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A million snow geese stop over at wildlife refuge en route to wintering grounds

Wildlife News

 

 

By Claire Bates
Last updated at 11:52 AM on 17th September 2009

Like a blizzard filling the sky, these pictures show one of nature's most amazing displays as more than a million snow geese stop for a rest during their annual migration.

The spectacular shots were taken by Mike Hollingshead in Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge near Mound City, Missouri. The geese must travel 2,500miles twice a year.

Every autumn the snow geese head from their main breeding grounds in central Canada to their wintering grounds in the Gulf of Mexico. The noisy birds migrate in unusually large flocks of 100 to 1,000 that are made up of many family groups. Biologists still do not understand how the birds decide when to migrate.

 

See more pictures and read the rest of the story here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1213918/Snow-geese-stopover-wildlife-refuge-en-route-wintering-grounds.html#

 

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

A million snow geese crowded into Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge this autumn on their way to their wintering grounds in Mexico

snow geese

The birds manage to stay together in family groups numbering from 100 to 1,000 on their journey south from Canada

Male and female geese look very similar although the males are slightly bigger. Although a swirling flock of snow geese looks like falling snow, there are darker birds among the group. These blue geese, long thought to be a separate species, are simply a dark version of the same bird.

More than a million converge on the national park, which acts as an important stopover on the Central Flyway migration route. It is on one of the narrowest points of the migration route.

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Three bald eagles lock talons as they plunge to the ground in mid-air battle

Wildlife News

 

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:40 PM on 17th September 2009


 

Locked in desperate mid-air battle, the three eagles plunge towards the ground in a contest to see who will let go last.

Between their claws lies a gasping fish freshly plucked from an Alaskan lake, now the target of fearsome talons as each eagle grapples for supper.

This is not so much a desperate bid for food - instead it's a macho show of strength between three birds who want to show who's who in the pecking order.

The three hungry bald eagles lock talons in a vicious mid-air battle for a fish supper

The three hungry bald eagles lock talons in a vicious mid-air battle for a fish supper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two predator eagles were not prepared to let their feathered friend enjoy the fish all by himself

The eagles remain locked together in a three-way show of dominance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The birds continue their battle

As they reach the end of their dive, one eagle breaks off, leaving the remaining two holding 'hands'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amateur wildlife photographer Harry Eggens said the fight was over in a matter of seconds and all three escaped unscathed.

 

Read the rest of the story here:

 www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1214139/Pictured-Three-eagles-lock-talons-plunge-ground-mid-air-battle-fish.html#

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Wild hawk swoops in to Vancouver's Science World

Wildlife News
 
 
 
 
A hawk that got caught up under the entrance to Vancouver's Science World on Monday is released by Kevin Wakahara after being trapped in a net.
 

A hawk that got caught up under the entrance to Vancouver's Science World on Monday is released by Kevin Wakahara after being trapped in a net.

Photograph by: Ian Smith, Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER — A hawk became an accidental, but short-lived exhibit at Science World Monday when it became trapped inside a maze-like sculpture near the facility’s entrance.

The medium-sized bird, known as a Cooper’s hawk, was able to fly inside the Tower of Bauble because netting had been removed so that the kinetic-audio structure could be repaired.

The hawk was unable to navigate its way out of the Tower of Bauble and hunkered down on a high rafter once a rescue operation was mounted.

Read the rest of the story here:

http://www.vancouversun.com/Wild+hawk+swoops+Vancouver+Science+World/1993307/story.html

 

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Wild hawk swoops in to Vancouver's Science World

Wildlife News

 

VANCOUVER — A hawk became an accidental, but short-lived exhibit at Science World Monday when it became trapped inside a maze-like sculpture near the facility’s entrance.

The medium-sized bird, known as a Cooper’s hawk, was able to fly inside the Tower of Bauble because netting had been removed so that the kinetic-audio structure could be repaired.

The hawk was unable to navigate its way out of the Tower of Bauble and hunkered down on a high rafter once a rescue operation was mounted.

