Controversial Elephant Death at San Diego Zoo

Critter News

An animal rights group has called for a federal investigation into the death of an elephant at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Here's the full article from the Los Angeles Times. Umoya, a 21-year-old African elephant, died Thursday, possibly due to injuries suffered during an attack by another elephant. The Northern California-based In Defense of Animals called for the Department of Agriculture, which does inspections of zoos, to investigate Umoya's death.

Foie Gras Disappearing From San Diego Restaurants

Critter News

Having said that though, I see that these types of protests have had an effect in the San Diego area. Here in Seattle, NARN (Northwest Animal Rights Network) has been staging protests at a local restaurant that serves foie gras. They've caught a lot of grief over it. They get laughed at by patrons and they are criticized by local paper The Stranger. I can't say I've always felt it was the best use of time.

US Judge Asked to Hear Case about Orcas

Critter News

US District Judge Jeffrey Miller called the hearing in San Diego after Sea World asked the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that names five orcas as plaintiffs in the case. PETA claims the captured killer whales are treated like slaves, forced to live in tanks and perform daily at its parks in San Diego, California and Orlando, Florida. Sea World san diego killer whales california entertainment Orcas PETA

Redgannet’s Year List 2014

10,000 Birds

Brant [sp] (Branta bernicla) 12/01/2014 San Diego River – Mudflats and Robb Field. Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera) 12/01/2014 San Diego River – Estuary. American Wigeon (Anas americana) 12/01/2014 San Diego River – Estuary. Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos) 12/01/2014 San Diego River – Estuary. Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) 12/01/2014 San Diego River – Estuary.

2014 67

FBI Lists Animal Rights Extremist as Most Wanted Terrorist

Critter News

Daniel Andreas San Diego, wanted for alleged involvement in 2 bombings in San Francisco has been listed by the FBI as one of their Most Wanted Terrorists. San Diego has ties to animal rights extremist groups. San Diego wears eyeglasses, is skilled at sailing, and has traveled internationally. He is known to follow a vegan diet, eating no meat or food containing animal products.

Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants

Critter News

San Antonio Zoo (Texas) Edmonton Valley Zoo (Canada), Buttonwood Park Zoo (Mass.), San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Calif.) This list was issued by In Defense of Animals last month. Here they are. Central Florida Zoo (Fla.), Niabi Zoo (Ill.), Topeka Zoo (Kan.), Honolulu Zoo (Hawaii), Wildlife Safari (Ore.), York's Wild Kingdom Zoo (Maine) tied with Southwick's Zoo (Mass.), Pittsburgh Zoo's ICC (Penn.). earned a dishonorable mention.

Zoos 109

PETA's Orca Lawsuit Dismissed by Federal Judge

Critter News

District Court in San Diego last October, complaining that the whales “were forcibly taken from their families and natural habitats, are held captive at SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld Orlando, denied everything that is natural to them, subjected to artificial insemination or sperm collection to breed performers for Defendants’ shows, and forced to perform, all for Defendants’ profit. Well, it's still historic and precedent-setting.

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It’s a girl! Discovery Cove welcomes new dolphin.

4 The Love Of Animals

Scientists at the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Reproductive Research Center in San Diego, Calif., A 3 ½ foot-long, 35-pound dolphin was born at Discovery Cove ® on Friday, November 30 at 10:22 a.m. Just look at that beautiful baby! This dolphin calf is the first born at Discovery Cove that was conceived through the use of “sperm-sexing” research, which involves separating sperm carrying a female-producing X chromosome from sperm carrying a male-producing Y chromosome.

A mixed roost.

10,000 Birds

A higher tide than today might have ventured up the San Diego River, but not very far. At the top of Newport Bay in Orange County, Ca., the tide is almost spent.

2019 75

Sand Point Family Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon (2015 Lodi Appellation)

10,000 Birds

I just got back this week from my second-ever birding vacation to California, this time to the three southernmost counties of the state: San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial. I actually didn’t see any California Quail this trip and San Diego’s more of a beer town, anyway – arguably the best in the country at the moment – but I’ve yet to find a California Thrasher or California Gnatcatcher on a bottle of anything.

2018 43

Migration and More: A Bird News Update

10,000 Birds

Staff from the San Diego Zoo think so. The best guess scientists have about the “mystery goo” that sickened hundreds of birds in San Francisco Bay earlier this year is “a polymerized oil similar to a vegetable oil.” With fall migration well underway everywhere, it’s a good time to see what’s flying in bird news.

2015 67

1,200+ Canines Don Tiaras & ‘Tails’ This Week for Doggy Proms

4 The Love Of Animals

Doggy proms will be held throughout the week at Best Friends Pet Care centers in the Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Denver, San Diego and Houston metro areas, across Connecticut and New Jersey, and in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Charlotte and at Best Friends Pet Care center at Walt Disney World in Florida. It’s prom season for teens everywhere — and that includes the canine kind!

2013 163

Birding California: A Regional Primer

10,000 Birds

Southern California pelagics (San Diego to Morro Bay). Southern California coast (Orange County north to San Luis Obispo County). Yellow-billed Magpies are found in the northern counties, and the Carrizo Plain (San Luis Obispo County) is a favorite location for many California birders ( Mountain Plovers , Burrowing , Short-eared and Long-eared Owls , LeConte’s Thrasher , Mountain Bluebirds ). San Diego.

