Saturday, May 10, 2008

You know what they say when you "assume" something

We saw a Great Egret that was hanging around waiting for handouts and we decided to walk down and take a look. When we got there, this is what we saw:

Monday, May 05, 2008

Thank you, and a Message to the Non-Believers!!!

First, let us say that we are gratified and appreciative of all of the positive comments about the "new look" redesign of this blog. You love the new color scheme, and you want to learn more about tourism and economic opportunities in the wonderful country of Mexico. You honor us with your faith in us. We will continue bring you information about that magical and fantastic birding and business destination that we know and love as MEXICO!!!!

Second, we will now break our MAJOR CONSERVATION ANNOUNCEMENT into several different parts. For those of you who are interested in the story of the rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, you will want to hang around for the last announcement we are going to make. We still can't reveal the details, but it will involve (hint, hint) a large iconic woodpecker with a massive bill, a woodpecker that is instantly recognizable to anyone who has seen it...like we have.

We are headed back to Louisiana on Thursday morning, followed by another trip to Florida to coordinate things. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

While we're waiting...

...we thought you might enjoy this great video about one of our favorite cities in the world.



Maybe while drinking a Corona or something.

Announcement Delayed!!!

Right now we have not been given the go-ahead to make the announcement. Apparently some people in high places aren't interested in having us be the ones to make the announcement, even though we have been instrumental in the whole thing. Stay tuned, we'll see.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dude *does* Look Like A Lady

Well, we had to go to Florida for a very quick trip before the big announcement can be made.

It has been a weird 24 hours for the BiNAC Team. We had dinner with Drew Peterson, got a date with not one but two go-go dancers, and ran into Steven Tyler of Aerosmith at the airport on our way to Florida.

All we can say is, man, that dude now does look like a lady. Like a Phyllis Diller-type lady, not a hot lady.

A weird and creepy 24 hours.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Announcement Delayed!

Well, due to our inability to get one important agency to allow us to make the announcement, it will be delayed by at least one day. People are getting cold feet. If we don't make the announcement in a day or two, we are already headed back to New Orleans, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge next week, and the announcement will probably be made from there.

The only other thing we've been allowed to disclose is that a reward of some sort will be involved...

...meanwhile, back at the farm, there will be some further changes in the ownership structure around here. Nothing major, but you might notice a few differences.

BiNaC Conservation Alert--World Exclusive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay tuned, because the BiNaC staff (he-he) has been working on an exclusive announcement that will be greeted with shock, excitement, and wonder by birders from all over the world.

This MAJOR CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENT will be announced here, tomorrow, and represents a stunning culmination to years of work, and the efforts of many dedicated individuals, to attempt to save an iconic species that is known and loved by birders everywhere.

We are unable to post additional details until we reach an understanding with certain governmental organizations, but this announcement will be BIG. Cornell is not involved, but USF&W is, and for legal reasons, that is all we can say about the matter right now.

STAY TUNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cougar shot in Chicago!!!

OK, this is the coolest urban Chicago wildlife story we have seen since that coyote hopped into a Quizno's cooler a few years ago:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-chicago-cougar-shot-webapr15,0,98147.story

(sorry, links may not be embedding properly right now.)

Obviously, the part where the coppers shot the cougar (and put a few rounds into a nearby house) is *not* cool. *Very* not cool. But the fact that a cougar could make it into the city, especially after a few alleged sightings in the north suburbs over the past few days, is simply amazing. (Now everyone is going to be calling in cougar reports to the local police.)

We don't know if there is any way to determine whether this was a truly "wild" cougar but 150 pounds seems pretty big for a pet, especially in the city.

Meow.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Help--Stranded in the Springs!

We are stranded in Colorado Springs--somebody please call the ABA or Stargate Command to get us the hell out of here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Where is the "original" IBWO in Arkansas sighting

Please forgive us for making a brief detour back into the IBWO mess/morass.

Today Louis Bevier posted something on BirdForum that included a request for a copy of Gene Sparling's first report of his "sighting" that was allegedly posted on the Arkansas Canoe Club bulletin board.

We say allegedly because we asked for that same thing two years ago, and we weren't able to find it, either:

Where is it???

(Hey, wonder if Louis was that commenter? Anyway...)

So, what gives? Either that post was erased/removed, or it never happenend. Back in 2006, we actually went through that board page-by-page through the date of the "sighting" to try to find it. What's the deal? Where is it? Was is ever there?

And the winner is...

...our travels have taken us down South for the last few weeks, and we found this noisy Mockingbird. Poor guy found a great spot with lots of grass and shrubs, but he doesn't know how loud this spot will get in a few weeks. Here is our true champion singing from Victory Lane at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina:

Friday, April 04, 2008

Bird(feed)ing *is* A Crime!!!!

At least in one Chicago suburb:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-critter-feeding-both-04apr04,0,823535.story

(Might have to register to access the story, but its worth it for the story and comments.)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

How far would you go to see a Yellow Rail?