Science World employees, along with staff from OWL, a Delta-based wildlife rescue society, chased the hawk from the rafter and caught the trapped bird mid-flight in a net.

The hawk was released outside of Science World after Rob Hope of the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society determined the bird was uninjured and could fly.

Hope said the hawk probably could have lasted three or four days inside the Tower of Bauble without food.

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Tiny fish scores big victory for endangered species

Wildlife News

CBC Technology and Science News: Environmentalists say they have won an important legal victory to protect endangered species across Canada, all because of a tiny fish known as the Nooksack dace, an endangered species no more than 15 centimetres long.

In the ruling issued Wednesday, the Federal Court admonished the fisheries and oceans minister for failing to identify the habitat of the Nooksack dace, which lives in only four streams in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

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Living on burrowed time

Wildlife News
Published: September 08, 2009 3:00 PM
Updated: September 08, 2009 3:41 PM

Clutching butterfly nets, pet carrying cases and a pipe with a sponge plunger on the end, Mike Mackintosh and Frank Tolksdorf ease into the 50- by 70-foot enclosure behind Monika’s Wildlife Shelter in Port Kells.

As they step quietly on the sawdust floor making tactical plans to fill their carriers, they are watched by dozens of pairs of wary eyes perched along the corners of the walls and ceiling. A few eye them from the shadows at ground level.

It takes the two men an hour to collect more than three dozen young burrowing owls for testing. Some are caught in the air along their cage walls. Others are herded further into their eight-inch-wide burrows with the soft-tipped plunger and are taken out by hand at the far side.

 

Read the rest of the story and see the video here:

http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/surreyleader/community/57822227.html

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Experts can't explain B.C. salmon collapse

Wildlife News

Sep. 6 2009

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER -- Millions of Fraser River sockeye have gone missing and Canada doesn't have the research to help answer why, critics say.

This year was supposed to be bumper year for the fish, but instead of more than 10 million swimming up the Fraser River, scientists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans now believe just over one million will return.

Scott Hinch, a salmon ecologist at the University of British Columbia, says successive federal governments have cut back on research and now, too little is known about what happens to the fish after they spawn and before they return.

Hinch says it's not clear how changing water temperatures are affecting the salmon's food supply in the ocean, or what new predators could be targeting salmon or competing for food.

More to story: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090906/salmon_collapse_090906/20090906?hub=Canada

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Pink salmon making major comeback in Nanaimo harbour

Wildlife News

September 2, 2009
 
 
After being rendered virtually extinct in the Nanaimo harbour since the 1950s, pink salmon are now returning to the area by the thousands.
Brian Banks, co-manager of the Nanaimo River Hatchery, said more than 20,000 pink salmon are expected to return to the harbour and adjacent rivers by mid-September, the best numbers since the hatchery joined up with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Nanaimo Fish and Game Protective Association and other organizations to begin a program to reintroduce the species to local waterways earlier this decade.
The partners have been hatching pink salmon eggs taken from Campbell River at the Nanaimo River Hatchery and transferring them to three holding pens in the harbour at the Newcastle Island ferry slip, Duke Point and the Pacific Biological Station in increasing numbers since the program began in 2001.
The young salmon are held in the pens for about a month for imprinting until they are about one gram in weight. Then they are released with the hope many will return to spawn in the area at the end of their two-year lifecycles.
Of the one million released early in 2008, 13,000 have already been counted at the mouth of the Nanaimo River, while other schools have been spotted at the mouth of the Millstone River and other areas of the harbour so far this year and expectations are for thousands more to arrive by the middle of September.
"We began this program as an effort to restart a pink salmon food fishery for First Nations in the area and to provide sports fishermen an opportunity to fish for pink salmon in the harbour once again," said Banks. "This year has seen the best returns yet in the program and we've been pleased to see people lining the banks along the harbour to try their luck at catching some of them. It seems the ocean survival rates for pink salmon around Vancouver Island have been very good this year."


More:  http://www.timescolonist.com/Pink+salmon+making+major+comeback+Nanaimo+harbour/1955445/story.html

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