Seagulls in the winter?

With the cold weather approaching, you would think all birds would be flying south. Unfortunately, for a townhouse complex in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, hundreds, if not thousands of seagulls are flocking to the rooftops of the development. The town recently held a meeting to discuss the situation and how to resolve it.

“At least 25 residents came out to the Tinton Falls Borough Council meeting on Tuesday to relay to officials the scary details of trying to live their lives surrounded by the feathered interlopers, which includes feces-covered cars, patios and furniture and children unable to play outside,” reported Amy Brynes from the Eatontown-Tinton Falls Patch.

The situation has become so severe that the odor permeating from the bird droppings has caused the residents to shut their windows. The main source of the the seagull’s stay is the neighboring landfill and the Monmouth Regional Health Commission is doing everything they can to eliminate any type of food source.

“In a natural environment they are wonderful things,” a resident said of the gulls, “Here, they present a health hazard.”

Check out the article here!

The Misunderstood Crow

Did you know that crows are incredibly intelligent? They are right on par with the chimpanzee, as these two animals share the same ability as humans to make and use tools. An example of their intelligence is that they will drop shelled nuts up in the air and down to the pavement in order to crack them open. Or they will drop the nut strategically in an area where a car is passing. They even watch and understand traffic lights in order to safely go ahead and fetch their meal!

Interesting Facts About Crows

  • Very family oriented
  • Mate for life
  • Owl is their natural predator
  • Mimic certain calls of other birds, animals, and even humans
  • Although dark and gloomy in appearance, they are not a good killer. Their beak is dull and must wait for another animal to puncture foods such as carcasses
  • Less of a urban pest than pigeons, but thrive in agricultural settings
  • Federally protected
  • Northern birds will fly thousands of miles during the winter, while southern birds stay put
  • Can live up to 7 years in the wild, but 20 years in captivity

However, the crow’s intelligence may be used as a defense against humans, making it difficult to protect areas the birds are creating a nuisance.
Bird Spikes as well as StealthNet are good options to move the population of crows to a different area.

Check out this video of a crow used a wire as a hook to grab food.

Crows using cars to crack nuts for dinner

Want to learn more about crows? Check out some more info here!

Woodpeckers inspiring a new generation of shock absorbers!

 

Ever wonder how woodpeckers continue to tirelessly peck at trees without hurting themselves? If you have ever dealt with woodpeckers, you are probably more interested in getting that morning sleep.

However, these little guys may prove to be more helpful because according to popularscience.com, their incredibly strong beaks are inspiring a new generation of shock absorbers, potentially shielding airplane black boxes, football players and other valuable materials from the forces of impact.

Incredible, right!? Here is a little more information about these birds.

A woodpecker’s brain is protected by a spongy elastic material between the bill and skull that holds the brain snugly and provides a cushion. This keeps the woodpeckers from getting injured when hammering into trees at the rate of 18 to 22 times per second, subjecting their brains to 100 times the gravitational force required to give a football player a concussion!

Two researchers from the University of California-Berkeley tried to replicate this idea by building a new type of shock-absorbing device involving glass beads embedded in a steel-encased aluminum cylinder. They pelted it with an air gun and found it protected its contents against 60,000 gravitational force.

This may be a break through for both the U.S. Army and NFL in head-protection gear that aims to reduce the pressure on the front of the brain, where most concussions occur.

Thank you, woodpeckers!

Here’s a woodpecker at 600 fps:

Calling all bird counters and a gang of turkeys

Bird Census

2010 is a great year for statisticians and bird lovers. April 1st is National Census Day and February 13 is the Great Backyard Bird Count. That’s right, it’s a census for birds. The National Audubon Society is holding a bird count and they’re counting on the public to help.

“Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from novice bird watchers to experts. Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org.”

The national count will begin on On February 13 at 10:30 a.m. Great Backyard Bird Count

Gang of Turkeys

“Gang of turkeys terrorizes Athens neighborhood” is the title to an interesting article from the Augusta Chronicle about two highly aggressive turkeys attacking people in a small neighborhood. Wild turkeys are very cautious birds and will flee from any harmful situation, especially situations involving humans. Yet these turkeys seemed determined and fearless because they went from lawn to lawn charging at humans yielding anything from brooms to pool sticks. This gang of turkeys were unfortunately put down by the Department of Natural Resources. Gang of turkeys article

Bird Baby

A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to an article that compared the behavior of birds to schools of fish. The article that was referenced stated that birds change direction simultaneously as if they were communicating to evade predators. This week I found a very interesting photo of what a “school of birds” created.

Link to full story: Birds flock together to create big baby in the sky