Archive for the ‘Interesting Bird Stories’ Category

Gull Attacks Stop Postal Deliveries in UK neighborhood

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

stop pest birdsEvery year, homeowners in Liskey Hill Crescent, Perranporth, Cornwall UK are invaded by seagulls. The large birds dive-bomb people as they come out of their homes to check their daily mail. Some say the gulls have become really aggressive in the last five years, attacking people in packs, swooping down, and aiming for people’s heads. Bright colors make them crazy, which is why some believe they attack the local postwoman because she wears red. Postmen say the gulls need to be controlled or they’ll have to stop postal deliveries. Bird experts say the gulls are simply protecting their young during the nesting period.

Big birds like gulls can be a problem, especially if they’ve chosen your property to nest in. In the US, most gulls are protected by local, state and federal laws. So if you have this problem, you can’t resort to lethal means like poisons or pellet guns. The only solution is humane bird control. And one of the most effective bird deterrents ever devised is the bird spike.

Plastic Bird Spikes to the rescue

More economical than steel spikes, plastic bird spikes are the anti-perching, anti-roosting bird deterrent that won’t allow gulls (or other large birds) to land on or near them. They are blunted at the tips and approved by a number of humane groups—including the U.S. Humane Society. And unlike steel bird spikes, plastic spikes can be installed near your dish TV antenna without interfering with your reception. They also come in a variety of colors—including crystal clear, brick red, light grey, brown, black and tan—so they’ll blend in with your home’s color scheme.

There are bird spikes and there are bird spikes

The best plastic bird spikes are made of unbreakable UV-protected polycarbonate to last for season after season on your rooftop, chimney, patio cover, or wherever birds flock most often on your property. High quality plastic bird spikes have a flexible base, which allows them to “follow” curved surfaces. They also have pre-drilled holes or glue troughs for easy mounting. The spikes come in two-foot sections and 3-, 5- and 7-inch widths to provide increasingly broader areas of bird deterrence. The bases of these spiked strips are only 1.5 inches wide, so they’re easy to install and can be glued down, nailed or screwed into any surface. Once installed, they’re almost invisible from the ground.

Install bird spikes on clean surfaces

Before installing any bird spikes, make sure the surface is clean and dry. Do the prep work to remove any loose rust, peeling paint, bird droppings, feathers and nesting materials. Use commercial disinfecting cleaning agents to keep from being exposed to any of the 60 known airborne diseases carried by birds. If the area is heavily contaminated with bird droppings (wet or dry), use proper eye and respiratory protection.

For additional advice on how to properly install plastic bird spikes around your home, consult an expert like the folks at Bird-B-Gone.

 

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FDA Find Bugs, Bird at Affiliate of Meningitis Pharmacy

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

by Toni Clarke, Reuters (via The Chicago Tribune)

A sign for pharmaceutical compounding company NECC, a producer of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate, is seen in Framingham, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Jessica Rinaldi, Reuters)

(Reuters) – U.S. health inspectors found bugs, a flying bird and other unsterile conditions at Ameridose LLC, an affiliate of the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy at the heart of the deadly meningitis outbreak.

Westborough, Massachusetts-based Ameridose was closed on October 10 to allow state and federal investigators to inspect its facilities. On Monday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the results of its investigation.

The agency’s report details a list of quality control failures at Ameridose, including a failure to test the potency of its products, a failure to properly classify patient complaints and the use of “vague, canned language” when describing negative patient reactions to its drugs.

The company, an affiliate of the New England Compounding Center, said it is in the process of preparing a full response to the FDA.

“Ameridose’s history shows clearly that we have not had any instance of contaminated products over the course of the past six years, which covers the manufacture and shipment of 70 million units of product,” the company said in a statement. “Ameridose is committed to addressing all observations in order to enhance our existing systems.”

The investigation of Ameridose follows the closure of the NECC, which distributed thousands of vials of a steroid linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis that has hit 19 states and claimed 32 lives.

Inspectors found that Ameridose failed to investigate customer complaints related to drug potency, under-filled products and syringe volumes. It also failed to classify “patient response” complaints as “adverse events.”

Several such complains referred to the drug oxytocin, used to induce labor in childbirth. One referred to “fetal distress and hyper stimulated uterus.” Another customer called to report an increase in post-partum hemorrhaging. Another reported that a patient had shortness of breath and that “the throat was closing.”

