Sunday

Wisdom, the world’s oldest known wild bird, is preparing to be a mother again after laying an egg at the ripe age of 63.

 The Laysan albatross also had an egg hatch in February, meaning the latest arrival will be her 36th chick, according to estimates.

Wisdom laid the egg at a nesting site at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific, about 1,200 miles (1,930 km) northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Laysan albatrosses are monogamous, meaning they mate for life with just one partner, making it all the more remarkable that she has consistently been laying eggs over the past three decades.

She is said to have had the same partner throughout her life, although experts can't know for certain without running tests on the offspring.
Source





VIDEO

"It's just so unique, so different. It's unforgettable,"

The white birds are believed to number in the single digits locally, born from a single pair of black common ravens with a rare genetic defect. They are considered leucistic, with reduced pigmentation, rather than albino, since they have some colour in their eyes.

Common ravens are monogamous and can live for more than 30 years, but North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre assistant manager Julie Mackey said the white birds don't tend to live as long or breed as well as their black cousins.

She said there are a few tiny populations scattered around the mid-Island that may all be related, with sightings in Port Alberni, Comox and Tofino. Sightings elsewhere around the world are extremely rare.

The local birds have been the subject of several books and news and magazine reports across the country.


There are many white raven legends, especially among First Nations, ranging from them being the bringers of light, to being tricksters, to foretelling the end of the world.










VIDEO

"Prophecy states that when people become spiritual again, the White Raven will return." Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein, a Yupik Elder

"The Bird That Turned the Meat Bitter" is a Mandan legend. Ravens are usually completely black birds, however the Mandan legend (below) makes mention of a white raven, and the prophecy in this traditional story is about a white raven that will return:

The Bird That Made the Meat Bitter

Looking about the lodges in the village, Coyote saw strings of jerked meat, but the people were lean. He asked why this was. The people said, "When we go hunting, only the fastest butchers can get their meat home in good condition. There is a Raven which flies over calling "Get bitter! Get bitter!" (gi-ba in Mandan) and the meat turns bitter." Coyote asked for a sample. He chewed but could not swallow the meat, it was so bitter. He said, "I must have this thing righted." He sent the young girl after firewood and had it piled ready to light, first laying down manure because it keeps the flame a long time. Then he had the men get timber rope and make a snare. He filled up his pipe and asked help of his fellow creatures. The big Spider came to his aid, and he lighted the pipe for the Spider to smoke. Now the Raven lived in a hollow tree out of which it flew when the men were butchering. Big Spider said, "It is easy to snare that bird. Be ready to snare him into the fire and let him burn. Some of his feathers will fly into the air and turn into birds. When you see a white Raven fly out a cry 'At the end of the world there shall be seen a white Raven as a sign that the world is coming to an end' that will be the last of it."

They sent out young men into the hills scouting. These reported Buffalo. They made ready for the hunt. The fastest runners went ahead to encircle the herd. Buffalo always run towards the wind, but the runners drove them towards the other hunters. These formed a corral where they slaughtered the whole herd. The men with large families packed meat home; others followed behind. Meanwhile, some watched by the hollow tree. When the bird came out, before it could cry, Coyote caught it by the neck and pulled it to the ground. It had the head of a man and the body of a bird. The face was human but had no hair. The body had wings and a long neck. It was a frightful thing to see. Coyote clubbed the bird and threw it into the flames. Feathers flew up and turned into birds and flew away. The unburned bones Coyote crushed with his club. Finally out flew a white Raven and said, "When the world is about to end I will come to you again!" So Coyote told the people that was to be a sign to them.


VIDEO

Saturday

A federal judge on Friday threw out an Obama administration decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list — a decision that will ban further wolf hunting and trapping in three states.

The order affects wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where the combined population is estimated at around 3,700. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dropped federal protections from those wolves in 2012 and handed over management to the states.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday the removal was "arbitrary and capricious" and violated the federal Endangered Species Act.

Unless overturned, her decision will block the states from scheduling additional hunting and trapping seasons for the predators. All three have had at least one hunting season since protections were lifted, while Minnesota and Wisconsin also have allowed trapping. More than 1,500 Great Lakes wolves have been killed, said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, which filed a lawsuit that prompted Howell's ruling.

"We are pleased that the court has recognized that the basis for the delisting decision was flawed, and would stop wolf recovery in its tracks," Lovvorn said.

Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Gavin Shire said the agency was disappointed and would confer with the U.S. Department of Justice and the states about whether to appeal.

"The science clearly shows that wolves are recovered in the Great Lakes region, and we believe the Great Lakes states have clearly demonstrated their ability to effectively manage their wolf populations," Shire said. "This is a significant step backward."

Minnesota Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr said agency attorneys will study the ruling before determining its effect on state wolf policy.

"On face value we're very surprised. We didn't even know it was coming to a conclusion here," Landwehr said. "It's an unusual turn of events."
Source


Here are 10 species who are known for their lifelong pair bonds and their love is forever 

Humans like to think of themselves as a faithful species, but when it comes to true fidelity, many other animals offer better examples of how to keep a relationship together. Although monogamy and lifelong pair bonds are generally rare in the animal kingdom, there are some animals that pull it off.

According to the National Science Foundation, scientists currently estimate that only about 3-5% of the mammal species on Earth practice monogamy, whether for the short term or the long term. Very few birds, fish, or amphibians practice monogamy. Believe it or not, some insects are monogamous.

1. Wolves Often victim to myths and stereotypes about being cold-blooded killers, wolves are really quite loyal to members of their family and have complex social structures within their packs. The alpha male and alpha female within packs mate for life and share leadership roles and responsibilities caring for their young and other pack members. The alphas are typically the only ones who breed, but occasionally others, known as subordinates, will also mate.


2. Bald Eagles These fearsome raptors may not seem like the romantic type, but they also partner up for life. According to studies on their behavior, they court and reinforce their bond through elaborate displays that involve locking their talons in mid-air before free falling through the sky. Thanks to raptor cams, we’ve also been able to see these giant birds delicately caring for their young.


3. Beavers Known for their elaborate dam building skills, beavers are monogamous creatures who stay together for life, living in family groups, or colonies, made up of parents and their offspring. Adults stay together in these colonies and care for their young for the first two years of their lives, teaching them valuable skills, before they go off to find their own mates.


4. Albatross They don’t just mate for life, but engage in an elaborate courtship ritual before settling down with a partner that consists of a precise sequence of dance moves when choosing a partner. They also raise their young together, before sending them off into the world to find their own mates.


5. Sea Horses Sea horses are unique and fascinating little creatures that live in a broad range of marine environments. Sea horses are technically considered a fish, but unlike most fish species, they form monogamous pairs that stay together for life. Sea horses are also known for the role the males play in reproduction. Females deposit eggs in the male’s pouch, where he fertilizes and carries them until giving birth.


6. Arctic foxes usually mate for life, and both mother and father help raise the pups.


7. Coyotes A new study of coyote relationships has found that the only “tail” they chase is probably their own (or the Road Runner’s. Meep! Meep!) A recent study of urban coyotes shows that these canine cousins are loyal to their mates and never stray. Not ever. The surprising bit? This fidelity is helping coyotes to thrive in these new urban environments.


8. Ravens mate for life and live in pairs in a fixed territory.


9. Barn Owls They mate for life and become very emotionally attached to their partner.


10. Condors They mate for life, and can live to the ripe old age of 50, but they reproduce slowly, and young condors are a big responsibility for parent birds since they are unable to fly for their first 6 months, and remain reliant for a further 2 years.

Recommendations

Pages

Archives