Terrible News. US Supreme Court Strikes Down California "Downer Cow" Law

Critter News

Clearly a win for the damn livestock industry. It was a question of federal vs. state authority. Sucks. And it was a unanimous decision. Read the full story at CNN. A state law mandating "humane treatment" of downed livestock headed for the slaughterhouse was unanimously overturned Monday by the Supreme Court.

The Age of Mass Extinction

Critter News

Sorry to be a downer, but here's an article that appeared in the Huffington Post. It's basically an interview with University of Washington Professor Peter Ward, whose book the End of Evolution I read over a decade ago. It discussed the mass extinction going on at the time. Unfortunately, nothing has changed. extinction

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PETA Uncovers Horrible Conditions at Land O'Lakes Supplier

Critter News

Over the course of several months, the investigation documented deplorable, filthy conditions for cows on the farm, such as pens that were filled with deep excrement (see video and photos), and cows who suffered from ailments and conditions so severe that they collapsed and became "downers" but were not put out of their misery or given veterinary care in a timely manner, if at all. Not a pretty picture.

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Update on National Meat Association vs. Brown

Critter News

At issue is Section 599f of the California Penal Code, which, among other things, prohibits slaughterhouses from purchasing, receiving, selling, dragging, or pushing non-ambulatory animals, also known as “downers,” and requires immediate euthanasia of such animals. Did anyone know this was going on? The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently heard arguments in National Meat Association v.

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Endangered and Disappearing Birds of the Midwest by Matt Williams

10,000 Birds

I’m hardly the first person to observe that it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed by bad environmental news, and the title Endangered and Disappearing Birds of the Midwest sounds like a pretty major downer. Yet that is not the overall impression that I came away with while reading this solid and attractive new title from Indiana University Press.

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Docu-series Offers Bird’s-Eye View of, Well, Birds

10,000 Birds

Both images by John Downer Productions and courtesy of PBS/Nature. Did you ever wonder what the world looks like through a bird’s eyes? Now is your chance to find out. Beginning on Sep. 4, and for six consecutive Wednesdays, PBS will air a special Nature miniseries called “Earthflight.” ” (Check your local listings for exact times. Not in the U.S.? After each episode airs, you’ll be able to stream it at pbs.org/nature.).

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of October 2018)

10,000 Birds

It was an incredibly easy twitch with the only downer being the bird’s tendency to stay deep in the reeds. Autumn in New York blazes with abundant charms, but the flaming foliage and delicious fall harvest comes with some downsides, at least for those with evil seasonal allergies. How is a person supposed to enjoy fall migration when every trip outside triggers paroxysms of sneezing?

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So, What Do Robins Mean? or, Spring-Watch Continued

10,000 Birds

But two days ago, this Debbie Downer got her comeuppance! Late winter, or second winter, or whatever you want to call it, continues its slow march into March. A week ago, a classmate eagerly told me about his sighting of an American Robin near his home. Spring, surely? Of course, one Robin does not make a spring, and I told him about the hardy individuals who winter in the north, even in such a harsh north as this one. He took it in good spirits.

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The Summer Doldrums

10,000 Birds

Nothing is quite as much of a downer to a birder than the summer doldrums. Migration hasn’t really kicked in, the breeders aren’t tied to breeding territories any more, and it is hot and sweaty outside. Uncomfortable weather and a lack of birds make birders grumpy. What can a bird blogger do but try to write his way out of the summer doldrums? Nothing! I’m sorry, dear reader, for inflicting upon you once again my dreadful doggerel.

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Central Waters Brewing Company: Brewhouse Coffee Stout

10,000 Birds

Today on Birds and Booze , we’re going to be mixing our uppers and downers. Before you get too excited, relax: it’s only a coffee beer. But it is a good one: Brewhouse Coffee Stout is a specialty release brewed by Central Waters Brewing Company of Amherst, Wisconsin using coffee roasted in-house by Emy J’s Coffee House and Café in nearby Stevens Point.

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Hey, What About the Great Auk?

10,000 Birds

In 1952, at least in the US, no one wanted to be a Debbie Downer. So as some folks may have noticed, it seems that the centenniel of the Passenger Pigeon’s extinction is garnering a bit of press. Good, I say. A lot of folks, including this very blog, are using this as an occasion to memorialize not just the Passenger Pigeon but the extinct birds of the Holocene as a group. This got me wondering, what was the centennial of the last Great Auk like?

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Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus

10,000 Birds

But I, of course, live in the east and the lack of Vesper Sparrows is a downer because when any species is in decline it is depressing but also because they are pretty darn neat sparrows. Any day of birding in New York State that includes a sighting of a Vesper Sparrow is a better-then-average day.

In Search of New York’s Breeding Birds

10,000 Birds

The only downer was that they did not come close. On Saturday I awakened at 3:30 AM, tiptoed out of the house as quietly as I could, and headed north and west to Sullivan County, the first of three counties I planned to visit in a series of surgical birding strikes to see (or hear) the birds I had thus far missed this year as they migrated through New York City.

Disappointed with a Florida Fork-tailed Flycatcher

10,000 Birds

To be honest, this was actually a bit of a downer for me. Steve Walter is a New York nature photographer, birder, and long-time member of the New York City Butterfly Club. Readers of 10,000 Birds who pay attention will remember him from when he showed Patrick and me some really cool damselflies out in Suffolk County. This blog post is written by Steve and by writing it he risks inciting the wrath of a horde of North American birders.

Getting Emotional

Creature Talk

Sorry this post is such a downer… I guess it’s just one of those days.). Sometimes being an animal rights advocate is emotionally exhausting. Today is one of those days. Last night I was watching Animal Planet, as I often do, and the show was about polar bears in the wild. There was a mama polar bear and her 2 cubs who were not yet full grown, but also not tiny.

Lost Among the Birds: A Review of a Big Year Book

10,000 Birds

The chapter titles, one for each year, thankfully change from downers like “The Bluebirds of Unhappiness” to the knowingly corny (“Winning the Booby Prize” wins the prize). I’m not always a Big Year groupie, and it took me a while to start following Neil Hayward’s Accidental Big Year. But, by December 2013, my eyes, and the eyes of birders across the country, were fixed on Neil and where he was headed next, and if—that huge if—he would see “The Bird.”

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10,000 Birds

No one, aside from your therapist, wants to spend time with a Debbie Downer. Quiz 3. Good day to you, my fine fellow birders. How is your August progressing? As you read this, I am riding my trusty Grizzly Bear through the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park, helping my colleague Seagull Steve find some new birds. Birding by bear is by far the best way to view the park, although it seems to terrify the hoofed animals.

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