View Printable Version

Digital debate: Do birds have thumbs?

Wildlife News

PARIS: It is the kind of question that keeps biologists up at night: from an evolutionary standpoint, is the innermost digit of a bird’s three-pronged wing more like a thumb or an index finger?

A study published online Sunday by Nature says it’s a bit of both.

The stemcells in birds that normally produce the first digit die off during early stages of embryonic development, it found, while cells programmed to manufacture the index unit give rise instead to a thumb-like appendage.

Member No. 2, in other words, has undergone a shift in digital identity.

View Printable Version

Sea eagles snatch babies ? It's nonsense, says RSBP

Wildlife News

3 Sep 2011
David Ross Highland Correspondent

The row between conservationists and gamekeepers over Scotland’s birds of prey soared to new heights yesterday after the RSBP described as “nonsense” claims that the country’s biggest winged predator could attack young children.

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) gave the warning in a letter to Scottish ministers in which they called for a public inquiry into the reintroduction of the species.
It follows the recent attack by one of the raptors on a prominent Scottish churchman.
One of the 16 white-tailed sea eagles from Norway released last month in Fife as part of a reintroduction programme in the east of Scotland killed a prize-winning goose owned by the Very Reverend Hunter Farquharson, the Provost of Perth Cathedral. The bird also attacked Mr Farquharson when he tried to intervene.
It tore his shirt and inflicted a cut to his head and a four-inch wound on his back which needed medical attention.
Some crofters have long been convinced the white-tailed sea eagles, which have an eight-foot wingspan, have been responsible for killing lambs.
But a study for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) concluded last year that the birds had a minimal impact on the survival of lambs in remote parts of the Highlands.
In its letter to the Environment Minister Stuart Stevenson, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association warned that the attack on Mr Farquharson may well be the first of many and asked for the formulation of an “exit strategy” if the sea eagles turn out to have an adverse effect on social, economic or leisure activities.
The letter says: “These creatures are being released into what is a comparatively densely populated area so they will come into contact with humans on a daily basis. That will instil habituated behaviour and remove what should be a healthy fear of humans.
“There are reports of buzzards which have obviously undergone this desensitisation and this has resulted in them attacking people. This could pose a serious threat in the future.
“Will these very large creatures differentiate between a small child and more natural quarry?”

View Printable Version

2012 HWF Calendar Is at the Printer!!

Wildlife News

The 2012 HWF Calendar is currently at the printer!

Thank you all who have submitted photos and s'caps; and thank you all who already ordered calendars to make this project a 'go'!

Sneak peek:

Front Cover: Picture of Flyer, the Sidney eaglet, being rescued on 5/19/11.  Taken by David Hancock.
Click on image to download

View Printable Version

Observations and Transgressions - Ground Observers Please Read

Wildlife News

Over the past 6+ years, Hancock Wildlife Foundation has brought you many different wildlife live camera vistas, and we will continue to do so.

This web site in general, and the discussion forum in particular, has grown to be one of the major places on the internet to discuss the HWF and other cameras and wildlife viewing areas, particularly those related to the bald eagle.

In establishing a video setup for any area there are several things that we do and in many cases legal as well as technical hoops we must jump through. We do this so that you don't have to as individuals. That is one of the primary reason WE do it - we have the expertise and the contacts and the reputation for doing things the right way.

It has come to our attention that due to Mother Nature's choice for her eagles not to nest in the PCT nest where we (with Pacific Coast Terminals blessing and help) installed cameras, people have on their own been following the pair where they did nest - on another piece of land outside of PCT's area of control.

In addition, we note that some members have been visiting other of our sites and doing things like parking in dangerous positions and trespassing on private property; all in the name of "ground observer" - a concept that has only recently grown up around our cameras and one which is in some respects directly at odds with the whole concept of the vicarious views our cameras provide.

Without having done our work in getting permission, we must rely upon the people involved to understand that what they are doing is without any blessing by HWF in any way. We provide a forum for discussion and sharing of photos - but if the forum becomes a focus for even questionable activities regarding wildlife interference, property damage, trespassing, or other illegal or even just questionable actions other than benign observation from safe and legal locations, then we must and will remove and close such discussions. We simply cannot condone or be seen to be a part of such actions and will er on the side of conservative actions every time.

Hancock Wildlife Foundation's primary function in providing our video streams is to protect the wildlife and to "go where others cannot go" in a fashion that is legal and protective before and in conjunction with being educational.

So, while we appreciate ground observation and encourage any/all to learn by participation, please do so within the bounds of the law and safety (for yourselves and the critters) and with consideration for others' rights and opinions. Anything else and we must politely decline to allow you to participate and/or contribute; we simply cannot allow such actions to cloud our own good reputation and we will er on the side of protecting it.