A complaint related to the painkiller fentanyl noted that the patient was “oversedated” and “unresponsive.” Another patient given the blood-thinner heparin experienced a “life-threatening” negative reaction.

Inspectors said buildings used to make, process, pack and hold the drugs were not maintained in a good state of repair. The firm failed to perform a microbiological assessment after “penetrating leaks” were found in a building and water dripping above the clean room.

“During the inspection we observed totes placed in the location of the penetrating leaks containing water,” the inspection report noted. “There is no documented evidence that the leaks were permanently corrected.”

Walls were cracked, corroded and covered with what appeared to be adhesive material in a room where sterile drugs are prepared, the report noted.

Equipment and utensils were not cleaned or sanitized at appropriate intervals to prevent contamination that could alter the safety, identity, quality or purity of the drugs, according to the report.

Certain metal surfaces “were observed to contain what appeared to be brownish structures, atypical in shape,” the report noted.

Moreover, the buildings used “are not free of infestation by rodents, birds, insects and other vermin,” the report said.

Specifically, insects were located in an area where finished sterile product is packaged and stored. The insects were also located within three to 10 feet of the controlled area where sterile products are manufactured.

At least one bird was observed flying in an area where sterile finished product is packaged and stored.

On Friday, Ameridose, which has the same owners as NECC, said it would lay off about 90 percent of its work force. About 650 employees at Ameridose will be affected, as well as 140 employees at Medical Sales Management, a company that provides sales, technology and human resources support to Ameridose.

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Golden Eagle Snatches Kid Video – Not Likely

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

In a YouTube video (Golden Eagle Snatches Kid) currently going viral and shown on Fox News, a Golden Eagle is supposedly shown attempting to carry off a small child.  Fortunately for all of us, this video is a fake.  Some viewers familiar with CGI animation claim that the sequence is most likely computer generated.  No matter how the clip was created, the bird in the video is definitely not a Golden Eagle.  The wing shape and plumage pattern are not at all similar to a Golden Eagle.  In fact, the exact plumage does not seem to exactly match any known eagle species—though some birders suggest that it most resembles an Australian Black-breasted Buzzard—which are frequently owned and flown by falconers.  If the clip is not computer generated, than this had to have been staged by someone with an exotic bird of prey and a doll.  Despite what we may see in the media, birds of prey are not a threat to small children, or even most household pets over 3 lbs.

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Pigeons, poop and rats creating a stink by Bridge of Lions

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Article Shared From: St Augustine.com

From staff

The pigeons are causing a stink near the Bridge of Lions, and they’re bringing the rats with them.

The St. Augustine Police Department is asking people to help stop the problem by no longer feeding the birds.

According to the department, people have been putting bags of bird feed on the sidewalk near the Bridge of Lions. Those good intentions are causing a problem. (more…)

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Pigeons cause structural damage on bridge

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Bridge pigeons’ days are numbered 

Article Shared From: The Otago Daily Times / NZ

Written By: Sarah Marquet

Pigeon poo is threatening the Alexandra bridge across the Clutha River, so the birds have to go.

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) senior asset manager John Jarvis said the bridge’s structural steel was being corroded and, while it was not an immediate safety risk, action was needed to reduce the 400-strong flock of resident pigeons so damaged areas could be repaired.

The corrosion mostly affected the surface, but there were also some cases of pitting. (more…)

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Bird Strike Against Power Line Sparks 7 Acre Fire

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Article & Video Shared From: Fox40.com

Kai Beech and Cecilio Padilla FOX40 News
6:38 p.m. PDT, June 10, 2012

RIO VISTA—

With the Red Flag Warning still in effect for most of the valley, officials have been warning the public about how quickly a fire can start.

In a field near Rio Vista Sunday afternoon, all it took was a bird strike against a power line to spark a fire. With wind still being a factor, the fire was able to quickly spread 7 acres. (more…)

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Pigeons a Problem for Green Brook Housing Complex

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Article Shared From: The Watchung-Greenbook Patch

Written By: Eric Haftel June 5, 2012

Jeffrey R. Pocaro, an attorney representing a Green Brook resident who lives in the Mountainview at Green Brook Complex, came to the the Green Brook Township Committee on Monday looking for help.

