Bites at Animal Planet

Birds

5 Dec

Have You Ever Seen an Owl Swim?

This great horned owl was attacked by a pair of peregrine falcons. Though much larger than the falcons, the owl knew better than to fight back against the smaller birds, which kill other birds by dive-bombing into them at speeds of over 200 mph.

Instead, it plunged in to waters of Lake Michigan to escape. Owls and other large birds don't enter the water willingly, but their light bodies float and they can use their wings to do a breaststroke and swim, as this owl shows.

Fortunately for the owl, it survived the attack and flew away after it reached the shore.

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

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Photo by Chris via Flickr Creative Commons.

 

18 Nov

Baby Goose Jumps Off Cliff - Dramatic Video

Life is tough in the wild. Baby barnacle geese learn that the hard way when leaving the nest for the first time. Check out this dramatic video of what barnacle geese goslings are up against when it comes time to strike out into the great big world. Talk about extreme cliff diving!

Barnacle geese are birds of the north. Their spring breeding grounds are the rocky cliffs in Greenland, Norway and Russia. In winter they fly south to England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and the Netherlands. 

As a species their populations are doing well. 

12178665936_7a85924b8b_bBarnacle geese. Photo by Åsa Berndtsson via Flickr Creative Commons.

 Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

 

 

5 Nov

Wildlife Photographers of the Year Named: See the Photos

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Duchess of Cambridge with overall winner Michael Nichols. © Trustees of NHM, London

Photographers from 96 countries contributed over 42,000 submissions for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition - and the winners have now been announced! The United States' Michael "Nick" Nichols won the overall award for his black and white photo of lions resting atTanzania's Serengeti National Park. Eight-year-old Carlos Perez Naval of Spain took home the Young Wildlife Photographer of the year award for his photo of a common yellow scorpion against the background of a shining sun.

Check out the other winners and finalists below!

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Winner - Black and White / Overall Winner - Wildlife Photographer of the Year: "The last great picture" by Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols (USA) 
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Winner - 10 Years and Under/Overall Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Stinger in the sun - Carlos Perez Naval (Spain)

Continue reading >

9 Oct

Animal Cruelty Now a "Crime Against Society," Will be Tracked by FBI

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Thinkstockphotos

In a big win for animals and animal lovers everywhere, the FBI will now begin tracking animal cruelty cases via the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and reports from local agencies, according to CatChannel.com.

Formerly, animal cruelty cases were classified under "all other offense" and they were difficult to track because a variety of local law enforcement agencies, animal control officers and humane society agents enforced animal cruelty laws. Under the inclusion, animal cruelty will be an offense in a distinct category simlar to that of murder, assault and arson crimes.

Simply put, animal cruelty is now a "crime against society" and this new classification should motivate law enforcement agencies to pay greater attention to animal cruelty cases - particularly those within the four categories: simple/gross neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse and animal sexual abuse.

For more info on the update, check out CatChannel.com.

See Tia and crew rescue pit bulls from a fighting ring, featured on the latest episode of Pit Bulls & Parolees, every Saturday at 10PM E/P.

12 Sep

Sitting Ducks, Surprise Tractors and More on Beaver Brothers

Beaver-bros-2Tune in this Sunday at 9:30PM E/P as the Beaver Brothers solve a variety of issues around Nova Scotia - and celebrate Charlie's 65th birthday.

In this week's 30-minute episode, Eddie and Mike try to surprise Charlie with a new birthday tractor, but it seems he was hoping for something bigger. With Mike trying to make sure Charlie's other birthday surprise goes on without a hitch, Charlie and Eddie work on solving a case of a hawk hungry for a rare breed of Black Indian Runner ducks - which must be solved without harming the bird.

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Will the brothers be able to solve the issue? Will Eddie and Mike be able to surprise Charlie? Tune in on Sunday to find out!

 

26 Aug

Umbrella Cockatoo Makes it Rain Dog Treats

Bj048 We can't help but laugh and cheer Spike the umbrella cockatoo on as he sends Milkbone treat after Milkbone treat down to his great dane friends.

Watch the video below:

Want to see even more cockatoos? Check out this one that can really shake a tail feather!

21 Aug

Orphaned Eagles Released into the Wild

Check out this news report of my friend Ed Clark, President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, releasing three young bald eagles back into the wild.

The eagles were all blown out of their nests by storms earlier this year, and have spent the last few months in captivity under the care of the vets and other staff at the Wildlife Center.  (Die-hard Animal Planet fans will remember the Wildlife Center from the series Wildlife Emergency that aired in the late 90s and early 00s.)

Speaking from experience, there is NOTHING that feels as good as releasing a wild animal back into its natural habitat.

 

Protect Eagles with the National Wildlife Federation. 

