Sunday Mar 1, 2015 news Volume 14 Issue 3

Palm Trees

So far none of the coots have been killed and eaten by the hawk. This was helped in part by trimming the palm trees where the coots are fed in the mornings. All the palm trees (right) were trimmed in the first week of February. The same trees had looked like the picture shown (below) which provided a hiding place for the hawk last month.

There is a crow in the tree at the bottom center of the picture below, probably searching for hawks. The coot count remains at about sixty, about a forty percent drop from last year.



The Park Coots

The coot at the right has been eating corn, fresh from the can. The small amount of syrup in the can is an extra treat for some of the birds, but most of them just press on down to the bottom where the corn kernels are.

The coots below have emptied the can and are thinking of finding other things. One coot looks at the other as if saying: "well, what did you expect?"

greasy coot

corn gone

The Crows

All the crows strangely disappeared from the park in the second week of February. They began to return in the mornings of February 16 and 17. First, just the two friendly crows appeared, followed by one or two more each day. The crows usually try to stay as close as possible while staying out of sight. They often perch on one of the park benches where I sit to dole out the crow treats. Otherwise, it is important to avoid sudden moves to not step on one of them accidently. The coots are a special problem early before sunrise. A slow shuffle is handy in these cases.



The crows can probe the lawn by stabbing into the grass with closed beaks, and then opening their beaks to pry the grass and soil apart. This appears to never have any useful effect and they do this just to pass the time until peanuts or Cheez-Its appear.


The crow on the right (above) seems discouraged and may have picked up some dirt or foreign object by mistake.


Ah, yes; that seems to be the case. And it can be easily remedied.


The crows do stay alert to danger and sound the alarm (above) when enemies are approaching.


The coots don't stick around to find out what the problem is, they just run off down the ditch to the bay.

That Time of Year Again...


The coots are nervous now that the stingrays are mating. They stay alert for an attack from under the water.


The stingrays apparently see overhead coots floating on the water as potential mates, and come up to grab them.


Once in a while they get it right.

That Time of Year Again. Again.


Warming temperatures, light rain, more sunshine and green things growing are indications of the possibility of an early spring migration. Another sign is that the birds themselves will stand on their toes and flap their wings as if making final preparations for their flight back home.

News Links

This section presents links to news agencies with the intent of showing news articles as they were written by the originating author. Websites using obnoxious popup advertising or employing HTML tricks to discourage taking quotes, that are protected by US Code Title 17, will not be referred here. Facts and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of and associates.

Rare goblin shark caught in Australian trawl net Grind TV Yahoo Canada News "A scary and creepy-looking goblin shark, a rare deep-water shark sometimes referred to as a living fossil, reared its ugly head in a fishing trawl net in deep waters off Australia last week."

Avian cholera returns after decades, kills thousands of Nevada birds Reno Gazette-Journal "An estimated 3,000 birds — most of them American coots and ducks — have died in an outbreak of avian cholera since early December in an event that still is unfolding. As many as 10 percent of Walker Lake's ducks may have died."

Your Tax Dollars at Work: The Federal Addiction to Killing Predators Strange Behaviors "Using aerial gunning, traps and poison, the agency frequently kills predators whether they have harmed livestock or not. In the process, it also has mistakenly killed thousands of “non-target” animals, from family pets to federally protected bald and golden eagles."

Press Release Regarding USDA Handling of Florida Hawks Science Blogs "The conflict ended with the hawks being shot and the local USDA Wildlife officials being questioned by an angry public and numerous animal rights agencies as to why this decision was made"

Genetics lab unravels mystery whale killing at sea Science Daily " Fisheries scientists happened onto a killer whale attack too late to tell what species had been the target. So they recovered all that was left -- a whale lung -- and probed its DNA to for clues to where it came from. It turned out to be the first documentation of killer whales attacking a rarely seen pygmy sperm whale. "

Pigeon Power R&D Magazine "The more scientists study pigeons, the more they learn how their brains—no bigger than the tip of an index finger—operate in ways not so different from our own."

My mother died after P&O doctors forced her off luxury cruise: Family begged for 84-year-old to stay in ship's medical centre but she was 'abandoned' at Mexican port daily mail uk "Mrs Robinson was 'abandoned' in Mexico and taken to private hospital Later flew to San Francisco with family but died while waiting to fly home "

One poisoned carcass, Fifty Five dead vultures Indie Environment "Gyps vultures are a critically endangered species, having faced a 99.9 per cent population decline in the last decade.... a single poisoned carcass has led to the death of 55 vultures."

Solar reviews overlooked endangered bird, group says Press Enterprise "The Center for Biological Diversity, based in Tucson, filed notices Thursday signaling the group’s plan to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which both had a role in approving the solar projects."

Sea lion flash mobs prey on fishermen’s catch (with video) vancouver sun "When a commercial seine boat sets its net and draws it in like a purse, the sea lions jump or slide over the net to gorge on the captive prey."

Oakland Heron Tragedy Underscores Need to Pay Attention To What You're Doing KCET How to trim trees and not kill the birds (or tree) a cautionary tale...

Port of San Diego Chair Dan Malcolm looks ahead, promotes recreational boating the log More trouble ahead, or more of nothing?

Help Bring an End to Orca Captivity in California – Support AB 2140 animal welfare institute At the April 8th hearing for the Orca Welfare and Safety Act (AB 2140), the California Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee agreed, at the suggestion of the Chair, to send the bill to “interim study”

In the last 12 years, PETA has killed 31,250 companion animals. Nathan Winograd PETA refuses to provide its criteria for making the determination as to whether or not an animal is “unadoptable.”

The Horrors of Fishing With Dynamite New York Times "The effects of blast fishing can be horrifying. Ms. Vyvyan-Robinson, who wrote about her experiences for, describes finding waters littered with dead or struggling fish. Only a portion of the fish that are killed is retrieved because many sink to the bottom. ”

Why don't dolphins fight back? Ecologist "Laura Bridgeman takes a look at the scientific evidence that may explain why dolphins have such a benevolent nature when it comes to interactions with humans........"

Nearly 100 false killer whales spotted off San Diego coast Knoxville News Sentinel "This type of whale is usually found in tropical climates, but according to crew members, it traveled this far north because of the warm water."

Sea lion strandings: Why are so many pups starving to death on California shores? Yahoo News "Jim Milbury, public affairs officer for the agency's West Coast region, said the pups are arriving on shore emaciated, just as they did two years ago when there was a similar spike."

Sea Lion Pup Hitches A Ride On A Kayak In Santa Barbara Harbor Huffington Post "Gist was on the kayak with his 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son while his wife and 8-year-old daughter watched from another kayak, KABC reported. "

Regulating copper levels in local marinas: a gray area The log More Greenwashing

Ocean Acidification: Local Risks and Solutions California Academy of Sciences"As the acid levels go up, the health of our shellfish goes down, and fewer are available to eat: not good if you’re in the chowder business."

1160 Hoople 24 inch Handle foys pigeon supplies The hoople is best described as a pair of extra large flyswatters. They are used to herd the pigeon to enter the trap. According to Foy's catalog: "It is used to train birds to enter the trap on return from a fly or race. With a hoople in each hand, and your arms extended, you appear to be much larger, and this intimidates the bird, and as you walk up to the bird, who is standing on the landing perch, it does not think it can fly over or around you, so it is forced to walk to and into the trap."

Note: linking to these sites listed above does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of any product, services, or information found there. (Especially of government and nonprofit agencies)


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all the cormorants


more coots


San Salvador


"Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. 
He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it."

Mark Twain - "The Lowest Animal"


Beaky the Coot
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