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Obama Admin Gives Green Energy Firms A Pass On Killing Bald Eagles

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Whatever right?

WeaselZippers Via CBS:

The Obama administration said Friday it will allow some companies to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty, an effort to spur development and investment in green energy while balancing its environmental consequences.

The change, requested by the wind energy industry, will provide legal protection for the lifespan of wind farms and other projects for which companies obtain a permit and make efforts to avoid killing the birds.

An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration’s reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. The White House has championed wind power, a pollution-free energy intended to ease global warming, as a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan.

In other areas, too, such as the government’s support for corn-based ethanol to reduce U.S. dependence on gasoline, the White House has allowed the green industry to do not-so-green things. Another AP investigation recently showed that ethanol has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

This April 18, 2013 file photo shows a golden eagle flying over a wind turbine on Duke energy’s top of the world wind farm in Converse County Wyo. The Obama administration will allow companies to seek authorization to kill and harm bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty in an effort to balance some of the environmental trade-offs of green energy. AP Photo/Dina Cappiello

Under the change announced Friday, companies would have to commit to take additional measures if they kill or injure more eagles than they have estimated they would, or if new information suggests that eagle populations are being affected. The permits would be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill. Now such reporting is voluntarily, and the Interior Department refuses to release the information.

"This is not a program to kill eagles," said John Anderson, the director of siting policy at the American Wind Energy Association. "This permit program is about conservation."

Wind farms are clusters of turbines as tall as 30-story buildings, with spinning rotors as wide as a passenger jet’s wingspan. Though the blades appear to move slowly, they can reach speeds of up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes.

Flying eagles behave like drivers texting on their cellphones; they don’t look up. As they scan below for food, they don’t notice the industrial turbine blades until it is too late.

No wind energy company has obtained permission authorizing the killing, injuring or harassment of eagles, although five-year permits have been available since 2009. That puts the companies at legal risk and discourages private investment in renewable energy.

It also doesn’t necessarily help eagles, since without a permit, companies are not required to take steps to reduce their impact on the birds or report when they kill them.

The new rule makes clear that revoking a permit – which could undermine investments and interest in wind power – is a last resort under the administration’s energy policy.

"We anticipate that implementing additional mitigation measures … will reduce the likelihood of amendments to, or revocation of, the permit," the rule said.

Conservation groups, which have been aligned with the wind industry on other issues, said the decision by the Interior Department sanctioned the killing of an American icon.

"Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check," said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold in a statement. The group said it will challenge the decision.

The wind energy industry has said the change mirrors permits already in place for endangered species, which are more at risk than bald and golden eagles. Bald eagles were removed from the endangered species list in 2007 but are still protected under two federal laws.

The regulation published Friday was not subjected to a full environmental review because the administration classified it as an administrative change.

"The federal government didn’t study the impacts of this rule change even though the (law) requires it," said Kelly Fuller, who formerly headed up the wind campaign at the American Bird Conservancy. "Instead, the feds have decided to break the law and use eagles as lab rats."

The Fish and Wildlife Service said the new rule enables it to better monitor the long-term environmental effects of renewable energy projects.

"Our goal is to ensure that the wind industry sites and operates projects in ways that best minimize and avoid impacts to eagles and other wildlife," the agency said in a statement.

Last month, Duke Energy Corp. pleaded guilty to killing eagles and other birds at two wind farms in Wyoming, the first time a wind energy company has been prosecuted under a law protecting migratory birds.

A study by federal biologists in September found that wind farms since 2008 had killed at least 67 bald and golden eagles, a number that the researchers said was likely underestimated.

It’s unclear what toll, if any, wind energy companies are having on eagle populations locally or regionally. Gunshots, electrocutions and poisonings almost certainly kill more bald and golden eagles than wind farms. But with the industry still growing, the toll could grow, too.

A recent assessment of status of the golden eagle in the western U.S. showed that populations have been decreasing in some areas and rising in others.