After pointing out a spelling error in the township’s property managment code, Pocaro then asked for an amendment to it to address an issue he said is causing a problem at the complex: pigeons.

“I…ask you to add mold and feces as items that the code can require a homeowner to clean up,” Pocaro said. He charged that a ”pigeon clan” is “taking over the buildings.” (more…)

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These 100-Year-Old Aerial Photos Were Taken by Pigeons

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Article Shared From: Treehugger.com

From Wikipedia Commons

Stephen Messenger
Technology / Gadgets
May 31, 2012

Although pigeons nowadays are largely regarded as grubby urban pests, bumblers for bread crumbs, and unwelcome statuary redecorators — in the not-too-distant past, their service to mankind was much loftier indeed. Not only were these hardy birds used to swiftly carry important messages and materials across great distances, for a brief stint at the turn of the last century, an elite group of camera-wielding pigeons also became early pioneers of a then burgeoning field: aerial photography.

In 1903, a German pharmacist named Julius Neubronner started employing carrier pigeons to receive and fulfill emergency prescriptions from a hospital in the region. One day, after a bird of his mysteriously returned after being lost a month late, Julius began to devise a way to track their flights. (more…)

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Witham: Call for action to keep pigeon droppings off pavement

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

A Small English Community Calls for Bird Control Measures

Article Shared From: Braintree and Witham Times

Drastic action is being called for to clean up a street covered in pigeon droppings.

Guithavon Street, in Witham, has been condemned as “filthy” by businesses, shoppers and councillors.

Although Braintree Council cleans the pavements, it insists that pigeon control is the responsibility of those who own and lease property in the road.

Read more in this week’s Witham and Braintree Times.

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Birds Do Not Hear Ultrasonic Sounds

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Ultrasonic Bird Control? Don’t Throw Your Money Away! 

Written By: Rob Fergus, Ph.D.

Sometimes hardware or lawn & garden companies advertise ultrasonic devices that are supposed to drive birds away with high frequency noises undetectable to humans.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  Blast out sounds birds can hear but we can’t—what’s not to like?  Unfortunately, the truth is that birds do not actually hear these ultrasonic sounds any better than humans do, and there is no scientific evidence that these devices actually work. The bottom line is that birds cannot hear ultrasonic frequencies and ultrasonic devices don’t work.

Humans hear sounds between the frequencies of about 20 to 20,000 acoustical vibrations per second (hertz or Hz).  Middle C is about 262 Hz and the highest piano key (C8) is about 4186 Hz.   As you get older, you lose the higher frequency sounds; middle-aged people can often hear sounds only up to 12,000-14,000 Hz (12-14kHz).  High frequency dog whistles work because dogs can hear sounds up to 40-60 kHz.  Bats use sounds up to 100 kHz to help them locate their flying insect prey and avoid obstacles in the night sky.  (more…)

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Bird-B-Gone Ornithologist Featured in Pest Control Technology Magazine

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Article shared from: PCT Magazine

Bird Whisperer

Features – Bird Control

Bird-B-Gone Ornithologist Rob Fergus has spent a lifetime understanding our “feathered friends” and he’s more than happy to share his insights with the industry.

PCT Magazine | April 30, 2012 |

Editor’s Note: Bobby Corrigan is considered the industry’s foremost “rodentologist” but when it comes to understanding the biology and behavior of birds that honor may go to Dr. Rob Fergus, an ornithologist with Bird-B-Gone, Mission Viejo, Calif. PCT magazine recently interviewed Fergus, who has a Ph.D. in urban bird conservation from the University of Texas, about the challenges of managing bird populations in urban settings, as well as the science of ornithology.

In layman’s terms, how would you describe what an ornithologist does on a daily basis?

A. An ornithologist is anyone who is involved with the scientific study of birds, which can cover anything from their DNA, anatomy and behavior to their ecology and distribution. Some ornithologists study birds or their genes in a lab, while others study free-flying birds in the wild. Academic ornithologists also spend a lot of time teaching university courses on birds, biology or ecology. Most of us do a little of all of this, so on any given day I will be out in the field observing bird behavior, corresponding with other researchers, as well as preparing or teaching university courses. My work with Bird-B-Gone involves field work studying nuisance bird behavior, as well as researching potential bird control solutions, and consulting on commercial and residential bird nuisance problems across the United States and around the world. (more…)

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Pigeons’ brains have ‘GPS neurons’ to help them navigate, scientists found

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Article Shared From: The Global Post 

Written By:

Pigeons‘ brains appear to contain “GPS neurons” that help them navigate, according to a new study published in Science journal.

Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas have discovered a group of 53 cells in the birds’ brains that respond to the direction and strength of the Earth’s magnetic field, BBC News reported.

Le-Qing Wu and David Dickman, the study’s lead researchers, found that the neurons “buzz” at different levels depending on how strong the magnetic field is and which direction it’s pointing in, Discover Magazine’s blog reported(more…)

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Bird strike causes upvalley power surge

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Bird strike causes upvalley power surge

Article Shared From: The Weekly Calistogan / The Napa Valley Register

Written By: Sean Scully | Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012 2:15 pm

A juvenile eagle flew into high-voltage power lines in the Palisades east of Calistoga on Wednesday, knocking out power briefly over a broad area of the Upvalley and knocking out Calistoga’s main emergency dispatch repeater.

Calistoga Fire Chief Steve Campbell said the eagle hit the lines shortly after noon, causing a power surge throughout the service area. It knocked down at least some power lines in St. Helena, he said.

A spokesman for PG&E did not return a phone call seeking details of the scope of the outage.

The only major damage appears to have been to the police dispatch radio, which is mounted on Calistoga’s fire house, Campbell said. (more…)

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Biden plane suffers bird strike

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

AFP  AFP – Fri, Apr 20, 2012

US Vice President Joe Biden’s Air Force Two plane suffered a bird strike as it came into land in California on Thursday night and had to be grounded, a US official said.

The plane, a Boeing C-32 modeled on the 757, in blue and white air force livery, was hit by birds as it came into land in Santa Barbara, California, after a flight from Los Angeles where Biden attended a campaign event.

The pilot brought the aircraft onto the runway safely but the plane was not fit to bring the vice president back to Washington on Friday so an alternative aircraft was used, the official said.

Local news crews showed pictures of one of Air Force Two’s engines being worked on at the airport in Santa Barbara.

Biden’s plane was involved in another mishap in August 2010, when it flipped over a small light aircraft while it was taking off from West Hampton airport in New York state.

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6 Feet of Bird Droppings in Abandoned University Chimney

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

A researcher takes a sample from the two-metre chimney swift guano deposit inside a chimney at Ontario's Queen's University. (Chris Grooms/Queen's University)

6 feet of bird droppings discovered in an abandoned chimney at Ontario University is being “excavated” for clues on the decline of Chimney Swifts in the area. The 6 foot tower of bird droppings have sat in the tower ever since it was sealed off with bird netting in 1993, but represented 50 years worth of “deposits”.

“Bird poo tower could prove research goldmine”

Article Shared From: CBS News

Written By: Max Paris, Environment Unit, CBC News

A two-metre tower of bird excrement at an Ontario university has become an unlikely archive that may reveal the reasons for the declining population of the North American chimney swift, according to new research by Canadian scientists.

The study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B document the discovery and cataloguing of the droppings in an abandoned chimney on the campus of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

“What we have is a history book that we didn’t think we had before,” said Dr. John Smol, one of the study’s authors. Smol went on to explain that, to his knowledge, this is the first time anyone has ever measured stratified towers of bird droppings. (more…)

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New study overturns prevailing theory of how birds navigate

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Article Shared From: Bird Watching Daily

Posted Wed, Apr 11 2012 11:47 AM by Matt Mendenhall

Scientists have thrown cold water on the theory that iron-rich nerve cells in birds’ bills help them navigate using Earth’s magnetic field.

Researchers from Austria, France, Australia, and England, writing in a new study published today in Nature, report that iron-rich cells in the bills of pigeons are in fact specialized white blood cells called macrophages. Macrophages play a vital role in defending against infection and recycling iron from red blood cells, but they’re unlikely to be involved in magnetic sensing, the scientists say. That’s because they are not excitable cells and cannot produce electrical signals that could be registered by neurons and therefore influence a bird’s behavior.
(more…)

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