Wednesday July 1, 2015 news Volume 14 Issue 7

the Coots Crows

The small family of crows at the far south end of San Diego Bay continue to survive well beginning with the charming young female (below) and her slightly larger mate. All through June there appears to be two juvenile chicks that remain nervous and aloof. They don't always appear together, and a few times one or both juveniles were not sighted at all. The small female has always been present for feeding, and the first to appear.

It's important to know that the birds are seldom hungry and and seem as if they are just happy to see me. They usually just want to see me and pick up some scraps to take away to be hidden for later.

I have picked out some pictures of these four indiduals from earlier this year, to send along with any new ones that may have some interest.

Have you ever seen a bird smile?

Yes, people can learn to recognize bird facial expressions, but it takes a few years. I think it's impossible to mistake the cute female shown below, but observing behavior of the bird is helpful to recognizing individuals and understanding their intentions.

crows at picnic table

crows at picnic table

crows at picnic table

Baby birds mature quickly, at least in size. They tend to "all look same as adults" soon after hatching. Very young babies like the one shown above can be remarkably niave in spite of their size. Most of their efforts can be spent on just hopping around and squawking while their parents are still needed to poke food items into their mouths.

An incident

At the end of the month, one of the cars happened to be making a a worrisome noise As I drove it back home from the marina, so I left it in the garage and drove the convertible to feed the birds until I could spend more time on the other car. Even though the car was different and I was wearing different clothing, the birds quickly found me waiting in the same morning feeding spot. I started feeding the crows and I noticed steam and hot water coming from the car's radiator. I knew the car was done for the day. After it cooled a bit I drove it a couple hundred yards over to the marina where I could park it and get the dockmaster to call the auto club. Meanwhile, the crows were filled with curiousity and consternation.

The crows were always afraid of this place since the swallows had been nesting here and would attack any crows that venture into or over the docks.

Uh oh, "here it comes."

"A brand new White!" it must be trouble.

The birds were worried about the wrecker . They started muttering and grumbling as the huge monster started to maneuver in for the kill. It even had the original instruction manual...

Lots of stuff happened here, but I dropped the camera just to watch for a while.

I am sure you have heard birds scream before, but these were loud. The monster truck had their breakfast and probably wouldn't be back for a while.

Rabbits and squirrels and and coots and such

and other creatures who depend on the grass for survival.

I saw a real rabbit today at the port's political park of gerrymandery. I also saw a few squirrels where the port had been poisoning the squirrels last july. you can find twenty blackbirds here on this end of the park. All of this living stuff in southern california is bound to be gone soon.

So what will the port do? Truck in water from the Salton Sea and poison the animals again next year?

News Links

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Fossils help identify marine life that may be at high risk of extinction today UC Berkley "A detailed study of marine animals that died out over the past 23 million years can help identify which animals and ocean ecosystems may be most at risk of extinction today, according to an international team of paleontologists and ecologists."

Two sea lions killed by trap malfunction Statesman Journal "Sometime Tuesday evening or early Wednesday, a malfunction caused a trap door to close on nine California and Steller sea lions, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said."

In 50-49 vote, US Senate says climate change not caused by humans Bangor Daily News "Don't Answer a question to continue reading this page"

Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization bill clears House panel Trade Only Today "Recreational fishing and boating advocates applauded a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, to reauthorize the act that governs saltwater fishing for commercial and recreational anglers."

SeaWorld cited for employee safety over killer whales by California agency New York Daily News"SeaWorld San Diego was cited by the state’s Occupational Safety and Health division for not showing employees how to "safely interact with killer whales," Cal/OSHA announced."

Chef at Santa Monica Whale Sushi Restaurant Sentenced New York Times"City News Service says Susumu Ueda was sentenced Monday to probation, fined $5,000 and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service."

Irish killer whales feared to be in danger of dying out due to pollution Irish Mirror"The huge mammals – nicknamed John Coe, Floppy Fin and Nicola – are believed to be the only resident population of Orcas around Ireland and Britain ."

Catfish, anyone? Drought could change fish on California dinner plates Sacramento Bee"Rising atmospheric temperatures and drought may spur the rise of certain fish species – like catfish, said Fred Conte, aquaculture specialist at UC Davis. “Catfish do very well in higher temperature water,” Conte said."

Smallmouth Bass With Cancerous Tumor Raises Concerns in Pa abc news"The PFBC announced on Monday that two independent laboratory tests confirmed a malignant, or cancerous, tumor on a single smallmouth bass caught in the Susquehanna River by an angler late last year. It is the only documented case of this type of tumor being found on the fish in Pennsylvania. ” Conte said."

South Bay beaches re-open after tar balls forced closure Los Angeles TimesThe tar has moved to San Diego beaches also where it continues to baffle local authorities. If you had been around the beaches fifty years ago, you would know what it is.

A Sharp Spike in Honeybee Deaths Deepens a Worrisome Trend New York Times "A Sharp Spike in Honeybee Deaths Deepens a Worrisome Trend"

Former Malibu resident seeks justice for albino raven Malibu Surfside News Fish and Wildlife don’t have the time and resources to chase people who do this "


"One cold November evening while tracking radio-tagged crows in
Idaho we heard gunshots near the roost.  Wounded and dying crows
rained from the sky and dead ones covered the ground.  The hunters
were apologetic when we explained  our research objectives to them.
Even though their shooting was perfectl legal, they assumed they that 
they had done something wrong."

John M. Marzluff - "In the Company of Crows and Ravens"


Beaky the Coot
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