Birds flying at 150 km per hour


Imagine battling a hurricane in the face with no more defense than your own body.

Scientists in the United States recorded this incredible feat by placing satellite transmitters on a species of migratory shorebird known as the Curlew Curlew, Numenius phaeopus.

One of the birds, called “Hope” or “Hope” by researchers at the Center for Conservation Biology of Williamsburg, Virginia, flew for 27 hours against the storm at a speed of 14 kilometers per hour, but after crossing the center Hurricane was driven by the wind to reach about 150 kilometers per hour.

The study reveals “the really impressive dynamics of bird migration,” Fletcher Smith, the lead biologist in charge of the project, told BBC World.

“We have found that the curling curlers can maintain their flight through a hurricane or a tropical storm,” he added.

“We accompanied the transmitters to eight birds that managed to survive the passage through these storms.”


The strength of birds to survive extreme conditions is due to the large amounts of fat reserves that accumulate in their organisms.

“These birds almost double their weight before embarking on a migration. They get fat by ingesting berries in Canada and crabs at stop sites during their trip south, “Fletcher explained.

The curlews studied in this project are reproduced in the Mackenzie River Delta and in Hudson Bay, Canada. In the spring they make stops between the states of Georgia and Virginia in the United States and spend the winter of the Northern Hemisphere in various places from the Caribbean to northeastern Brazil.

A different population of this species breeds in Alaska and spends the winter on the Pacific coast between Mexico and Chile, according to the biologist.


Warlike birds that survive hurricanes can however succumb to a mortal enemy, human action.

Harrier curlers are victims of hunters in the Caribbean, and Smith and his colleagues are working with local organizations to try to protect them on their migratory route.

“In the fall last season we lost two birds with satellite transmitters due to hunters on the island of Guadalupe,” Smith said. “At least in one country, hunters have now committed themselves to voluntarily reducing the number of dead birds.”

Another threat in the Caribbean is the loss of mangroves and bathing and the construction of resorts, so more needs to be done to protect the birds’ natural habitat, according to the US biologist.

“We do not know exactly what the influence of these threats has been on the fall of these bird populations, which have suffered a decline of 50% since the mid-1990s.”

Smith’s research was quoted by the American Bird Conservancy in a statement calling for unregulated hunting on Caribbean sites including the Guadeloupe archipelago, Martinique, Barbados, French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname.

“Some local people use the bathed as a hunting site and kill with impunity everything that flies. Among the victims are two trinadors curlers that were being monitored with transmitters and were called Machi and Goshen.

Throughout its life it is estimated that Machi flew more than 43,000 km and survived Tropical Storm Maria. Goshen had flown more than 22,000 km and battled Hurricane Irene. They landed in Guadeloupe, a site they had avoided on other trips, and died at the hands of hunters, “said the American Bird Conservancy statement.

“This indiscriminate killing must be stopped,” said George Fenwick, the organization’s president, who called on the French government to end unregulated hunting in the archipelago of Guadeloupe, a French overseas territory.

Smith plans to continue using satellite transmitters to monitor the migration of these birds, which should be viewed with eyes of great appreciation and respect, according to BBC World.

“I would like the readers of this note to appreciate the huge flights these birds are capable of,” he said.

“We have documented seven flights of more than 5,600 km, including four continuous flights without stops of between more than 6,100 and 6,900 km over the Atlantic Ocean from Canada to South America.”

“The flight of more than 6,900 km took the bird 145 hours, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to northeastern Brazil. Back and forth between their breeding sites and destinations during the winter, these birds make round trips of over 20,000 kms per year! ”


How do animals deal with floods?


Excessive rains can be harmful to many animals, even for those who live in the water, so it is necessary that they find new ways to survive them.

With the advent of the rainy season in the United States, animals in the wild and in captivity are developing new ways to cope with floods.

The reaction of the animals depends on three basic elements: the species, the personality of each animal and the possibility of access to shelters made by man.

