeles National Forest as a precaution after the rodent was trapped in a routine check.

They said no people in the area were believed to have been infected with the disease, known as the Black Death.

The plague killed as many as 25 million Europeans during the Middle Ages.

More to story:

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Eagles patrol diving pool at Barcelona swim worlds

Wildlife News

Associated Press
July 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Early arrivals for the world championship diving are getting an odd treat this week: The chance to see eagles skimming over the azure water where divers will launch themselves from up to 10 meters.

The birds' mission: Patrol the airspace to keep away pesky seagulls and pigeons for the safety of the divers.

"I begin early so that everything is clean and there are no seagulls," said falconer Oscar Martos, the man in charge of working the big, brown-feathered birds.

Like most cities, Barcelona has a pigeon problem. Because the Montjuic Municipal pool is on a hill with a side that falls into the Mediterranean, seagulls have taken a particular liking to its convenient perches and inviting waters.

 Read the rest of the story HERE

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Eagles relocated away from power lines

Wildlife News

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 10:22 am

Eagles relocated away from power lines
Paul Greg

There are only 19 bald eagle “couples” that nest in Harris County. One of those couples makes its eyrie in a secluded area near Townsend Blvd. and Hwy. 59 and recently had its nest relocated from a dead pine tree threatening power lines, to a permanent 112-foot concrete perch, thanks to ecologists from CenterPoint Energy.

The nest is on land owned by Don and Denise Schneider, who have lived on that piece of land for 28 years. Denise grew up loving eagles in her native eastern Idaho. The Schneiders have enjoyed watching this pair of eagles for about five years now.

The process of relocating the eagle couple or “convocation” in scientific terminology, began in the spring when a company that contracts with CenterPoint came out to clear dead trees from the path of the power lines that run through the Schneiders’ property.

 Read the rest of the story HERE


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A Note of Thanks

Hancock here with a couple of special thanks - a Fledge Season Note:

First, a very special thanks to Judyb and her Charlie  -- not only does Judyb do so much in terms of special work during the entire year keeping the Forum and web running, with Charlie not just putting up with it, but they have done this incredible annual backup financial support of meeting donations -- our biggest financial fundraiser for the year.

Thanks Judyb and Charlie - you are a world-class couple.

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2013 Fund Drive July 22

So Near, and Yet So Far

The bittersweet end of the nesting season is fast approaching. Tux will be 14 weeks old tomorrow, and has only rarely visited the nest and cam since he (or maybe she) fledged almost 10 days ago, though people in the neighborhood are still seeing Tux with his parents on their favorite perching locations. And Birdie, the youngest of this year's eaglets, is 10-1/2 weeks old, and is spending a lot of time perching, and flapping his big wings - and has started to hover over the nest, in one of the final steps before flying off for the first time.

The eagles we watch - and most eagles in lower BC - will be making a big journey soon. The adults will be going in search of salmon - and perhaps a much-needed vacation after the work of raising a family; the fledglings will be following the crowd to the salmon - and then setting forth on the journey that will hopefully lead to a nest of their own in five or six years. And while everyone is away, we need to get all our nests ready for the upcoming season, before the eagles begin to return in mid-September.

I've been watching Birdie - and he's so close - look at this mighty leap with only a foot still visible at the top of the screen (clicks bigger)

- but so far his biggest flight has been from a branch at the edge of the nest to the other side of the nest - an impressive 6 feet, but no match for Feathers' flight up to the perch on the artificial nest at Lafarge (clicks bigger)

- or Tux's travels (no picture - because we haven't seen him for a couple of days - just heard calls in the distance as he practices his flying).

They all are getting close - but they still have a ways to go.

And so do we.

David Hancock has provided an overview of the expenses for the 2013-2014 nesting season - and his best estimate is that it will cost $35,400 to keep our cams streaming (click here for details). The good news is that thanks to our cam sponsors - Russ & Ellen at White Rock, the folks at Lafarge Vancouver, and Betty Anne and the team at Pretty Estates Resort - and thanks to David Hancock who is donating fees he's earned as a consultant with outside agencies - we're expecting $25,400 in revenue for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

That leaves $10,000 to be raised through donations and fund drives - and thanks to the 35 great people who donated during our 3-day matching drive - and to our wonderful matching-drive sponsors - we raised almost $5000 of that earlier this month. And I just checked with Karen, and we're at $5892 for donations in July (and a special thanks to all who donated at the FledgeFest Party at David and Mary's house!).

$10,000 - $5,892 = $4,108

So near - and yet so far.

Can you help us raise the last $4,108? We really do need your help today.

We're encouraging people to use CanadaHelps to make their donations - you'll get a receipt almost instantly, and it saves HWF valuable time and resources. And you don't need to be in Canada to use CanadaHelps! Just click the blue button:

If you prefer to call in your donation, it would be great if you could do that today; there will be someone at Hancock House waiting to take your call. Or you can use any of our other ways to donate:

Thank you all, for all you do!


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