AP

Feeding the Eagles

The Amazing Bald Eagle

December 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Political Change, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

pet-friendly-home The following foods are not safe for dogs, cats, potbellied pigs, or guinea pigs. Never give the following foods or beverages to your pets:

  • *Alcohol of any kind (a no-no for all animals)
  • *Anything with Caffeine (a no-no for all animals)
  • Avocados – especially for birds and cats
  • Baby food if it contains onion powder
  • Bones from Ham, Chicken, Turkey or Cooked Bones that can splinter
  • * (Raw) Bread or Yeast Dough
  • Candied Yams
  • Casseroles (unless you absolutely know that none of the no-no foods are in them)
  • *Chocolate and Cocoa (this includes things like brownies and chocolate chip cookies) and dark chocolate is the worst
  • Raw cookie dough can also kill dogs and small children.
  • *Grapes or raisins
  • Jell-O Molds
  • (Raw) Liver
  • *Macadamia Nuts (this includes things like cookies and pies) and go easy on nuts in general (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues). Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are healthy for humans, but too much fat of any kind increases the risk of pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Milk (and American Cheese) can be a problem for some dogs. They can be lactose intolerant like some people.
  • Mushrooms, particularly wild mushrooms.
  • Nutmeg
  • *Onions, including onion powder (garlic should be fed in moderation)
  • Pecans, including Pecan Pie (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold.  Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues).
  • Potato Skins and Green Potatoes (potatoes in general are not digestible by dogs).
  • Pork Products because of the nitrates
  • Stuffing (it usually contains onions, which are very harmful to pets)
  • Large amounts of Grains (often a main ingredient in cheap commercial pet foods)
  • *Raisins and grapes
  • Raw eggs (raw egg whites) – (According to the ASPCA, raw egg whites contain avidin, which damages a dog’s metabolism and creates a biotin deficiency, so they recommend owners should discard the white if feeding a dog raw eggs.  Others disagree.)
  • Tomatoes (plant and fruit) – All parts of the plant except the tomato itself are poisonous to humans
  • Vitamin A in large amounts causes toxicity
  • Walnuts (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems, for humans as well, because of mold issues).
  • *Xylitol and anything with it in it.

Depending on the amount consumed and the size, breed, species and age of the animal many of the items above can cause death, but they definitely can and usually cause discomfort for the pet/animal, more and expensive vet bills for you, butt scooting, and stress in your pets and for you. Distention of the abdomen, vomiting, muscle tremors, paralysis bloody stool, depression, stress, jaundice, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, abnormal fluid accumulation, drooling, restlessness, anemia and seizures are among the symptoms and conditions that can be caused by the aforementioned foods.

The range of diseases and conditions caused or intensified by the No-No Foods for pets include: coma, heart arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, paralysis, pancreatitis, inflammation throughout the body, seizures and tremors, gastric-dilitation volvulus (twisted stomach) and death.

*Causing the most severe health problems and the most incidents of death.

Tobacco products and many plants and herbs are also bad for pets.  Poinsettias, tomato plants and the Sago Palm are among the common plants that are toxic to dogs/pets. 

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal – Drugs, unless prescribed or are specifically made and approved for animals, are a No-No!

Cooking real food or feeding a raw diet is generally the best option for most pets, but pet parents need to know the general restrictions as well as those for their particular pet plus make sure that their furkids are getting all the nutrients they need and avoiding too many fats, sugars and of course the no-no food list!  Commercial pet food, including kibble, is a rather new creation along with pre-packaged, processed and restaurant-style junk food for humans, including baby food and baby formula, filled with questionable additives and unrecognizable ingredients; none of which are proving to be the best choices, just read the labels.  All were invented for the consumers’ convenience and the profit for their manufacturers not good health and nutrition. The more fresh and freshly prepared food from good sources, as well as mother’s milk over formula for babies, the healthier we, our children and our pets are and will be!

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Every species, breed or type of animal has its own requirements and no-no’s.  As a pet parent or the parent of a learning pet parent, it is your job to find out what those requirements and no-no’s are and meet those needs.  A pet is a living creature that adds joy to our lives.  We are all God’s creatures and any animal is a gift that has been given to you to cherish and take care of properly!!

