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Eagles not flying with doves in Alaska island fishing town

Wildlife News



McClatchy Newspapers

On a recent weekday, Allana Gustafson was pushing an empty mail cart outside the Dutch Harbor post office in Alaska when she heard the beating of wings like heavy breathing behind her.

Next came a sharp pain. A bald eagle nesting on the nearby cliff had swooped down and carved a rice grain-sized divot in her scalp, she said, leaving a bloody but superficial wound and serving as a reminder to eagle-ridden Unalaska: Don't turn your back on big, nesting birds.

Residents of the island fishing town reported at least two eagle attacks to police within the past two weeks, according to the Unalaska Department of Public Safety. One man said eagles dove at him three times this summer and police on Wednesday posted warning signs near high-traffic nesting areas where eagles are known to dive-bomb passersby.

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Tags reveal puffin food 'hotspot'

Conservation & Preservation

GPS tags revealed that puffins foraged closer to "home" than previously thought.


GPS devices fitted to puffins have offered a valuable insight into the daily feeding patterns of the seabirds.

Data revealed that the birds headed for foraging "hotspots" about 20 miles away, much closer than previously thought.

Researchers fitted the logging devices to 12 adult birds at England's largest puffin colony on the Farne Islands.

The team tagged the birds in an effort to find out why the islands' population crashed by 30% between 2003 and 2008.

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Another rare white raven born this year on Canadian beach

Wildlife News


Qualicum Beach - Qualicum Beach, a beach and town on Vancouver Island British Columbia, has been home to rare white ravens for the past few years. This year, at least one new white raven has hatched, prompting birders to flock to the seaside paradise.

Ask anyone -- even an ornithologist -- what colour a raven is and the resounding answer is 'black.' White ravens, although occasionally seen, are so rare, they have not even been studied by ornithologists.

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Our Brains Are More Like Birds' Than We Thought

Wildlife News

ScienceDaily (July 2, 2010) — For more than a century, neuroscientists believed that the brains of humans and other mammals differed from the brains of other animals, such as birds (and so were presumably better). This belief was based, in part, upon the readily evident physical structure of the neocortex, the region of the brain responsible for complex cognitive behaviors.

A new study, however, by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine finds that a comparable region in the brains of chickens concerned with analyzing auditory inputs is constructed similarly to that of mammals.

"And so ends, perhaps, this claim of mammalian uniqueness," said Harvey J. Karten, MD, professor in the Department of Neurosciences at UCSD's School of Medicine, and lead author of the study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.



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U.S. bird cull means Canada geese are goners

Conservation & Preservation

By Tobi Cohen, Canwest News Service July 2, 2010

File photo of Canada Geese.

File photo of Canada Geese.

Photograph by: Bruce Edwards,

Canada geese are being served up at food banks in Oregon state, where more than 100 of the iconic birds were gassed this week in retaliation for pooping up a city park.

According to local media reports, 109 Canada geese were taken from Drake Park in Bend, Ore., and asphyxiated with carbon dioxide.

Jan Taylor, a spokeswoman with the Bend Park and Recreation District, told Oregon Public Broadcasting that Canada geese have been a problem in the popular tourist region since she moved there 20 years ago.

"You want to put a blanket down in the park and you wind up walking in a lot of feces," she said.

"It's uncomfortable. People don't like it."




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