OK, this somewhat cryptic message was on TEXBirds this week:
***

Subject: Tamaulipas Crow
From: john hintermister
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 17:11:18 -0500
Greetings,
Bob Wallace from Gainesville, Fl. Just called me to say that he had photographed a Tamaulipas Crow at the Brownsville Dump. He will post the pics as soon as possible.

David Sarkozi, Bob is the guy who got bitten by the alligator on the Yellow
Rail Walk yesterday. We don't know where to send the pics. If you could let
us know where and how he will post the picsas soon as possible.

John Hintermister
Gainesville, Fl.
***
OK, forget the bit about the crow..."Bob is the guy who got bitten by the alligator on the Yellow Rail walk yesterday."? Seriously? I don't care if it was a "little" bite, if you get bitten by a freakin' ALLIGATOR and your primary concern the next day is getting the word out on a stinkin' Mexican crow, you are a true birder. So kudos to Bob Wallace (btw, Bob does a lot of really fun pelagic birding in Florida) for his tenacity and for his good (?) luck this week in Texas.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

You must be the dumbest person in the world...

...if you are "creeped out" by a cute little Limpkin!

To read about how one idiot condo resident is trying to get rid of the Limpkins in the condo pond, click here: http://sicluceatlux.wordpress.com/

Friday, March 07, 2008

Golfer Kills Hawk

If people aren't talking about this story already, they will be soon, so here it is:

http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/news?slug=ap-golfer-birdkilled&prov=ap&type=lgns

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We're Back--In A Blaze of Glory!

Well, we're finally back. Well, not actually, since we are not *technically* in Chicago right now, but in the comparatively snow-less State of Minnesota. At least we are back from Japan and our subsequent trip to Texico. (Not entirely sure if we were in Texas or Mexico so...)

When we walked off of the plane from Tokyo we were handed a large package with a return address in Louisiana marked "Top Secret Irrefutable IBWO Evidence." We'll try to open that up in a few days and report on its contents.

In the meantime, we created a bit of a stir on the YouTube with a video we took at the Bon Jovi show last night in Chicago of JBJ and Chris Daughtry singing Blaze of Glory. It's the first (and only?) video we've ever taken that's received "honors" on YouTube, and the play counter stuck at about 1400 after it had only been up for a couple of hours.

Here it is, and check out our other new videos as well:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Okinawa Rail Video!!!

Another quick video teaser:

Monday, February 04, 2008

Halfway There!!!

Halfway through our Japan trip, so far crippling views of Blakiston's Fish Owl, Stellar's Sea Eagle, Okinawa Rail, Ural Owl, etc etc.

More when we get back. Until then, enjoy.



Friday, January 25, 2008

Countdown to...






Sunday, January 20, 2008

Yes, Virginia, There *WAS* A Snowy Owl, But The USDA Killed It!!!

Turns out we were misreading the USDA "Kill List" a bit, the most recent numbers available are from 2006, not just 2005.

One thing that stood out to us was the Snowy Owl killed in Virginia in 2005. We thought that might have been the famous Dulles Snowy (supposedly a first Virginia state record), but we Googled a bit and that bird was in 2006. But when we looked at the 2006 Kill List, there is again a Snowy Owl listed as having been killed in Virginia. About the only reason (we're not saying it is a good reason) you could give for killing a Snowy Owl would be to prevent an aircraft strike. So this brings up two pertinent questions:

1) How many Snowy Owls are in Virginia annually? If the Kill List is correct, the Dulled bird was not the first record in the Commonwealth (we know there are some old records but the 2006 bird was said (ibcorrectly?) by many to have been a state-first); and here's the $64,000 question:

2) Did the USDA kill the famous 2006 Dulles Snowy Owl???

It should be pretty easy to answer the second question. Virginia birders/bloggers, just go to the USDA Wildlife Services web site, find the FOIA contact info (it's on there, even though the buttons didn't work for us, you may have to mail your request in) and request any and all information, documents, correspondence, etc. relating to the killing of a Snowy Owl in Virginia in 2006. (Throw in 2005 and 2007 for good measure.) That is a pretty specific request that should easy to respond to.

And let us know the response, or of they give you any problems with your request.

If that works, we will be recommending that all of our readers look at the Kill List and send an FOIA request regarding birds that were killed in their own states.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Kill List 2005

OK, here is a *real* conservation alert.

We have talked (again and again) about how the City of Chicago is using its henchmen at the USDA to exterminate the various gull colonies in the Chicago area. As part of that Gull Extermination Program, the bastards...er, scientists...at the USDA's Division of Wildlife Killing have tagged a bunch of gulls. They have asked for birders to report the locations of those tagged gulls, and birders, being good-hearted but sadly gullible, have been dutifully reporting those gulls as they move south for the winter. Here is a good example of how birders and wildlife lovers are trying to do the right thing, without realizing that the info they are submitting will probably be used to kill birds. These well-meaning birders don't know the real story, so...we're going to tell them!!!