Cross-posted at True Health Is True Wealth (THITW) and at AskMarion

November 23, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

The Genius of Birds: Watch a Hummingbird’s Tongue in Action – Amazing… Especially for you Hummingbird Enthusiasts

Video: FLIGHT: The Genius of Birds – Hummingbird tongue

David  Klinghoffer/Nature News:  We recently got a hummingbird feeder for our back porch and my kids were delighted to see how quickly the local hummingbird population discovered it. I tried to explain to them what’s so amazing about the creature’s tongue.

In order to fuel its heart and wings that can flap up to 100 times-per-second, a hummingbird must eat several times an hour. This groundbreaking sequence from Flight: The Genius of Birds illustrates the system of mechanisms that enable a hummer to consume several times it body weight in nectar each day. The DVD & Blu-ray are available for purchase now – visit http://www.illustramedia.com for more information.

Watch this clip from the new Illustra documentary Flight: The Genius of Birds. Paul Nelson’s commentary is also very eloquent and interesting.

Marion/JOMP:  We have a hummingbird feeder and it is both fascinating and enjoyable to watch the little birds.  My father-in-law who suffers from Alzheimer’s gets a childish joy from watching them.

h/t to George King

August 24, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, Animal Related Education, animals, Just One More Pet, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Feathered dino may be world’s first bird

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Fox News: A birdlike dinosaur from the Middle/Late Jurassic of China could be the first of the bird group. (Masato Hattori)

The skeleton of a Jurassic dinosaur from China could also be the oldest known bird, scientists report.

The fossil of Aurornis xui was found last year in a museum at the Fossil and Geology Park in Yizhou, China, long after a farmer first dug it up in the Liaoning Province. The feathery specimen represents the most ancient of the avialans, the group that includes birds and their relatives since their split from nonavian dinosaurs.

The research also reconfirms the birdlike fossil Archaeopteryx as an avialan, a classification that was challenged by some recent research. [Avian Ancestors: Dinosaurs That Learned to Fly]

Not everyone agrees that the new specimen is strictly a bird. "In my opinion, it’s a bird," study author Pascal Godefroit, a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, told Nature News. Even so, he added, "The differences between birds and [nonavian] dinosaurs are very thin."

"Traditionally, we have defined birds as things like Archaeopteryx and closer to things like modern birds," vertebrate paleontologist Luis Chiappe of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who was not involved in the study, told LiveScience. "If you stick to the definition, this thing is not earliest known bird," Chiappe said, but that’s missing the point, he said. What matters, is that it’s a very interesting animal that "still helps us understand better the origin of birds," he said.

Aurornis xui was a feathered dinosaur that lived during the Middle Jurassic period about 150 million years ago, analysis shows. It was about 1.6 feet from beak tip to tail tip, and possessed small, sharp teeth and long forelimbs.

The creature probably couldn’t fly, Godefroit said, but may have used its wings to glide between trees. The fossil’s feathers aren’t well-preserved, but the hip bones and other features strongly suggest it was a relative of modern birds, he said.

The researchers assert that Aurornis displaces Archaeopteryx as the oldest avialan, placing Archaeopteryx further along in the avialan lineage. Since Archaeopteryx was a flying creature, its placement among avialans means dinosaurs would have only had to develop powered flight once during evolutionary history.

The new findings also classify another family of birdlike dinosaurs, known as Troodontidae, as a sister group to the avialans. This reshuffling of the bird-dinosaur family tree suggests birds and nonavian dinosaurs diverged in Asia during the Middle to Late Jurassic.

The findings are detailed in the May 30 issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Attacks Your Bird’s Liver Like Alcohol – Is This What’s Making Her Flabby and Sick?

Story at-a-glance
  • Baby is a female blue-fronted Amazon parrot who is 24 years young. When Dr. Becker met Baby, she had dull feathers, signs of over-grooming, large fat deposits on her breastbone, and several fatty masses called lipomas on both legs.
  • Baby was overweight from a combination of a sedentary lifestyle and a diet that consisted almost entirely of high fat seeds – her favorite food. Since obesity in birds often leads to hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease), Dr. Becker did some blood tests and determined that indeed, Baby’s liver function was compromised.
  • Baby was transitioned from her all-seed diet to a much more nutritious diet of fresh living foods and organic bird pellets. She also began taking milk thistle to support the detoxification and regeneration of liver cells.
  • Fortunately, Baby took to her new, healthy diet quite well and relatively quickly. Within six months, her liver function had returned to normal.
  • Also in this article, Dr. Becker offers tips for all bird owners on optimizing their pet’s environment and removing environmental stressors.

