Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Here we go again: more anti-bird activites by the City of Chicago

We could not make this up. The City, apparently still steaming over their inability to addle any goose eggs, is now trying to coat gull eggs with corn oil. Gulls are now apparently, in the eyes of City Hall, "pests," just like rats and honest Water Department employees.

What the hell are these idiots thinking? And exactly who at the local Fish & Wildlife office is handing out permits to perform sociological experiments that involve coating federally protected gull eggs with corn oil? We hope those gulls crap all over the City's evil plan.

Here's the oily truth:


City tries oily move to limit seagulls
Officials target nests of the lakeside pests

By Tonya Maxwell
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 24, 2007

Perhaps only Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" rivals this epic battle, one that pits Chicago officials against the city's feathered foes.First, city officials covered trash cans at area beaches. Then they modified the roofs of some fieldhouses. They also deployed border collies. All in the name of keeping ring-billed seagulls, along with their yellow, webbed feet and bacteria-laced droppings, off the lakefront.

Beginning Tuesday, biologists plan a new prong of attack: coating the eggs in several nests with corn oil, which would prevent air from moving through the shells and destroy the embryos.The pilot project will determine what impact oiling the eggs has on gulls.Some nests will be left untouched to determine the behavioral differences in gulls with and without young.

The gulls and their droppings are suspected of boosting E. coli bacteria levels at city beaches, which in turn leads to summer swim bans. A University of Chicago study estimates swim bans cost the local economy about $2.4 million a year, according to the city's Department of Environment.

"People should not expect that one year of limiting hatchling numbers will immediately reduce conflicts with gulls," said Scott Beckerman, state director for Wildlife Services. "Gulls live a long time, generally returning to the area where they hatched once they are old enough to breed."This is why the research portion of the project is so important, as the gulls are watched to see if adults without young to feed spend less time trying to find food in public areas and if fewer juvenile gulls 'loaf' on beaches," he said.

The corn oil is not hazardous to gulls, wildlife or the environment, according to a statement released by Chicago's Department of Environment.City officials have received appropriate state and federal permits, said Larry Merritt, a spokesman for Chicago's Department of Environment.

The worst thing about this whole debacle is not what the City is doing, but that they're lying to the public about it. The corn oil "is not hazardous to gulls, wildlife, or the environment"? Then why are they putting the stuff onto gulls eggs? For kicks? This is not a grade school science project, this is the "bird-friendly" City of Chicago again acting with no respect whatsoever for birds, birders, or wildlife in general.
Galveston, you can breathe easily. You've now dropped to number two on the BINAC hit list.

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