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Thousands of Birds Found Dead Near Indian Lake And No One Knows What Killed Them

Wildlife experts in India are trying to make sens of the mysterious deaths of thousands of birds near the country’s largest inland lake. While the reported death toll is currently around 2,000, locals claimed that it could reach 5,000, as carcasses allegedly cover an area stretching from 12 to 15 km around the lake.

Sambhar Lake, 80km south-west of the city of Jaipur, is India’s largest inland lake and a popular gathering place for migratory birds like flamingos, storks, sandpipers, redshanks, black-winged stilts, among dozens of species. Last Sunday, however, locals alerted authorities that the lake shoreline had become an eerie graveyard for thousands of birds, with only a few dozen still left alive as far as the eye could see. There were reportedly so many bodies that when people first saw them, they mistook them for piles of cow dung, but it didn’t take them long to realize that they were really bird carcasses from more than 10 species.

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Indian Man Claims He Has Been Harassed by Crows for Almost Two Years

They say crows have great memory and never forget those who have wronged them, and the story of an Indian tractor driver who claims to have been constantly attacked by crows ever since they saw him pick up some of their hatchlings, a year and a half ago.

Mohanan, a tractor driver from Ambalavayal, a town in India’s Kerala state, has been carrying a stick and an umbrella to work every day, for over a year. It’s not that he fears getting attacked by dogs or that he hates rain, but that he needs to defend himself against the crows that always attack him whenever he approaches a bus station where he once picked up two crow hatchlings from under his tractor and placed them on the side of the road. As Mohan recalls, the following day, he and his colleagues found a small puppy covered in tar and washed it clean with kerosene, and he assumes the crow must have seen him and confused the puppy for the hatchlings that he had handled the previous day. The crows have been on his case ever since, harassing and attacking him whenever they see him.

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World’s Loudest Bird Produces a Mating Call as Loud as a Pile Driver

The male white bellbird, a 250-gram-heavy bird native to South America, produces the world’s loudest bird sound, according to a new scientific study.

Biologist Jeff Podos at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mario Cohn-Haft of Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia recorded the mating call of the male white bellbird, aka Procnias albus, and concluded that it was a good nine decibels louder than the sound of the previous holder of the title “world’s loudest bird”, the screaming piha, also a species native to the Amazon rain forest. Peak sound levels recorded during the bird’s mating call reached a whopping 125.4 decibels, way above the human pain threshold and equivalent to the sound made by a pile driver.

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Murder of Crows Has Attacked Man for Three Years After One of Their Young Died in His Hands

For the last three years, a man in India’s Madhya Pradesh state has been living a real-life daily nightmare inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Birds’. Every time he walks out of his house, he gets attacked by a murder of crows. The strange thing is the birds only target him.

Shiva Kewat, a daily wage labourer from Sumela village, says his troubles with crows began three years ago, due to a misunderstanding. One day, as he was walking on the street he noticed a crow chick stuck in iron netting, but despite his efforts to help the small bird escape, it died in his hands. Some of the rows must have seen the scene and assumed that he killed their young, because they’ve been attacking him ever since. Sometimes they come for him in groups, otherwise it’s just a single bird, but Kewat always carries a stick with him to fend off their sharp beaks and talons.

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Florida Vacationers Terrorized by Flock of Foul-Smelling Vultures

Owning a vacation home in West Palm Beach’s Ibis Golf and Country Club is a dream come true for most people, but for a couple of residents that dream quickly turned into a nightmare after their properties were taken over by dozens of black vultures.

Earlier this year, New Yorkers Anthony and Siobhan Casimano bought a vacation home in the Ibis Golf and Country Club for 702,000 dollar, but when they decided to vacation there, they were shocked to find it had actually been taken over by dozens, if not hundreds of black vultures. They were practically living in the pool area, had destroyed the property’s screened enclosures and did not appear too happy to share the place with its human owners. They pecked at their car, and vomited when they got too close, as a means of self defense. Despite their best efforts to have the issue resolved, the Casimanos remain unable to drive the vultures away and reclaim their expensive property.

