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News, little truths and wisdom regarding Pest Bird & Animal Wildlife Control, Falconry, and Birds of Prey....


 

OTTAWA, Ontario – Residents in one Canadian community say they’ve noticed local raccoons staggering drunkenly and passing out on the ground in the middle of the day.

Emily Rodgers told CBC News about seeing one apparently inebriated raccoon in her backyard, dragging his legs, wobbling, and having a hard time standing up. "You could tell something was wrong with him for sure."

Another resident, Julie Fong, said her husband saw one of the plastered animals stumbling along, just looking completely off - like somebody who may have had a few extra libations.” Fong thinks it was the same animal her husband spotted lying on the round beam of a fence near their house, its paws dangling. She thinks it later stumbled under their porch to sleep off the bender.

So, what's going on in the Nation's Capital? How come there is a sudden issue with drunkenness amongst raccoons?

The answer is quite innocent, actually; an Ottawa naturalist reckons that raccoons are likely consuming more alcohol than they can handle from fruit fermenting on the ground. Theest thing residents can do is to leave the animals alone. Anyone concerned for the raccoon’s health should call animal control.

 

 

Halifax, Nova Scotia was the location of this year's North American Bird Strike Conference.

The Conference highlights recent developments and ideas on addressing wildlife hazards to aircraft that occur in the airport environment. 

BSC individual presentations, panel discussions and workshops, international and technical sessions provide a forum to professionals to have an open dialogue and creative exchange of ideas; attendees include military and civilian personnel responsible for airfield operations, wildlife and wetlands resource managers, FAA inspectors - including Airports, Air Traffic and Flight Standards, airline and aircraft owners and operators, engineers, pilots, aerospace manufacturers, aviation industry representatives, waste management operators, researchers.. and the list goes on.

Since 2009 Hawkey's Dan Frankian has been a part of the conference. This year, he delivered a presentation on pelllet rifles and their use in bird and wildlife control as it pertains to airports and aviation safety. Dan Frankian is an excellent marksman himself, in fact he is a trained sniper. His talk delved into available 'accessories' such as scopes, blinds, rangefinders to improve shooting accuracy, associated costs, as well as rules about silencers.

The presentation was extremely well received.

Below are some photos from the conference and here is a markup of the presentation on air rifles: 

 

 

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://www.hawkeye.ca/blog?start=8#sigProIdced7f5aff5

 

 

Sea side communities, beaches and urban centers alike are plagued by greedy and aggressive seagulls – always on the lookout for a free and easy to make off with meal. The cause of the increasing epidemic? You guessed it… people. Good hearted people who share their meal or leftovers, careless people who don’t dispose of food wrapping or containers properly… and the unsuspecting – often children.

Grade 5 and 6 students in the UK learnt about the differences between Kittiwakes and Herring Gulls, their natural habitats and their eating habits.They heard about the importance of never feeding the gulls and disposing of their litter and food waste responsibly.

A team from NBC Environment introduced the children to the Birds of Prey they use to deter Herring Gulls during the licensed Herring Gull egg and nest removal.

Scarborough Council says it wants to help kids understand more about the birds, to try and avoid potential attacks.

The authority has also continued its "Herring Gull disruption programme" which began in 2017 and saw eggs being removed and birds of prey brought in to deter the airborne irritants from visiting North Yorkshire holiday hotspots.

The number of reported attacks - or "muggings" - has risen slightly in recent years, although all incidents will not necessarily be reported.

There were 36 between March 2016, when records began to be kept, and the end of that year and 45 in 2017.

47 were reported in 2018, while there's only been 23 so far in 2019 - which could prove the council's measures are working.

The problem is much the same here in Canada. And, at Hawkeye we take the same approach – Birds of Prey as well as egg and nest removal. Contact us for more information on our Bird Control Solutions.

Common pigeons (Columba livia) have been found on buildings, machinery, and structures of all materials forever. We know that pigeon feces  is highly acidic and corosive by nature. From steel bridges to roof top materials, from venting units to signage... pigeon droppings are highly destructive. Of course, then there is the health aspect. 

Bird excreta, or “guano,” is a combination of urine and fecal matter. Unlike in mammals, for example, excreta in birds do not occur as discrete entities of solid and liquid waste. In some bird species, the urine and fecal matter are mixed, and in others, there is a distinctly visible urinary (white) and fecal (brown or green) portion. The whitish part of bird excreta is an aqueous suspension of uricite crystals (the end product of aminoacid metabolism), which are largely insoluble under normal environmental conditions. The brown or green part is the fecal matter, coated with a thin layer of urea and uric acids, often coated with mucus. When pigeon excreta are dissolved by rain, these crystals are redeposited and may form white staining. Non-crystallized uric acid has been associated with the decay of structural and ornamental sandstone; paint finishes; and metals in outdoor sculpture, gutters, and composite roofs. Phosphoric acid from pigeon excreta has been attributed to damage of architectural marble in Venice.

So, what about historic limestone or sandstone buildings and statues?

You would think that this question would have been answered in length ages ago. However, it seems that as of 2004 it had not. 

A recent study and subsequent article ("Soluble salt minerals from pigeon droppings as potential contributors to the decay of stone based Cultural Heritage") looked at whether accumulated pigeon droppings could be a source of salts and low pH that could damage limestone. 

Researchers investigated almost 12 inches deep piles of pigeon droppings that were not exposed to rain. Their samples included both dry and fresh droppings. These the samples were used in two different tests. Test one sought to determine the droppings' insoluble inorganic solids and salt content. The second test looked at the pH of the feces when mixed with water. Some of the liquid/material from the second test was applied to blocks of highly porous micritic limestone to determine the level or amount of damage, if any, to the limestone.

Researchers found that when water mixes with pigeon droppings, the resulting liquid is not only acidic but very salty. These findings contradict some earlier research, which suggested that pigeon droppings had limited negative effects on building stones. The article's authors contend that pigeon droppings are in fact a significant source of salts capable of damaging historical buildings as well as diminishing their visual beauty.

These recent tests showed how salts and the crystals associated with them broke limestone grains, thereby damaging the limestone's very integrity.