In addition to humans, orangutans are the ones who have found the best ways to protect themselves from the rain, as these animals live in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra where rainfall is a daily reality.

During the course of storms, orangutans produce protective awnings and a sort of “hat” with leaves; While in zoos they often use more attractive materials.

“Here in Seattle it rains practically every day,” Gigi Allianic, a spokeswoman for the city’s Woodland Zoo, told Discovery News. “Our orangutans are often wrapped in burlap bags and sit in the rain, but like many other zoo animals they also have the option of sheltering indoors.”

Most land animals are looking for some kind of shelter. In nature they can be hidden in a tree, a hollow trunk, under rocks or underground. Smaller animals such as squirrels and mice are piled inside their shelters to try to keep warm.

In addition, it seems that the rain annoys the vast majority of species, even the aquatic. During torrential rain, animals such as frogs, turtles and fish should be protected at the deepest levels of lakes and ponds; And seek shelter to avoid falling rocks and loose logs.

However, many animals remain out in the open and try to tolerate moisture.

“The brown bears of our zoo do this very often, despite having the option to enter the shelters,” Allianic said. He also added that bears are excellent swimmers.

“Crocodiles are very skilled at weathering the weather,” Nick Hanna, an assistant curator at the New Orleans Natural Audubon Institute, told Discovery News. “They remain calm and calm and never panic, not even in the worst storms.”

But some animals do lose their calm, though not necessarily because of the rain.

“We found that certain animals feel safer in the open than in a shelter,” Hanna said. “When enclosed, ostriches tend to hit the walls. And African antelopes sometimes get so scared that they also run straight into the walls. ”

These species, however, have awnings or open lateral structures to protect themselves from the sun and rain.

In some cases, the reaction of an animal is related to its own personality. Hanna and Allianic pointed out that some primates and elephants resist better than other storms, especially when presented with lightning and thunder.

“The most fearful specimens can become frightened and tend to take refuge in enclosed spaces,” Allianic explained. “Even large elephants and apes can behave like dogs or cats when they try to react to lightning and thunder.”

But while some animals try to escape the frightening noises, there are others who choose to get wet.

The good news is that furry animals, such as giant pandas, tigers, brown bears, kangaroos and other species, have the innate ability to shake and dry in a few seconds.

Very recently, Andrew Dickerson of the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with his colleagues Zachary Mills and David Hu, determined that these shakes were perfectly adapted to each species, its size and anatomy. And loose skin seems to play a key role in this process.

“By shaking around the body, that skin speeds up the time the droplets move away from the fur, ensuring a relative dryness in the firmer skin layer,” said Dickerson and his team.

This discovery also helped explain why every time a dog shakes, everything around it is soaked while the animal ends up completely dry.


Why do birds peck at feathers so much?


All birds arrange their feathers, groom them and spend much of their time caring for the plumage. And there is something that also do a lot of them that is the picking or pecking of the feathers. This can become really aggressive and even life threatening.

There are many problems that induce this picaje. The owner must also observe the birds that are caged. And not only the bird itself but also must observe the bottom of the cage and even the ground around it in case the number of feathers that fall everywhere is excessive.

Birds can “catch mania” and as a result of jealousy or boredom can start an excessive picaje. Another cause may be a cage change to a smaller cage or site reduction if new specimens are introduced into the same cage; Some cannon can be broken of pen or become wounds where it occurs later the picaje.

If the birds are in the breeding season, excessive grooming may also end up pricking.

It is necessary to watch the feeding of the bird. Must be varied in textures and nature: varied seeds, fruits, vegetables, etc. should be the components of a balanced diet.

General diseases such as liver disease or intestinal parasites can cause the birds to peck. It is essential to observe the cage where the excrement is deposited and to go to the veterinarian as soon as an abnormality is detected.

We will use it to remind the bird owners that, when they go to the vet, they do not clean the cage. The information obtained by the veterinarian from the habitat where the bird lives is fundamental. You can see what kind of seeds you eat and what not, you can see the feces, taking a sample to analyze, you can see the inside of the hollow sticks of the cage in case there were piojillo ….