Baby

By Dr. Becker

I met Baby, a 24 year-old blue-fronted Amazon parrot in September 2012. Her dad brought her to see me because he was concerned about some fatty tumors another avian vet had diagnosed three years earlier.

As I examined Baby for the first time, I noticed her feathers were dull. She was over-grooming her lower abdomen, so the feathers there were unkempt and tattered. But more concerning to me were the large fat deposits that were accumulating over her keel (her breastbone), as well as several lipomas, which are benign fatty masses, that I could feel on both her legs.

Parrots Like Baby Are Prone to Overeating

Many pet parrots develop issues as a result of a sedentary lifestyle. For example, Amazon parrots have a tendency to become obese if their guardians don’t make weight management a priority.

Parrots like Baby who have been bred in captivity as pets are smart, vocal and animated. If you’re owned by one of these delightful birds, you know they are foodies with feathers. In other words, they enjoy eating! Consequently, overeating can become a real problem over a 70+ year lifespan.

In addition, these parrots are very popular as pets because they have more of a type “B” personality – they prefer hanging out to the constant activity seen in type “A” parrot personalities. The combination of a love of food and laidback personality can be a recipe for metabolic problems with these birds.

Evaluation of Baby’s diet revealed that like most pet birds, she wasn’t choosing to eat a balanced diet. Given the option to eat either seeds (preferably sunflower and safflower seeds) or fresh food, she would eat only seeds – a very unhealthy diet. And like many people owned by parrots, Baby’s dad fed his pet what she most enjoyed eating: high fat seeds. Although he did occasionally offer fresh foods, Baby preferred her seeds and didn’t regularly consume fresh foods or pellets.

The Dangers of Obesity in Parrots

Many animals, including parrots, store excess calories as fatty masses called lipomas. In addition to being overweight (over fat), Baby had additional fat accumulations that caused her to be “lumpy” in places. My biggest concern about Baby’s weight was that often when an Amazon’s body grows obese, there is also the presence of a secondary and potentially fatal condition called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease.

Fatty liver disease is caused by excessive fat accumulation in the liver. The condition is typically a slowly progressive disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with fat. The many tasks the liver performs are eventually compromised, and when overall liver function is poor, birds begin showing symptoms.

These can vary depending on how much liver function remains and include mild to profound lethargy, weight loss, decreasing appetite leading to anorexia, a fluffed appearance, weakness, sitting in the bottom of the cage, labored breathing (tail bobbing), a change in stool color (usually it becomes much more green), diarrhea and a swollen abdomen.

Birds with chronic, low-grade hepatic lipidosis can also have beaks that grow unusually fast or a change in feather pigmentation. Sadly, if the disease is progressed, a bird can appear suddenly ill or even die before the owners have a chance to seek veterinary care.

I suggested to Baby’s owner that we complete some blood work to check her liver function, and as I suspected, her liver enzyme (AST) was elevated (page 1). Thankfully, Baby’s quality of life was not yet impaired by her liver condition.

Switching Baby to a Healthier Diet

I immediately informed Baby’s dad that he would need to feed his bird differently. Baby needed to be weaned off her favorite seed-based diet and switched to a variety of fresh living foods to supply her body with enzymes, phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber. For most birds (and their owners), a change in diet like this can be a wildly difficult undertaking.

Many birds are actually addicted to seeds, and like cats, they cannot skip meals without endangering their health. Birds can and will starve themselves to death, so the process of transitioning to healthier foods involves some trickery.

The first step with Baby was to start the transition with fresh foods she liked, which included apples, grapes and corn. We would use these three fresh foods as lures to open her mind and taste buds to other fresh foods with a higher nutrient value.

The next step was to finely chop other fresh foods like broccoli, blueberries, pomegranate, pepper, and dark leafy green veggies, and mix them with the three foods she liked so she could experience a bit of nutritional variety.

