BIRDS of prey are being bought in to tackle a pigeon problem which is keeping a visitor attraction’s most popular residents indoors.
The Deep aquarium in Hull has commissioned a local falconer to scare off pigeons, which have been roosting and making a mess on the attraction.
The attraction’s gentoo penguins have not been allowed out of their new enclosure onto an outdoor balcony because of fears they could pick up avian diseases from the pigeon droppings.
Chief executive Colin Brown said: “The penguins have this area outside where they can go, a little balcony, but the pigeons are nesting above them and they carry a lot of avian diseases, so we don’t feel we can let out the penguins in case they catch something from the pigeon droppings. “Equally we don’t want to kill the pigeons.”
He expects the problem to take some months to solve with the help of a five-year-old peregrine falcon and an 18-month-old Harris hawk.
He said: “A number of major events including Wimbledon have successfully scared the pigeons away using this method, so we thought it was worth a try.
“When the falcon and hawk are flown in a specific routine, it alters the pigeons’ roosting and nesting patterns.”
[via Yorkshire Post]
Tag Archives: gentoo
A new Gentoo penguin was hatched at the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid on December 29, 2010, weighing in at about 90 grams. What a cutie. The curator says that they may see more Gentoo eggs hatch this month as well as a few King penguin eggs. Oh, and they also have a live penguin cam going as well.
The webcam overlooking the gentoo population at the Edinburgh Zoo has become an internet hit this winter. People have been watching the penguins play in the snow and swim around in their pool. I’ve enjoyed watching penguins either in person at our local aquarium or by web cam to other sites. Be sure to check it out at the zoo’s web site. Also check out other penguin cams on our Web Cam page.
I’ve heard of gay penguins before, but I hadn’t heard of this. A couple of gay gentoos at Polar Land in Harbin, China, had attempted to snatch eggs from the feet of other penguins. Devious little guys, aren’t they? What’s more devious is that they would actually replace the egg with stones in hopes the parents would not notice. However, the other penguins in the zoo have indeed noticed and have ostricized the gay couple from their group.
Obviously the penguins have the desire to become fathers as nature has deemed, but wow, these little guys certainly aren’t being bird brains. I think I may have seen an episode of Law & Order about this, only with humans (and no rocks, maybe). Anyway, I find the switcheroo interesting since the chinstraps from the New York City Zoo (i.e. And Tango Makes Three) were trying to use stones to incubate. They were later given an egg from keepers to hatch and raise as their own.
The keepers of the zoo have fenced them off from the other penguins so their hatching season isn’t disturbed. I think that’s perfectly understandable, not cruel at all, though it’s sad for these male penguins.
[UPDATE: 12/16/08] The keepers at the zoo have given the penguins a pair of eggs from an inexerience first-time mother whose hatching ability wasn’t going so well. It turns out that they these male penguins are doing very well with their job. I know this would seem like stealing from the mother and giving the eggs to the other two because she’s not doing it right and that sounds like a horrible thing to do. In a natural environment, yes, I agree that interfering with a situation like this should not be allowed. This zoo, however, is trying to successfully breed and I’m sure they are doing this for the good of their breeding program (which is why they fenced off the gay gentoos in the first place).
This Gentoo was being chased by a couple of orcas. Luckily it managed to jump into this boat to hide out for a while. For the impatient, the penguin jumps in around 2:15. Cute little guy has no trouble hopping around the edge of the boat too. It’s also an interesting video where you can see the orca’s blowhole in operation. Well, enough about the orca. Look at that little penguin go!
These penguins had never known snow. Never seen it, certainly never slid their fat bowling-pin bodies down a bank of cool white. These were zoo penguins, born and bred. Their world was perpetually cool, but always indoors.
So keepers at the St. Louis Zoo were a little unsure how their penguins would react to seeing snow for the first time. They quietly ran a little experiment Tuesday. As more than 10 inches fell on the area, they selected which of the zoo’s 58 indoor penguins would go outside. They did not include the older birds, those with injuries or arthritis. They did not include the nesting or molting birds; it would be too stressful. They whittled the group to seven — six Kings and one Gentoo — and led them into the snow. They dove right in.
“That was unbelievable,” keeper Rick Smith said. “The reaction of the birds makes it worthwhile.”
Watch the video from KSDK Newschannel 5
The penguins on the sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia are laying, brooding eggs and hatching chicks in midsummer.