Winged Fate

No, Really, It’s a Bird
& It’s Heading This Way

A funny thing has happened with our relationship with birds: we’re beginning to hate them.
Except when we love them. In any case, the whole thing became very complicated.
Since the beginning of times (and that’s the kind of intro many an epic has started; not in this case, though), humans have looked upon birds and dream.
As our imagination soared, hoping that one day we could ourselves fly and be as free as we thought they should be, our collective mood towards them kind of soured.
Fine, so we couldn’t fly like birds? No matter, we invented the several-tons heavy airliner to fly even higher and faster than them.
The birds counterattacked by letting themselves be swallowed whole by the plane’s turbines, and down we came crashing.
Oh, yeah? Let’s shoot them cold, specially near airports, and Continue reading

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Park Avengers

Prospect Collies to Drive
Geese Away (from Planes)

Last year they rounded up hundreds of geese and shot them. Everybody got mad. So this time, they dialed up the Collies.
It’s fair to say that when Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger successfully averted a major disaster over the skies of New York City, in 2009, safely landing a commercial U.S. Airways plane full of passengers in the Hudson River, everybody was happy. It was a major accomplishment of the veteran pilot, a feat of sheer skill and courage, and a great piece of positive news that made the rounds across the globe.
Soon after, though, the reasons for the emergency landing became clear and the culprits were identified: it was all the Canadian Geese’s fault. What not many had realized then was that flocks of geese had already collided many times with Continue reading

Fall From Heaven

What Is Killing the
Birds of Arkansas?

JUST IN: Recent reports of mass killings of birds and fish all over the world, are having a curious effect: while some are ready to zoom out from such news, anchored by the idea that the phenomenon is more common that people realized, others are ready to freak out. These are calling itThe Great Planetary Die-Off,” adopting the restrained tone typical of Apocalypse Now proponents. So perhaps it’s time to pause and consider that oldest of human assumptions, now being generously applied to the animal kingdom: dead is a booming business; even those who’ve never died before, are getting on with it.

1,000 and counting. That’s how many dead birds were found in Beebe, Arkansas, over the weekend within a small area. Almost as if they were all hit at the same time by the same catastrophic Continue reading

Geese on Death Row

“Revenge!” Cry Families of
Geese Shot in Prospect Park

In a case that may go all the way to the Supreme Court, high-powered lawyers for relatives of the hundreds of low-flying Canadian geese who were executed by federal agents last month in a Brooklyn park filed yet another appeal for a stay on their death sentence.
For the memory-challenged, the geese were accused of causing a near tragedy over the skies of New York City when they clogged an airplane’s turbines and forced its pilot to an early retirement as a hero. The now worldwide famous Viagra-powered captain managed to land the plane on the Hudson River, travelers and crew safe and sound.
The lawyers claim their clients are being unfairly targeted Continue reading