Some birds are so finicky about trying new foods that it’s necessary to sprout their unhealthy seeds. Ironically, sprouting turns seeds from unhealthy and high fat, to very healthy and low fat. Mixing sprouted seeds with dry seeds, and then slowly increasing the amount of sprouted seeds while decreasing the dry seeds is another good way to transition a super-finicky bird away from an all-seed diet.

For Baby, I also recommended an organic bird pellet made by Harrison’s Bird Foods. I instructed her owner to grind the pellets into a powder and add 1 tablespoon of powder to 1 tablespoon of seeds so that all the seeds were coated with the powder. Birds hull seeds, so as Baby picked up and shelled her seeds, she would roll the seed around in her mouth and acquire the new taste of a nutritionally balanced pellet. I also instructed her dad to add a tablespoon of whole pellets into this mix, since occasionally birds are inquisitive enough to try new foods without hesitation.

I also prescribed milk thistle, an herb that helps hepatocytes (liver cells) regenerate and detoxify, and asked Baby’s dad to recheck her blood work in three months.

Within Three Months, Baby’s Health Was Much Improved

At Baby’s next appointment in December 2012, her dad reported that the diet change was successful. Fortunately, Baby liked the new organic bird pellets right away and he was able to gradually decrease the high fat seeds and ultimately eliminate them altogether. He was offering Baby a nice variety of fruits and veggies and she was eating well.

Baby’s feathers appeared less dull at this visit, and more importantly, her liver enzyme values had improved, but were still too high (page 2).

I suggested Baby’s dad continue the detox protocol and recheck her blood work in another three months. Thankfully, in March, Baby’s liver function was back to normal (page 3). Her owner was able to discontinue her detox protocol, but of course continued with a diet of healthy fresh foods and organic pellets, as well as Sunshine Factor, a supplement to help improve feather health.
Baby’s lean body mass was improving and her lipomas were not continuing to grow — all good signs.

Optimizing Your Pet Bird’s Environment

There are a number of recommendations I offer to all bird owners interested in optimizing their pet’s environment, including:

  • Ensure birds get 8 to 10 hours of restful sleep at night in a dark, quiet room (a nightlight is ok, but no additional light should be provided).
  • Provide pure water, free from fluoride, chlorine and heavy metals.
  • Provide UV light. Birds must have direct sunlight (not through a window) for optimal health. If you can’t take your bird outside, get a bird light and leave it on 6-10 hours a day.
  • Provide a variety of natural perches of various sizes for optimal foot health.
  • Offer pesticide-free food. Organic fresh fruits and veggies are best. If you can’t buy organic, wash all produce very well before feeding.
  • Ensure adequate exercise. Birds were meant to fly. If you don’t let your bird fly, you’ll have to get creative on how to help him “dance” (flap on your hand or a perch), walk or move to maintain muscle tone and optimal weight.
  • Birds should be weighed weekly to ensure they are maintaining their weight. Before birds become visibly sick they lose weight.
  • Provide coconut oil. Organic, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil is excellent for all birds. It provides lauric acid that supports a healthy immune system.

Eliminating Environmental Stressors

Part of optimizing a bird’s environment is removing stressors. These include:

  • Dowel perches and perch covers. Sandpaper covers cause bumblefoot, or open foot sores, so please don’t use them. Trim your bird’s nails if they are too long.
  • Grit. Psittacine parrots do not need grit, so please don’t offer it to them.
  • Mite and lice cage fumigators. Because these ectoparasites are rare and the fumigation products designed to eliminate them are ineffective, the majority of birds trapped next to these toxic “accessories” derive no benefit from them, and they can be harmful.
  • Wrapping or covering birdcages at night. This practice was recommended back when most houses were drafty, prior to the introduction of energy efficient homes. If your house was built in the last 50 years you don’t have to protect your bird from drafts. Covering cages has been linked to increased respiratory disease in birds. If you have a drafty home, cover 3 sides of the cage with a light fabric.
  • Cigarette smoke. Birds are tremendously susceptible to the toxins in second hand smoke. They are much more at risk than mammals, because birds have air sacs. There is no question a bird’s health will be compromised if the humans in her home smoke.
  • Pellets and seeds containing additives, preservatives, colors and dyes. Any brightly colored commercial diet you purchase for your bird contains dyes that are unnecessary for avian health. Birds are very susceptible to environmental chemicals, so read all labels carefully.
  • Teflon. Burning food on Teflon pans creates a toxic gas that is fatal to birds.
  • Toys made in China. Birds mouth everything. Make sure your bird’s belongings are toxin free by buying only toys and cage accessories made in the U.S.
  • Paint chipping off cages. Most paints and coatings contain heavy metals that birds can ingest as they use their beaks to climb around the cage. If your bird’s cage paint or powder coating is beginning to flake off, purchase a new cage, preferably stainless steel.

