None of these birds would exist without the human population bringing water to southern California in the past century. It seems only fair to help them out while they are here every winter.
These plastic coated swaged steel pans are available from Walmart in pet supplies for about three dollars. It is certainly handy to keep a dozen or so of them in the car, with some bottled water, ready for use.
The coots run when called to be fed, but are afraid to cross the sand. They wouldn't think of going around, so if they can't cross directly, most of them simply give up and think of other things to do.
They can be led around the obstacle by calling them from nearer the left edge of the sandbox. This is an example of the difficulty in telling a bird to go somewhere other than "here." It also helps to be closer to the birds, as their quickness of response varies inversely with distance.
News Links You May Have Missed But Should have Read
Govt urged to stop whaling 'attacks' tynz news "Environmentalists want the Government to step in and stop a Japanese whaling vessel from "attacking their ships" in the Ross Sea. "
Opinion: Real Tragedy of Taiji Is Our Inhumanity Toward Animals National Geographic "The ongoing capture and slaughter of dolphins at Taiji, Japan—five more mass killings have taken place since the bottlenose hunt last week—troubles us not only because it is cruel but also because of what it says about us as a species."
Mexico is Saving Sharks While Australia Kills Them National Geographic "The killing began last weekend, and the controversy is heating up as news outlets around the world are picking up the story and activists are taking direct action to remove bait from the fishing lines set for the sharks"
Australia to Dump Dredged Sand in Great Barrier Reef Waters, Adding to Site's Mounting Woes National Geographic "This week's decision to dump dredged sand and silt in Great Barrier Reef waters has prompted warnings that the troubled ecological treasure is one step closer to a spot on World Heritage's "list of shame.""
Sorry Cat Lovers, Cats Are an Invasive Species, Too Gizmodo "Much to the chagrin of conservationists, feral cats are one of the biggest killers of birds and small mammals. One study estimates the carnage at 1.3 to 4.0 billion birds and 6.3– to 2.3 billion mammals every year. "
New Zealand Economist: Abolish Pet Cats to Save Birds Time "Since those cats are preying on the country’s native birds — in many cases to the point of extinction, says Morgan — one or the other has to go. "
Australia to investigate claim Japanese whalers rammed Sea Shepherd ship the guardian "Environment minister orders investigation into allegation that Yushin Maru No 2 deliberately rammed activists' vessel "
Passengers refuse to disembark after cruise liner skips one stop in Vietnam South China Morning Post "They said HK$300 was all we'd get and did not even give us an apology or proper explanation. This is a very inhumane travel agency. They didn't give us food [during the protest] and even turned off our water supply for a while. There were children and elderly people aboard." ("A cruise line would quickly terminate and blacklist a crew member who ever did anything like this. Most disgruntled passengers just want to get off the ship, make their flight connections, and go home." -- Jim Walker Cruise Law News)
Documents show PETA killed nearly 2,000 shelter animals in 2013 Daily Mail "According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, PETA has killed over 31,000 animals since 1998"
Egg Wars: Why Missouri Wants California's Law Protecting Chickens Overturned TakePart "The farm bill amendment targeted California’s egg law, known as Proposition 2. The law, which goes into effect next year, mandates that farmers provide enough room for farm animals, including laying hens, to turn around, spread their wings, and lie down." (It also protects California egg farmers by barring the sale in the state of eggs that don't meet that standard.)
Calif town's water shortage stokes fears of future AP "authorities caught thieves pumping water from Lake Mendocino into trucks. "
The ruddy ducks with nowhere left to hide The Telegraph "William Langley goes in search of the bird the Government has spent £4m trying to wipe out "
Oceans: Iceland faces sanctions over whaling Summit County Voice "FRISCO — Iceland may face trade sanctions after U.S. officials formally declared that the island nation’s whaling is undermining an international ban on commercial trade in whale products. "
2 whooping cranes shot in Louisiana Associated Press "NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Wildlife officials say someone shot a pair of whooping cranes in southwest Louisiana, killing the female and seriously injuring the male."
The Plight of the Irrawaddy Deep Sea News "Despite popular notion, studying dolphins entails it’s fair share of frustrations. No one understands this better than Scripps Institute of Oceanography scientist and premier “waddy” wrangler, Tara Whitty."
URGENT: 3 Dog & Cat Food Brands Recalled for Salmonella I Love Dogs "February 5th 2014, the FDA issued a press release regarding a voluntary recall of 3 brands or dog and cat food by ProPet LLC. According to the FDA, fortunately there have not yet been any reports of illness caused by this contamination"
New Zealand ‘deeply annoyed’ about Japanese whaling ship incursion the guardian "Shonan Maru 2 breached the exclusive economic zone after NZ had made clear it was not welcome"
The lack of rain in San Diego County could cause dozens of bird species to skip breeding and nesting altogether. KPBS EVENING EDITION Fast forward to 20:50
Endangered sea lion dies after getting caught in net New Zealand Herald "Sea lion numbers had fallen since 1998 and they had the country's highest threat ranking"
The Deafening Sound of Danger Approaching The Deafening Sound of Freedom "the reality is these animals hear the ships coming for miles and get habituated to the sound. Since there is no evolutionary reason for whales to be afraid of ships, there is no reason for them to react when they first hear the ships."