Birds also have allergies, the best known is allergy to some seeds, particularly sunflower.

The birds most affected by solitary picaje and those of medium or large size: yakos, macaws, nymphs, etc. Parakeets and canaries are less affected.

The veterinarian must, in addition to carefully observing the cage, perform a skin examination, skin scrapings, biopsies and / or cytologies, fungal cultures, etc.

The treatment is really difficult due to the wide variety of causes. If the beak is behavioral, the handling must be corrected, that is to say, to improve the conditions of the cage, so that it is more spacious and with the minimum dangers, to avoid the boredom, trying to provoke games with special devices even with food that causes Some exercise, leaving the radio or television connected when leaving the bird alone at home, put some tub for your entertainment or even adding company of the same species.

The veterinarian will advise on what is the best solution for your bird, in addition to helping with appropriate drugs that he himself will prescribe.

The best, prevention: knowing the needs of each bird both physical and psychological. Trust your vet also in these cases.


Interesting Facts about Dogs and Cats

Here we bring you 22 curious facts that will surely surprise you about dogs and cats. Our pets always have wonderful and curious things for us.

1. Cats are lactose intolerant. Like most mammals, cats lose that ability to digest milk daily after childhood. Giving milk to an adult cat can mean suffering from upset stomach or diarrhea.

2. Dogs with “boring” faces tend to have more health problems. The bony structure of the face of Pugs, Boxers and Bulldogs makes them more prone to respiratory diseases, dental problems and other types of inconveniences.

3. Cats have 100 vocal cords, which allows them to make about 100 different sounds or vocalizations; The dogs are capable of making ten nothing more.

4. All Dalmatians are born white. White spots begin to appear in the first weeks of life.

5. Hunting is not an instinctive behavior in the cat. If a kitten does not learn to hunt with her mother or another cat does not teach her this practice, she probably will not.

6. The sense of smell of a dog is one hundred thousand times more sensitive than that of a human. While humans have about five million nose-catchers, a Bloodhound has three hundred million receivers.

7. A domestic cat sleeps an approximate 16 hours daily. By making a calculation, the cat sleeps more than half of its life. Big cats, which employ large amounts of energy hunting, sleep even more than a domestic cat.

8. The sweat glands of dogs are between the pads of their paws. Dogs dissipate the most heat through panting.

9. Cats can be right or left handed. Psychologists at the University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, found that female cats tended to be straight, while males tended to be left-handed. As in humans, some cats can also be ambidextrous.

10. Dogs are one of two mammals that have prostates. The other species is the human being.

11. Three-colored cats (Calico cats) are almost always females. In cats the coat color gene is related to sex. In fact, there is rarely genetic variation in which a male cat is of the “Calico” type; These cats are always sterile.

12. Dogs can see colors. But they do not see colors as vivid as human beings.

13. All cats are born with blue eyes. They change them shortly after birth.

14. The wet nose of dogs helps them to smell better. Humidity helps them trap the chemical odors particles that polish in the air.

15. Most blue-eyed white cats are born deaf – the average is 65% to 85% – according to the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.

16. The only breed of dog that does not bark is the Basenji. This is due to a genetic formation in their larynx that does not allow them to produce that sound. However, they produce common sounds for dogs like growl, howl, among others.

17. Cats do not make other cats meow. In most cases they reserve that sound to attract the attention of humans.

18. Dogs do not have clavicles. The discs on their shoulders allow them greater mobility and a superior range for running and jumping.

19. When cats walk, they move their left hind paw to the front. The same goes for the other side. The only animals that also walk like this are camels and giraffes.

20. A domestic dog can mate with a wolf. The two animals are still related in a close fashion to have a breeding.

21. The dog takes 18 muscles to move his ear. The cat takes 32. The human has 3 very rudimentary muscles.

22. Both the dog’s nose and the cat’s nose are unique. They have fingerprints on their noses like fingerprints on the human being.