May 19, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, responsible pet ownership | , | 2 Comments

Peacock in full flight

Have you ever seen a Peacock in full flight?

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This is a rare opportunity for this.  We never imagined that it could be so

Magnificent – like a phoenix in a fairy tale!  It is not every day we can see such beauty!!!

h/t to Sovereignty in Colorado

March 10, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , | 2 Comments

Innovative Cockatoo Stuns Scientists By Making Its Own Tools

Scientists Stumped Over How Cackatoo Learned to Make Tools to Obtain Food

Alice Auersperg of the University of Vienna said she was surprised when a captive cockatoo named Figaro was seen using a tool to help him obtain an object. When researchers saw him actually make a tool, they were stunned.

According to University of Oxford’s announcement regarding the research, which has now been published in the journal Current Biology, the scientists are unsure just how Figaro ever learned to make a tool, but hope it will shed light on the “evolution of intelligence.”

Here’s how the team witnessed Figaro’s new skill, according to Auersperg:

“During our daily observation protocols, Figaro was playing with a small stone. At some point he inserted the pebble through the cage mesh, and it fell just outside his reach. After some unsuccessful attempts to reach it with his claw, he fetched a small stick and started fishing for his toy.

“To investigate this further we later placed a nut where the pebble had been and started to film. To our astonishment he did not go on searching for a stick but started biting a large splinter out of the aviary beam. He cut it when it was just the appropriate size and shape to serve as a raking tool to obtain the nut.

“It was already a surprise to see him use a tool, but we certainly did not expect him to make one by himself. From that time on, Figaro was successful on obtaining the nut every single time we placed it there, nearly each time making new tools. On one attempt he used an alternative solution, breaking a side arm off a branch and modifying the leftover piece to the appropriate size for raking.”

Watch Figaro make his tools:

Oxford University professor Alex Kacelnik said that Figaro is the only known one in his species to exhibit such tool-making capabilities, but crows have been observed to do similar things. Kacelnik said a crow named Betty made hooks out of wire to obtain food out of reach.

Still, Kacelnik said researchers are “struggling to identify the cognitive operations that make these deeds possible.”

With observations from these birds, Kacelnik hopes it may help scientists “unlock many unknowns in the evolution of intelligence.”

(H/T: theBlaze, GeekOSystem, Science Daily)

November 8, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , | Leave a comment

More Adorable Animal Photos – 10.22.12

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October 22, 2012 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cockatoo Snowball Dances to Queen

Video:  Snowball Dances to Queen – Another One Bites the Dust…

Snowball is one famous cockatoo. He’s also one of Dr. Becker’s patients. You can learn more about him at Bird Lovers Only.

August 29, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, pet fun, Pets | , , | 1 Comment

What fun God must have had the day he designed these 14 beauties

1. Himalayan Monal


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2. Formosan Magpie

 

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3. Flamecrest

 


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4. Golden Pheasant

 


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5. Green Jay


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6. Kingfisher

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7. Lady Amherst’s Pheasant

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8. Bleeding Heart Pigeons

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9. Nicobar Pigeon

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10. Quetzal

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11. Winson’s Bird Of Paradise

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12. No Idea What Bird This Is, But It’s Totally Rad

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13. Peacock

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14. Sup, Polish Chicken

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June 15, 2012 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animals, Just One More Pet, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | | 3 Comments

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