Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sunday Miscellany: White Red-tails, Alex & Me, Golden Eagle, Turtle with Wheels, Eleanor's Cormorant, and the Headless Bunny

Photograph courtesy of Dr. Ruth Boll, DVM
A beautiful "white" Red-tailed Hawk in Utah, being treated for gunshot wounds. Notice her white beak, though still with black eyes. Which is a good thing because beyond being an easily seen target for idiots with guns, the only other issue in being white, is the possibility of unpigmented eyes which reduces the birds chance for survival. Probably because eyes without pigment are more sensitive to light which may interfere with hunting.

These photos come our way from a heads up on the "white" Red-tail site from Jackie of the Tulsa Hawk Forum--

Here is a site we've been exploring; it reports on a number of white/albino/leucistic red-tailed hawk sightings, and offers some wonderful photos. The various degrees of "whiteness" are interesting.

Jackie (Tulsa Hawk Forum)

Alex & Me
How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process
Irene Pepperberg

Harper has released some teasers from Alex & Me on their website. Check it out.

SEAN M. HAFFEY / Union-Tribune
Dr. Todd Cecil treats a sick golden eagle that was found on the ground on the Viejas reservation.
Socal from the Tulsa Hawk Forum sends this:

Has anybody read about the Golden Eagle that was rescued here in San Diego County recently? It was on our local t.v. News shows. Poor thing had kidney problems and was very sick. It was delivered to a veterinarian who was nursing it back with I.V. fluids etc., and there were plans to eventually transfer the bird to Project Wildlife, a local wildlife rescue foundation. I haven't heard how the eagle has fared since, but I'll try to find out more and get back to you... Meantime, here are some links to articles and videos:

Ailing eagle rescued on Viejas reservation

By Onell R. Soto
5:29 p.m. September 29, 2008

EAST COUNTY – A golden eagle with kidney problems is recovering at a La Mesa veterinary clinic after it was rescued Saturday night on the Viejas Indian Reservation.

R of Illinois sends us news of Tonka the Turtle



SAN JOSE, Calif. - A screwdriver and some Velcro has changed the life of a once-homeless turtle living on the Peninsula.
When handyman Kohl Williams fitted a three-legged tortoise with a set of toy wheels, suddenly Tonka was off a rolling -- slowly.
Peninsula Humane Society workers think Tonka was bitten by a dog

A gorgeous shot of a Double Crested Cormorant at the Model Boat Pond
by wonderful Central Park Photographer Eleanor Tauber.

The next photo is not for the squeamish, so if you are, don't keep scrolling down.

I went out to the front yard this morning to see if any of the plants had been nipped by the frost last night and discovered this-- A neatly decapitated upper de-pawed bottom section of a Cottontail Rabbit. The head was no where to be seen and I looked for it. I also looked for tracks of a possible predator but the ground is very dry so no luck.

My first thought was that a cat had done the deed. But why would a cat take the head and leave the rest? And it's so neatly done.

A Red-tail flushed off the kill? So she just took the head? Does that make sense? But it doesn't really look like the work of a Red-tail if the technique for rabbits is similar to that used for squirrels. Though as Manhattan hasn't many rabbits I've not seen the leavings from a Red-tail Bunny kill.

As far as I know we have no Prairie Wolves in the neighborhood. And I sincerely doubt it was Rocky the Raccoon, or Fluffy the Opossum.

Any ideas?


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