Category Archives: Offbeat

The Bald Eagles Of Homer, Alaska

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.

Related Links:
City of Homer
The Bald Eagles of Homer, Alaska

Alaska town to bid farewell to troublemaking bald eagles
Symbol of America Is One Town’s Headache
Council gives ‘Eagle Lady’ feeding rights

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Video: Ambitious Coot Tries To Defy Physics

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.

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Pigeons As Bomb Guidance Systems?

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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