[Tweeters] Seattle Raven status; Bad reporting of bird strikes, Sequim

Ed Newbold ednewbold1 at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 20 11:16:27 PST 2009

Hi all,
In mid-December Delia and I were driving a block or two from the Junction in West Seattle and saw crows mobbing a bigger bird.  I got all ready to say “Red,” but was surprised to see a Raven instead.  The Crows in West Seattle may be giving up the fight: We saw them doing a lot better job attacking a Raven in Squamish on Sunday.
BAD REPORTING on airport strikes
Thanks for the interesting airport bird strike lists.
I’d like to call attention, at least to birders, that there is bad reporting going on in regard to bird strikes of airplanes.
When stories say “after striking a flock of birds,” as one by AP/New York Times did in the Seattle Times on Jan 19, for instance, they aren’t being helpful. 
The news media love to merge all 9000 species of birds together in their reports.  I recently wrote a letter when the Seattle Times ran a story that huge flocks of “birds” were creating mayhem in Denmark.  That’s like saying there are going to be a lot of mammals heading to the football stadium.
Most birds weigh a fraction of a pound, and large ones such as a female Red-tailed Hawk  tip the scales at 4 pounds.
By contrast, a Canada Goose weighs 10 pounds. (The goose is the ecological equivalent of a flying cow, as both are grass grazers that require a very large digestive tract since there is so little nutrition in grass.)
Add to that the fact that Canada Geese are relatively abundant, (thanks to the fact that most Americans especially in the East  have a behavioral disorder that causes them to crave spending time riding on lawn mowers) and  fly in flocks, and it’s clear that geese pose a qualitatively greater and different danger than “birds” in general and should be differentiated in news reports.  (Small birds can also bring a plane down but are less likely to, especially now with minimum bird ingestion standards on engines).
Sequim Trip,
 On Sunday, Delia and I and MA Rossing had 5 Wilson’s Snipe and a Dipper at Jimmy-come-lately creek by the Jamestown S’klallam  Casino, 5 Long-tailed Ducks at the John Wayne Marina, a huge flock of Brant at Graysmarsh plus a Merlin and Peregrine there. 
Thanks all, Ed Newbold  ednewbold1 at yahoo.com   Beacon Hill, Seattle

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