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Aggressive Seagulls Keep Couple Hostage in Their Own Home for Six Days

An elderly couple in the UK claimed that they were held hostage by a pair of seagulls nesting on the roof of their Lancashire home. Every time they tried to leave the birds would become aggressive and attack them.

Roy and Brenda Pickard’s story sounds like a real life version of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Birds”. The elderly couple were held hostage in their own home by a pair of adult Herring Gulls after the birds’  chicks slipped on the roof of the house and landed onto the canopy directly above the front door. Every time Roy tried opening the front door, he was confronted by two angry squawking adult seagulls. One time, when he decided to take his chances and go outside, the 71-year-old was hit so hard on the back of the head that he had to be taken to the hospital for help. Local authorities have installed a gazebo outside the couple’s home, which should offer some protection, but that’s the best they can do for now.

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Rooster’s Loud Crowing Triggers Legal Battle Between Neighbors

Maurice, a proud rooster from the French commune of Saint-Pierre d’Oléron, has become an overnight celebrity after triggering a controversial legal battle with his loud morning crowing.

The story of the rooster who sang to loudly has become the topic of a fired-up debate in France. A local family has been sued because Maurice, one of their roosters, crows too loudly in the morning and disturbs some of the neighbors. The bird’s owners claim that they live in a rural environment, where crowing is a part of daily life, but because of an influx of tourists and seasonal residents looking for peace and quiet, the animal’s natural instincts have become a nuisance. They’ve tried keeping Maurice in the chicken coop until 8:30 in the morning, but that’s the best they can do, they said, because Maurice is a rooster, he has to crow. Still, their neighbors didn’t find that solution satisfactory so they filed a complaint at a regional court.

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Avian Latte Art – Hobbyist Barista Draws Portraits of Birds on Cups of Coffee

Ku-san, a hobbyist barista and bird lover from Japan, meticulously draws detailed portraits of various bird species on cups of coffee, using colored milk foam.

The amateur latte artist was inspired to create drinkable bird portraits on coffee by her own pet, Sakura, a pink Bourke’s parrot. She started posting the fruits of her painstaking labor on social media, and soon people started asking her to do portraits of their own birds. Her impressive portfolio of bird portraits on coffee includes cockatiels, sparrows, and parrots, but a more detailed look at her Instagram page reveals that she’s more than able to take on other animals, like wolves, bunnies and even cute cartoon characters.

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The Story of Tibbles, a Pet Cat That Allegedly Rendered a Bird Species Extinct in Less Than a Year

The Lyall’s wren was a species of small, flightless birds that once thrived on Stephens Island, in New Zealand. It’s one of the many species that have been rendered extinct by the reckless introduction of predators in their natural habitat, but what makes this bird’s story unique is that it was allegedly both discovered and wiped out by a house cat named Tibbles.

The lighthouse on Stephens Island was built in 1892, but the existence of a yet-undiscovered species of bird on this small patch of land was only reported a couple of years later, when assistant lighthouse keeper David Lyall moved in, along with a small staff and his pregnant cat, Tibbles. Lyall was a passionate naturalist and amateur ornithologist, and was looking forward to pursuing his hobbies on this previously uninhabited island, but little did he know that he would go down in history as the man who discovered the Lyall’s wren and indirectly caused its extinction, both in less than a year.

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Opium-Addicted Parrots Wreak Havoc in Indian Poppy Fields

Poppy farmers in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are forced to guard their fields day and night in a desperate attempt to fend off large groups of opium-addicted parrots who get high off the narcotic effects of poppy seeds.

Scattered rains have already affected poppy production in Neemuch district, but farmers here say that the increasing number of opium-addicted parrots that pillage their crops on a daily basis are making things even worse. Using loudspeakers and firecrackers to keep the birds at bay has failed and the farmers’ appeals to local authorities have fallen of deaf ears, so people have no choice but to guard the poppy fields day and night. But even so, the birds still come to get their fix dozens of time a day.