Danish Zoo Kills Giraffe To Prevent Inbreeding Huffington Post "Marius, a healthy male, was put down Sunday using a bolt pistol, said zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro. Visitors, including children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was then skinned and fed to the lions."
Groups challenge Navy's plan to step up offshore sonar, bomb training Orange County Register "The Navy plans to step up its underwater explosions, torpedo tests, ship-sinking and bomb training in three ranges off Southern California and Hawaii this year. Sailors and Marines are expected to detonate 52,000 explosives, 250 of which will have a net explosive weight greater than 500 pounds. "
Taiji’s Dolphin Hunt The Dodo "Activists ran an ad in the New York Times on Thursday, calling for an end to the brutal dolphin hunts that have been going on in Taiji"
Shock over meat of endangered whales shipped through Canada The Vancouver Sun "The whaling nations of Iceland and Japan are using Canada as a trans-shipment destination in the trade of meat from endangered fin whales — the same species that Canada has agreed internationally to protect."
Dead ducks remain on the Saginaw River ice as Michigan DNR continues search for snowmobilers m live "Officials from the DNR's Law Enforcement Division released information about their investigation to the media on Sunday, Feb. 9, one day after they say at least nine ducks were killed by the snowmobilers."
An Accidental Science Project Reveals How Crucial Sea Otters Are to Kelp Forests Audubon Magazine "Fur traders exterminated them in Washington. A hydrogen bomb helped restore them. These events have given ecologists startling insight into the power of these kelp forest carnivores."
Ad Calls for End to Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt Huffington Post "We ran an ad in The New York Times calling for an end to the bloody dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan. The ad includes a link to the Dolphin Project website where the public can send a letter to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asking him to end the hunts"
Norovirus outbreaks make both cruise lines and passengers leery Washington Post "Although shipwide outbreaks are relatively common in the cruise industry, this year is off to an unusually aggressive start."
Melting Arctic Ice Releases Deadly Seal Parasite Science Magazine "Melting Arctic ice has brought gray seals into contact with a new strain of parasite, Sarcocystis pinnipedi (inset), that causes the animals to undergo deadly liver failure."
Species At Risk Act: Court Finds 'Enormous Systemic Problem' In Enforcement Huffington Post "In every case, the government had failed to propose recovery strategies after the species were formally identified, missing statutory deadlines by up to six and half years."
World's oldest wild bird gives birth at the ripe old age of 63 - making her a mother for the 35th time DailyMail on Facebook "Wisdom is a 63-year-old Laysan albatross believed to be the oldest wild bird in the world."
Hundreds of seabirds washed ashore in South West BBC "Even if these birds get to shore, very often it's the case that they're washed back out to sea by the enormous waves that are coming in."
The Filthy Underbelly: Animal Abuse in California wordpress "I do not believe that PETA is ethical and I do not believe that PETA treats animals ethically."
Giant octopus wrestles Monterey Bay ocean diver underwater KSBW "MONTEREY, Calif. —Two men were diving in Bluefish Cove off the coast of Point Lobos in Carmel when an enormous eight-legged sea creature emerged out of murky ocean depths"
Mote contributes to dolphin discovery Herald Tribune "SARASOTA - Nineteen-year-old bones from Mote Marine Laboratory's archives are adding new twists to our knowledge of evolution."
Serpent Experts Try To Demystify Pentecostal Snake Handling npr "he says there was no fecal material in the container, which indicated the snakes were not being fed. Riley says a snake that may be dehydrated, underweight and sick from close confinement is less likely to strike than a healthy snake. Moreover, the venom it produces is weaker."
The lies of the animal-rights racket New York Post "The big settlement and egg on their face hasn’t deterred the activists a bit, however. To them, it’s just “doing what you gotta do” to “protect” animals. Their tactic involves getting people with a lot of time on their hands—and a well-heeled backer or two, to stage endless complaints."
Effective MPAs Science Today "According to Nature News & Views, “Nearly half of all MPAs are little bigger than a football field,” whereas the largest MPAs have areas greater than the State of California. "
Study revives bird origin for 1918 flu pandemic Nature "The methods we’ve been using for years and years, and which are crucial to figuring out the origins of gene sequences and the timing of those events, are all flawed"
Uh-Oh: Giant Squid Sightings Considered an ‘Omen’ by Japanese Fishermen takepart "A giant squid was caught in a stationary net near Sadogashima Island; another was found in a similar situation in the town of Iwami a few days later. Then, on Jan. 19, tentacles—presumably from a giant squid—washed up off the shore of Kashiwazaki, another coastal city."
