Hopefully the coming of spring means warmer weather and sunnier days. In the cold days of winter, however, pigeons in Chicago find warmth at the city’s Eternal Flame monument on Daley Plaza. We took these photos on 29 December 2005.
Category Archives: Offbeat
Last month the city council of Homer, Alaska voted to ban a bald eagle feeding program after nearly thirty years. The ban goes into effect on June 1.
The eagles are a chronic problem for the town. The large predators sometimes attack each other over food, and have been accused of stealing small pets from back yards. Some have collided with traffic.
Homer’s “Eagle Lady”, Jean Keene, will be exempt from the ban until 2010. She has been feeding the eagles raw fish every winter for the last 25 years. Back then, five birds would visit. Today, an average of 150 birds come for the feast.
There are a lot of coots living here in Leiden. Each spring they are busy with nest-making activities. Often we see coot nests in the middle of a canal or pond, sometimes attached to the bottom by an anchor of a discarded bicycle or shopping cart. And the nests are often full of garbage, like plastic bags artfully weaved in between the reeds, or magazine pages stuffed inside the bowl of the nest for padding. You just have to love nature’s recyclers. Last year we captured this video of a coot trying to bring a very large piece of styrofoam to her nest, located inside a waterway post.
During World War II, the U.S. Air Force developed a new type of bomb – a glide bomb. Instead of falling straight on a target, it would instead float at an angle towards its target, guided by a variety of tools. Behaviorist Burrhus Frederic Skinner thought of a brilliant new way to guide these missiles during World War II using pigeons.
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A macaw owned by a Pennsylvania man attacked a burglar last month when the criminal broke into its owner’s apartment. The bird drew blood and the attack lead to the culprit’s confession. Read the story Pet Bird Beats Up Burglar at Fox News.
Klaartje is a “lesson hen”, brought to schools in the Dutch town of Leiden each year to teach children about the life of chickens. Unfortunately because of the transport moratorium on chickens and poultry products in the Netherlands, Klaartje won’t be teaching any lessons this season.
Some harmless-looking birds on the Galapagos Islands off the coast of South America have developed a surprising technique for surviving the dry season: drinking the blood of other, larger birds. Watch the “vampire birds” in action.
At Germany’s Bremerhaven Zoo, male penguins have paired together and care for pebbles as if they are eggs. Zoo officials tried to get the gay penguins to mate with females brought in from Sweden, with no success. Read the story German zoo fails to make gay penguins straight at Expatica.
Quite a fowl situation indeed. A retired nurse and insane-person frontwoman, Marian Morris, reportedly saved a chicken’s life by performing “mouth-to-beak” resuscitation on the bird.
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