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Thu, 09 Dec 2021
The World for People who Think

Animals

Bizarro Earth

Dead birds rain down on towns half a world apart

It could be the plot of a horror film, but in two towns on opposite sides of the world the mysterious phenomenon of thousands of dead birds dropping out of the sky is all too real.

Officials are baffled by the unexplained deaths which have affected Australia and the U.S.

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Mystery as thousands of dead birds fall from sky in Australia

THOUSANDS of birds have fallen from the skies over Esperance and no one knows why.

Is it an illness, toxins or a natural phenomenon? A string of autopsies in Perth have shed no light on the mystery.

All the residents of flood-devastated Esperance know is that their "dawn chorus" of singing birds is missing.

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Tests confirm killer bees found in St. Bernard Parish

ARABI -- Testing from the Department of Agriculture and Forestry revealed a swarm of Africanized bees - more commonly known as "killer bees" - were discovered inside a St. Bernard home in October 2006, Department Commissioner Bob Odum said Friday.

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Wacky weather throws birds and bees off balance

MONTREAL -- If you think you're confused by this winter's warmer than usual weather, take a moment to ponder our feathered friends and furry neighbours.

While this season's record-breaking temperatures have offered humans a welcomed reprieve, the unseasonal weather has played havoc with the lives of birds and animals.

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Bird Deaths Shut Down Downtown Austin

AUSTIN, Texas - Police shut down 10 blocks of businesses in the heart of downtown Monday morning after dozens of birds were found dead in the streets, but officials said preliminary tests showed no air quality problems and the area reopened around 1 p.m.

As many as 60 dead pigeons, sparrows and grackles were found overnight along Congress Avenue, a main route through downtown. No human injuries or illnesses were reported.

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Dead birds shut down Austin

AUSTIN, Texas - Police shut down 10 blocks of businesses in the heart of downtown early Monday after dozens of birds were found dead in the streets, but officials said preliminary tests showed no dangerous chemicals in the air.

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Wild Bees Reject Genetically Engineered Crop

Major Impact on Pollination

Abstract. The ecological impacts of agriculture are of concern, especially with genetically modified and other intensive, modern cropping systems, yet little is known about effects on wild bee populations and subsequent implications for pollination. Pollination deficit (the difference between potential and actual pollination) and bee abundance were measured in organic, conventional, and herbicide-resistant, genetically modified (GM) canola fields (Brassica napus and B. rapa) in northern Alberta, Canada, in the summer of 2002.

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Head-banging Chinese snakes can predict earthquakes days in advance, say scientists

As Asia's telecom systems slowly recovered from the earthquakes that hit Taiwan this week, Chinese scientists said they had developed a new way of forecasting tremors - by observing the tendency of snakes to launch themselves headlong into walls.

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Duck die-off in Idaho sparks fears

BOISE, Idaho - The number of mallard ducks that have died along a creek in southeastern Idaho has climbed to 2,500, as puzzled wildlife officials awaited test results they hoped would provide clues to what is killing them.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Department ofHomeland Security officials expected to have results Thursday from the tests on tissue samples from the ducks' abdominal tract and on water samples from the creek.

The battery of tests at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's national laboratory in Wisconsin, the University of Idaho and Washington State University were expected to rule out an avian flu outbreak.

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Australian bushfires leave grisly trail of environmental damage

Tens of thousands of iconic Australian creatures including koalas and kangaroos may have died in fires that swept through vast tracts of southern Australia this week, environmentalists say.

The blazes have devastated thousands of hectares, razed clusters of homes and claimed one life since they began earlier this month.

But they will also leave a significant environmental legacy because of their impact on flora and fauna, according to Wildlife Victoria spokeswoman Sandy Fernee.