What role does the entity which tagged these gulls -- technically the Wildlife Services division of the USDA, but we'll call it by a more accurrate title, the Wildlife Killing Division -- in conserving or protecting birds?

NONE!!!

Their one and only purpose is to scare away and literally kill birds (and other wildlife) that they consider to be a nuisance. Oh, they use lots of euphamisms like "property damage control," "protecting property," and (amazingly) "protecting wildlife," but basically what they do is help people kill stuff.

Now, in some contexts, like killing exotics in Hawaii, Wildlife Services might actually be helping wildlife. And you can certainly make an argument that, under very limited circumstances, scaring away or even killing birds might be necessary to save lives, for example, at an airfield where bird strikes are a real problem.

But the devil is in the details, and we ran across this blog post today that "details the details" that were revealed when the USDA was forced to publish its "Kill List" for past years, up to and including 2005.

So, exactly *what* did Wildlife Services, the entity responsible for this gull "survey," do in 2005?

They killed more than 1.5 million birds.

Yes, you read it right, they killed 1,500,000 birds in the last year for which data is available.

How many birders know that this is even happening? Now, while many of those 1.5 million birds are blackbirds and starlings, a lot of them are not. Again, the devil is in the details. Take a look at that link, and you'll see that in the year 2005, the USDA's Wildlife Killing Division killed a lot of gulls. More than 16,000 gulls, including:

1,807 Herring Gulls
3,267 Ring-billed Gulls
6,272 Laughing Gulls
and
3,221 dangerous Glaucous-winged Gulls.

Those totals include 635 Ring-billed Gulls and 45 Herring Gulls that were killed right here in Illinois.

What else did the USDA kill in 2005?

Cunning and dangerous birds such as:

American Avocet
Brewer's Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Yellow Bittern
Black-necked Stilt
Long-Billed Curlew
Barrow's Goldeneye
Bald Eagle
Golden Eagle
Snowy Egret
Northern Flicker
Pied-billed Grebe
Ruffed Grouse
Cooper's Hawk
Northern Harrier
Swainson's Hawk
Black-crowned Ngiht-heron
Stellar's Jay
American Kestrel
Killdeer
Western Kingbird
Horned Lark
Purple Martin
Northern Mockingbird
Nighthawk (apparently they couldn't even be bothered to identify what they killed)
Osprey
Short-eared Owl
Snowy Owl
Barn Owl (397!, most in Hawaii)
Brown Pelican
Semi-p Plover
Common Snipe
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Tree Swallow
Violet-Green Swallow
Black Tern
Whimbrel
Gila Woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Greater Yellowlegs

You can check the USDA site and see the same type of info for prior years.

We have to ask: exactly what could cause you to kill an American Avocet? Or a Western Kingbird?

And exactly where (and why) did they kill a Snowy Owl in Virginia in 2005?

More to come...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

URGENT---BINAC CONSERVATION ACTION ALERT!!!

Dear Friends;

We have had quite a few complaints lately about the site not being updated. Actually, they haven't really been complaints, more like statements: "The site hasn't been updated lately." Or even compliments: "The site hasn't been updated lately. (Thank God!)"

So, while we have been away losing all of our money in the Czech Republic and Manchester on our question to master the Japanese language, we decided that we needed to come back with a bang. Something big. Something important. Something serious and conservation-minded. We've seen other birding web sites do "action alerts" for critical conservation issues, and that's what we have here for you today. Please feel free to distribute this ACTION ALERT to any other birders, birding web site, homeless people, or prostitutes you see in the next 72 hours:

BINAC ACTION ALERT!!!

HELP SAVE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED AND HARASSED LONG-EARED OWLS!!!!

Recently, a group (flock? covey?) of rare Long-eared Owls has been "discovered" in a park on Chicago's near South Side, in an area known as the South Loop.

However, inconsiderate birders, dog-walkers, mailmen, and sanitation workers have been harassing these poor birds. Today, while standing vigil over the owls, we witnessed a serious altercation between a birder and a photographer over where they could stand on the sidewalk. This incident culminated in the the birder running the photographer over with his car, and a group of schoolchildren dragging the birder out of his car and stabbing him to death. This will probably be on all of the national news networks tonight. Anyway, this sort of thing has to stop, and we have the perfect solution:

We hereby call on the Wisconsin Humane Society to capture these poor, defenseless, homeless owls and deposit them at the nearby Brookfield Zoo where they will lead a comfortable life in the Green-breasted Mango exhibit. We also propose that Jim Stevenson be placed into this same exhibit, for his own safety from the cat-loving crowd.

The time to act is NOW!!!

Please contact Stuart Strahl at the Brookfield Zoo and Migrant Bird Sanctuary/Petting Zoo with this important BINAC CONSERVATION ACTION ALERT!!!

(For further information, please contact the City of Chicago's Long-eared Owl Protection Unit at
312-744-7606.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year--now get into your cage!!!

According to a post on IBET, our old pal, the illegally captured and transported Green-breasted Mango, was just released into one of the Brookfield Zoo's aviaries. See photos at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14630574@N08/