Monsanto Company's Plan to Silence Its Critics and Save the Honeybees The Motley Fool "Monsanto (NYSE: MON ) is either one of the most innovative companies in America or the most corrupt company on the third rock from the sun. "
Protesters make noise over New York plan to kill off mute swans Reuters "When people live close to each other, conflicts are inevitable, but we don't kill each other off. But when people live next to animals and conflicts are inevitable, we respond with lethal methods"
Another case of mass poisoning on US cruise ship Voice of Russia "More than 120 passengers and crew members were infected with norovirus."
World Ocean Summit Puts Marine Issues “On Global Agenda” National Geographic "The ocean provides oxygen, buffers the effects of greenhouse gases, supplies protein for millions of people around the world, and drives a vast engine of commerce, Packard said. “It is our lungs, our pantry, and a huge source of prosperity.”"
First results from crowdfunded study shows radioactive seawater from Fukushima has NOT reached the US coast Deep Sea News "And the results are that radioactive seawater from Fukushima has not been detected at any of the 4 sites that were sampled. "
Radiation From Fukushima is Causing Hot Dogs to Peel Seemed Like Good Science at the Time "I knew enough to be scared, but not enough to understand that I could just find out what to avoid. "
SEE IT: Surfing crocodile closes Australian beach NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Damn surfing crocodiles
Concern rising for 'man overboard' on cruise ships America Now "Testimony in a recent senate committee hearing expressed concern on the number of people going overboard. So, before you set sail, you need to know the facts to keep you and your family safe."
How we wrecked the ocean Deep Sea News "...the thing we really need to fix is ourselves. It’s not about the fish; it’s not about the pollution; it’s not about the climate change. It’s about us ..."
BP: If you are really trying to find fraud – look in the mirror The Legal Examiner ".All of these details aside, where’s the tally for lives lost, humans and wildlife harmed and careers destroyed? These numbers continue to grow daily. That’s the real State of the Gulf.."
BP gets slick in trying to undermine gulf oil spill settlement Los Angeles Times "BP has mounted a frontal assault on the settlement. The firm has placed full page ads in major newspapers, ridiculing supposedly fraudulent claims blithely paid by the settlement administrator"
L.A. Water Board Approves Copper Reduction Regulations for Marina del Rey the log "“These boaters are coming out of a really rough period of time; we haven’t raised rates on boat slips in five years,” said Greg Schem, owner of The Boatyard in Marina del. “Now they’re going to get hit with a waste discharge price and the price of stripping their boat at up to $8,000.” “I calculated it would take 170,000 truckloads [to dredge and move all the sediment] and $400 million,” he said, referring to his estimated price to dredge the harbor. “They’d kill any eelgrass and marine habitats and create a huge carbon footprint to transport the sediment to where? The desert?” " A completed study in San Diego Bay found that copper levels above the 3.1 microgram threshold were not resulting in any harm to sensitive bay plant and animal species"
Horizon: The Death Of The Oceans? KPBS "From the polar ice caps, to the tropics, Sir David Attenborough reveals how our actions are pushing the world’s oceans ever closer to the brink of destruction."
Scientist discovers bizarre new deep sea ecosystem, created by disaster Deep Sea News "According to ongoing research, the death of an ocean vessel may also be the birth of whole new ecosystem, completely unknown to science."
Pet rat kills California boy; family sues Petco San Jose Mercury News "SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A San Diego family is suing Petco after the death of their 10-year-old son from a bacterial infection they say he contracted from his pet rat. "
Pigeons Might Be Way Smarter Than We Give Them Credit For Atlantic Cities "What looks to us like a dumbo bird that doesn't know what food is might actually be a series of "highly intelligent choices, sometimes with problem-solving skills to match," according to research from the University of Iowa."
World's Largest Oyster Is One Big Bivalve ABC Blogs "A Pacific Oyster found off the coast of Denmark has officially been named the world's largest, according to Guinness World Records."
Whale of a Tail Slaps Woman on Excursion Boat ABC News "The whale was thrashing in the water when the boat got too close to the whale, causing the wild animal's giant and powerful tail to go right in her face."
Fukushima Fallout: San Diego State Researchers Monitoring Sea Kelp for Radiation Exposure
Cornell Alumna Exposes Abuses at SeaWorld Cornell Daily Sun "The film tells the story of Tilikum, a captive killer whale who was “involved in the deaths” of three people, and it was well-received in film festivals, being shortlisted for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar and nominated for Bafta’s Best Documentary Award"
Seaworld Goes on the Offensive after "Blackfish"
San Diego Weather
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"When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all."
E. O. Wilson