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Birds Drunk on Fermented Berries Cause Havoc in Minnesota City

Police in Gilbert City, Minnesota have been getting reports of birds acting erratically – flying into windows or moving traffic and acting confused. They recently issued a statement explaining that the birds are “flying under the influence” after feasting on fermented berries.

An early frost has caused several types of berries growing in the area around Gilbert to ferment earlier than usual, but that didn’t stop the local bird population from feasting on them. The problem is that, like human teenagers, young birds can’t handle their alcohol as well as mature ones, and the ethanol entering their system causes them to act strange. And as they are getting ready to fly south for the winter, many bird species tend to stuff themselves with whatever food they find in order to build fat for the long journey, causing them to get really drunk.

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Man Raises Ducklings as His Children, Now They Follow Him Everywhere

A South Korean man and the 21 ducklings he has been raising as his children ever since they hatched have been breaking the internet with their incredible bond. A video that recently went viral in the western world shows the cute birds following their “mother” on a mountain hike and listening to his every command.

The middle-aged man, whose name is not revealed in the video, has been taking care of his 21 ducklings ever since they were fertilized eggs, making sure the incubation period went smoothly, and even helping the tiny birds break through their shell when it came time to hatch. He was the first thing they laid eyes on in this world, and he has remained the most important figure in their lives since.

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Flamingo That Escaped Kansas Zoo in 2005 Is Spotted Living It Up 700 Miles Away, in Texas

An African flamingo that famously escaped Wichita’s Sedgwick County Zoo in 2005 has been on the run ever since. The freedom-loving bird was recently spotted hanging out with a flock of seagulls, in Lavaca Bay, Texas, 700 miles from the zoo it once called home.

The runaway bird is known as ‘No. 492’ because of the number on a plastic band still attached to its leg. Its legendary escape was due to an error by zoo staff who thought his flight wings hadn’t fully developed, so they didn’t bother cutting them. One night, the flamingo took advantage of some strong storm winds and escaped the zoo before staff even got the chance to determine its sex. The long-legged bird has been enjoying its freedom ever since, as the zoo never attempted to recapture it. That would be difficult to do anyway, both because sightings of No. 492 have been rare in the last 14 years, and because it was born in the wild and is wary of approaching humans.

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Polish NGO Puts GPS Tracker on a Stork, Gets Hit with Unexpected $2,700 Phone Bill

Polish environmental group EkoLogiczna recently had to pay a massive phone bill, after the SIM card in a GPS tracker they put on the back of a white stork, so it could collect data about the bird’s winter migration route, got stolen.

In April 2017, members of EkoLogiczna fit Kajtek, a white stork, with a GPS tracker so they could monitor his migration route to Africa, as well as his feeding habits. In the next year, the bird flew around 6,000 km and EkoLogiczna was able to collect the data they wanted, but in February of this years, something weird happened. On his way back from Africa to Poland, Kajtek stopped in Sudan, and “for unknown reasons” remained in the area for over two months, “travelling 25 kms in different directions during the day”. Then, on April 26, they lost the signal completely.

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Deadliest Flight – Taiwan’s Grueling Sea Races Kill Over One Million Pigeons Each Year

Every year, more than a million pigeons die while competing in Taiwan’s controversial pigeon sea races, a series of grueling events in which young birds are shipped far out to sea, released in the middle of nowhere and forced to fly home. According to several reports from animal rights organizations, less than 1% of them make it back to land.

The small island of Taiwan hosts more pigeon racing events than any other country in the world. A reported 500,000 Taiwanese race pigeons every year, competing for billions of New Taiwan dollars in prize money. Pigeon racing is such a big business that the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology once introduced an optional course on it, which proved very popular with both young and old pigeon racers. However, important notions taught during this course, like injury prevention and the use of performance enhancing drugs fly out the window during Taiwan’s seasonal sea races.

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