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Juvenile Bald Eagle. Photo by Ken Janes via Flickr Creative Commons.

 

9 Aug

RARE Wild Animals - Part 2

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Here is part two of my highlight on some of the rare wild animals the conservation organization Rare works to protect.  (See part one here.)

Yellow Eared Parrot
The population of the yellow-eared parrot is only about 1,000 since its rediscovery in 1998 near Roncesvalles, Colombia.  It is bright green with yellow ear patches and a dark, heavy bill. Considered critically endangered, it nests and lives among wax palms in a few areas of Colombia where it nests in the hollow trunks of the palm trees in cloud forests about 1800 – 3000 meters above sea level.  Its main food is fruit of the wax palm, which is itself an endangered species.  The yellow-eared parrot has declined dramatically in the face of hunting for food and habitat destruction for farming and cattle.

Here's more on this rare parrot species:

 

The bird’s habitat and survival are now better protected because of a Rare Pride campaign.  Water agreements have been forged between the government of Roncesvalles and the utility company, for watersheds supplying the town and several downstream locations. Water users pay a voluntary fee in their water bill that goes toward a water fund that provides an incentive for long-term owners to conserve the wilderness, forests and endangered yellow-eared parrot found in the area.   

Harlequin Frog
Colorful harlequin frogs are found in neotropics from Costa Rica to Bolivia. They belong to the genus Atelopus and include about 80 species.  Most live in forested mountains where rainfall is abundant, and most have only a small range or area where they live. Night-owls as well as daytimers, they are active 24/7.  Harlequin frogs are small-to-medium size amphibians (20-60 mm from the tip of the nose to the vent) with females always larger than males. Rising temperatures, habitat destruction, and the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus have wiped out dozens of species of harlequin frogs in recent years. Further, most of the harlequin frog species are listed as critically endangered.  

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Harlequin frog Photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons. 

For several years Rare worked to protect water sources in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, which feed the urban and rural systems of water from different parts of the city of Cuenca and provide habitat for endangered species such as the frog Atelopus Nanay, commonly known as the harlequin frog Jambatu Black Boxes.  Nanay means sadness in Quechua, deriving from the extinction of many species of frogs in this region. 

The local utility started a small water fee to support conservation projects upstream.  The Pride campaign aimed to show creating such water agreements are a “win-win" for people and conservation.  Some of the Andes’ most valuable ecological indicators and most threatened inhabitants are myriad frog species whose populations are so imperiled that numbers do not even exist in science.  Rare developed strong relationships with the Cajas National Park to work together in the reproduction of the species of harlequin frog Jambatu the Black Boxes, including a plan for reintroduction in riparian forest areas once they achieve an appropriate degree of recovery.

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Harleguin frog photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons.

Pride campaigns use proven marketing techniques to move the hearts and minds of local communities, accelerating the adoption and increasing the sustainability of the solutions. Rare has conducted over 250 Pride campaigns in more than 50 countries, empowering local communities across geographies and cultures to shift from resource users to become natural asset managers.

To see Rare’s work all over the world, click here.

 

5 Aug

RARE Wild Animals

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Long time readers know that I'm a naturalist National Wildlife Federation, one of Animal Planet's R.O.A.R. partners, and I sometimes highlight NWF's work in my Animal Oddities posts. In this post I want to give a shout out to a fellow conservation organizations, Rare.  Rare looks for proven conservation solutions and trains local leaders to inspire communities to adopt them and make them their own through its signature Pride campaigns. They are pretty awesome. 

And it just so happens that a lot of the species Rare works to protect through these campaigns are pretty odd. Here are two of the most unusual species they work with:

Leaf Cutter Ant
The Leaf Cutter ant is considered a delicacy in parts of South America.  During its reproductive season the Leaf Cutter ant’s abdomen swells and it flies around in a sexual flurry only to be caught and grilled by the local people.  An average nest of leafcutter ants contains over 5 million ants.  They are also known as 'parasol' ants because of the way they carry leaves above their heads.  The ants can carry over 50 times their own body weight.

Here's Jeff Corwin exploring these awesome ants.

Continue reading >

11 Jul

GOOOOALLLL: Animals as World Cup Announcers

Since the World Cup began in June, it’s been a long road of excitement, stress, disappointment, and, most of all, fun. Sadly, it is coming to an end but we’ll never forget our favorite memories of this year’s games, especially the best part of the entire World Cup: screaming GOOOOOOOOALLLLL along with our favorite Word Cup commentators! But, the World Cup excitement isn’t just reserved for people! Check out these animals taking part in the World Cup excitement and practicing their best GOOOOOOOOALLLL shout:

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Continue reading >

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Welcome to the Bites @ Animal Planet, where you can connect with the people who bring Animal Planet to life. Find out what's in the works here at Animal Planet, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.

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