Richard C. Pitt
Executive Director

View Printable Version

Red-tailed Rehabilitation

Wildlife News

It takes a village to rescue a hawk

 

Unlike "Blackhawk Down," not every story of a hawk going down has an unhappy ending.

A very young orphaned red-tailed hawk from the Cranbrook area was given a new lease on life after being rescued and rehabilitated - an enterprise that involved the efforts of a local couple, a provincial airline, and a remarkable society in the Lower Mainland devoted to the welfare of young birds in trouble. John Bradshaw of Cranbrook was cycling in the Jim Smith Lake area in late June when he came across the hawk chick in the grass just off the road. Bradshaw and his partner Sioux Browning took the hawk home for a couple of days, before sending it via Pacific Coastal Airlines to the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL), located in Delta, B.C. OWL is a non-profit organization whose volunteers are dedicated to public education and the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned birds. The society sees about 350 birds on average a year come into the shelter, from all over British Columbia. But Rob Hope, Head Bird Care Supervisor at OWL, says those numbers are up this year. "We're about 80 birds above average at this time." OWL specializes in raptors and birds of prey - hawks, owls, eagles, and such - which are transported from all over the province by Pacific Coastal Airlines, which provides that service free of charge. "They are our lifeline," Hope said. "Without them we couldn't save these little guys." In the case of the Cranbrook hawk - dubbed Purcell by his rescuers - Hope said he was even younger than the average orphaned bird which comes through the centre. "They're usually a little older," Hope said. "This one was still a chick, about three weeks old - still with lots of down." Hope said that before sending the young hawk out to OWL, Browning and Bradshaw first took care to remove an infestation of maggots from the bird. Upon arriving at the centre, his carers gave him a lot of food to get his weight up. Once the young bird started vocalizing, he was put under the care Ladyhawk, as she is named. "(Ladyhawk) is a big old female imprint," Hope said. "She couldn't be used for falconry, so she was donated to us. We use her as a foster parent, and she did the job of raising him." Bradshaw and Browning were at the airport to pick up the bird, and on late Sunday afternoon, August 14, released the young hawk in the Cranbrook Community Forest. Purcell was understandably pleased to be released from his long confinement in the travel cage, and darted aloft into the security of the trees, where he spent some time adjusting to his new home in the wild.

More: http://www.dailytownsman.com/article/20110816/CRANBROOK0101/308169992/-1/cranbrook/red-tailed-rehabilitation  

View Printable Version

One nest, two parents and four eaglets

By Keith Edwards kedwards@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

This photo released by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife shows four bald eaglets in a single nest on Swan Island in the Kennebec River near Richmond, Maine. It is the first documented case of four eaglets in the same nest in the state's history.RICHMOND -- One very full nest on Swan Island contains Maine's first-ever documented occurrence of four eaglets in a single nest.

The eaglets born to a pair of bald eagles that have nested on the island since 2008 are believed to be only the fourth documented case of four eaglets in a single nest in the United States, according to wildlife biologists from the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Read the rest of the story here - www.kjonline.com/news/one-nest-two-parents-and-four-eaglets_2011-07-28.html

This photo released by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife shows four bald eaglets in a single nest on Swan Island in the Kennebec River near Richmond, Maine. It is the first documented case of four eaglets in the same nest in the state's history. (Photo by Joe Bailey, Swan Island Wildlife Management Area.)

[Personal note from JudyB - I find it quite amazing that I've been following Sue Erickson's reports on the four eaglets at the Clark Fork River Bald Eagle Nest all season - and am just discovering that there's a nest with four eaglets a mile or so from my house!  I've checked with the biologist on the island, and they have all fledged and he says it's unlikely that visitors will see more than one or two - but I am going to try to schedule a visit (it's a wildlife management area, and you need to make reservations).  I'll add an update if I learn more!]

View Printable Version

Delta rehab centre's help lets young eagle spread wings

Wildlife News

 

Rehab centre tends to fledgling after it falls from nest

 
 Ralph Smith of O.W.L. releases Oreo
Photo by Chung Chow, Delta Optimist
 
The Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) said farewell to one of Delta's famous eagles last week.
View Printable Version

Eagle healed, released over Pitt Lake

Wildlife News

An eagle, nicknamed Eddie, was released back into the wild on Sunday after spending two months at OWL, a rehabilitation centre in Delta.

An eagle found in Pitt Meadows on the brink of death in March was set free on Sunday after spending two months in a rehabilitation centre.

The four-year-old young adult, nicknamed Eddie by the man who found him, soared over Pitt Lake and joined two other eagles before perching on a tree.

Read the rest of the story here:
www.bclocalnews.com/tri_city_maple_ridge/mapleridgenews/news/123054373.html

?

Please Donate

Five Easy Ways to Donate

Current & Ongoing Promotions

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Account





Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?