Prospect Park owls fledged; Hawk parent nabs a pigeon

The Prospect Park owls have learned to fly, but are still hanging around near their nest with their parents.

Keep reading Prospect Park owls fledged; Hawk parent nabs a pigeon

Share/Save

Bears kill keepers in creepy Japanese Bear Farm

Bears escaped from desolate pens where they performed for food (and may have been part of gall bladder harvest). Two of 3 elderly caretakers were found dead.

Keep reading Bears kill keepers in creepy Japanese Bear Farm

Macho house sparrows

Two male house sparrows were in such a brawl last week my friends and I wondered if they were somehow stuck on each other, like elk with locked antlers. They were rolling around in the gutter, beaks clasped on each other in a seeming death match. My friend Sam picked them up to separate them. They just flew across the street and continued fighting.

I’m sure it was a battle for a mate or maybe who gets to move into the best lamppost in Park Slope. This is why people hate it when sparrows show up in their bird houses: they’re really aggressive about kicking out any bird they perceive as an intruder, going as far as destroying eggs and chicks of native birds.And how they invaded North America.

SEE ANIMALS IN THE NORTHEAST (NY, NJ, MD, MA, ME, NH, VT, CT, RI, PA) Where to SEE WEIRD BIRDS (All the interesting birds: pelicans, puffins, prairie chickens, vultures, hummingbirds)

Keep reading Macho house sparrows

Men's mags duel over OH zoo gone wild

GQ and Esquire face off over the exotic predator release in OH. Esquire goes all action adventure. GQ tries to figure out how lion, tigers and bears were unleashed on suburbia.

Keep reading Men’s mags duel over OH zoo gone wild

The urban kangaroo--white-tailed deer of Australia

A mob of urban kangaroos heads into Canberra at night to eat. The same arguments over hunting, contraceptives and car accidents play out.

Keep reading The urban kangaroo–white-tailed deer of Australia

Wolf advocates not as sheepish as NYT claims

Is there a new dynamic playing out between ranchers and the defenders of wolves since they were taken of the endangered species list? The New York Times thinks wolf lovers and watchers have been chastened by the delisting and are newly compromising. “Aghast, some environmental groups had a moment of reckoning. Had they gone too far in using the Endangered Species Act as a cudgel instead of forging compromises with ranchers?”

Yeah, there’s a new dynamic: ranchers, hunters and government agents can kill wolves like they haven’t in a century. Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity points out that delisting wolves means that the USDA’s Wildlife Services unit, which kills wildlife for farmers and ranchers at taxpayer expense, will now be able to kill even more wolves for even more reasons. Like to promote elk hunting. Even though biologists say the wolves aren’t really hurting the elk.

Only about 1,100 wolves survive out west, but Wildlife Services kills an amazing number: 452 in FY2010 and 481 in FY2009. Wolves didn’t get kicked off the list (this time) by a bizarre political deal until April. In Idaho 169 wolves have been killed so far this year: 122 for hunters, 42 for cows and 5 for elk. Montana has already killed 136, more than half by hunting.

Leslie Kaufman’s story has some sense of history, but the entire premise seems based on a fabulist rancher’s point of view. I don’t know any wolf people who feel they have “gone too far.” Nor do they–we–feel we have been

Keep reading Wolf advocates not as sheepish as NYT claims

Ohio is the Wall Street of the U.S. exotic animal trade Zanesville exotic animals

Parts of Ohio, the Wall Street of the U.S. exotic animal trade, were locked down to catch the predators released by a private zoo owner before he killed himself.

Keep reading Ohio, the Wall Street of the U.S. exotic animal trade, suffers more released predators Zanesville exotic animals

Miniature Daleks take on UK's gray squirrels

Chris Balcombe, a BBC props expert, enticed a gray squirrel to put on a Dr. Who dalek custume by putting some nuts inside it.

Keep reading Miniature Daleks take on UK’s gray squirrels

Did Hamptons beaches close for basking sharks' scary name?

shark with huge mouth

Suffolk County closed Long Island beaches because basking sharks were sighted. They’re big tourist draws in the UK–like manatees but with a scary name.

Keep reading Did Hamptons beaches close for basking sharks’ scary name?

Big Cats Stuck on Tall Things, Part II: Bobcat on giant cactus

Cactus cat

An Arizona bobcat climbed a 45-foot suguaro cactus to escape a mountain lion, then stayed perched for 6 hours before jumping down.

Keep reading Big Cats Stuck on Tall Things, Part II: Bobcat on giant cactus