Seeking Out Unwelcome Guests

10,000 Birds

So when Nutmeg Mannikin was finally, at long last, added to the ABA list last summer, it was a foregone conclusion that those birders at the ABA’s San Diego rally, of which I was one, would need to make a trip out of our way to get it. Leaving aside the fact that an urban park in San Diego is anything resembling an “natural” environment in the first place (though there were Wrentits, a California near-endemic, around).

2014 76

Splitsville

10,000 Birds

I have seen Mallards in places as distant as San Francisco and Munich. This Western Grebe was from just north of San Diego.

2020 72

This Week in Bird(ing) News: The Good, the Bad, and the Huh?

10,000 Birds

Sea World San Diego just welcomed the world’s first “test-tube” penguin. First, let’s start with the good: Scientific testing of drones near birding hotspot Cape May, NJ has been postponed to avoid messing with Red Knots and Piping Plovers (like the cutie above that Corey photographed there a few years back). (On On the flip side, drones disguised as raptors might be able to keep birds from colliding with planes and wind turbines.).

2014 77

The Power of Pets

4 The Love Of Animals

San Diego; Austin, Texas; Miami; and Portland, Ore. Community Dog Walks Will Be Co-Hosted by local YMCAs in Cities across the Country. Mars Petcare announced it will sponsor a series of “Woof Walk” fun runs as part of THE POWER OF PETS™ program for 2011. Co-hosted by local YMCAs nationwide, the events will feature a two- to three-kilometer community dog walk, as well as healthy and fun activities for the whole family.

2011 116

Bird Litigation: “Standing” and the California Gnatcatcher

10,000 Birds

range largely consists of valuable real estate along the Southern California coast and urban development around San Diego and Los Angeles has eliminated much of its habitat. The coastal subspecies of California Gnatcatcher ( Polioptila californica californica ) can be found in sage scrub that was once abundant from Ventura County to northern Baja California. But its U.S.

2019 70

Meet The Gray Thrasher

10,000 Birds

My first experience with this bird was near the fishing village of San Evaristo, on the Sea of Cortez, 50 miles north of La Paz, Mexico. As of a few months ago, there was a sighting of a meransi across the US/Mexico border and up into the San Diego area. Tom Brown grew up in the high desert area of Central Oregon. His love for birds and photography started at a young age.

2016 53

Lifer Ocean

10,000 Birds

This month I was in San Diego, helping out with and participating in the American Birding Association’s San Diego rally. Highlights from the boat ride include Short-eared Owl (apparently heading to the mainland from San Clemente Island), a hummingbird species, some type of sparrow (consensus seemed to head towards Spizella but no one saw it well, and a Spotted Towhee, quite possibly a lifer for as many in our east-coast heavy group as any of the seabirds.

2013 69

Unlikely Healer Walks on Three Paws

4 The Love Of Animals

Half a decade ago, in a little mountain town about 60 miles northeast of San Diego, a feral kitten dragged his front left leg uselessly. School children in Sacramento and conference attendees in San Diego who met the dog quickly got the message, and the excitement, that no one needs to be defined by their circumstances when Tink raced toward them.

2011 158

Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus

10,000 Birds

Slightly further south of where these pictures were taken, from southern Orange County south to Baja California, the subspecies called the San Diego Cactus Wren or Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis , is a California Species of Special Concern because of habitat fragmentation and destruction and a marked decline in the population. Back in December when I was in Orange County, California, I enjoyed my early morning walks to and through Carbon Canyon Regional Park.

2013 61

From the Mailbag

Animal Ethics

Hi I have a friend who lives in San Diego, CA who has recently run into some problems with her apartment management. This month the management posted announcements stating that as of January 2007 (3 months ago, even though announcements were only posted this month) their new policy was that all cats must be declawed on their front feet, or else cat owners will face eviction. My friend is horrified by this.

Animal Rights

Animal Ethics

PETA's latest publicity stunt was to file a lawsuit in federal court alleging that five orcas at SeaWorld in San Diego are slaves for purposes of the 13th Amendment. I'm a longtime proponent of animal rights, but this suit is ridiculous. First, the 13th Amendment was designed to abolish human chattel slavery. Applying it to nonhuman animals is a stretch. Second, it is not a necessary condition for the possession of rights (legal or otherwise) that one be a person.

A flashy blue surprise

10,000 Birds

There is a small resident population established directly north of us, in the San Diego county area, as well as in and around the Tijuana, Mexico area. Walking up the ramp, from the docks here at Marina Palmira, on my way to the adjacent sidewalk that border the marina, I was literally blasted with an amazing flash of blue!

2018 40

Arctic Loon at Bonelli Park

10,000 Birds

Sunshine and surfing, deserts and wildfires, Hollywood and San Diego. Yet, somehow, on 31 May one was discovered on Puddingstone Reservoir, the large man-made lake that is the center of Bonelli Park, a nearly 2,000 acre expanse in San Dimas, just east of Los Angeles. Anyway, Sunday morning came and I made the quick drive up to San Dimas from my in-laws house in Yorba Linda.

2013 67

The Truth Is Out There

10,000 Birds

Recently a Fork-tailed Flycatcher was reported from a park in San Francisco, a long ways away from its home in Central and South America. Pin-tailed Whydah at Sutro Heights Park, San Francisco, CA. Birding the border area of San Diego, CA, my colleague Seagull Steve almost had a brain aneurysm when confronted with a female White-collared Seedeater earlier in the year. Fork-tailed Flycatcher is a vagrant that ABA Area birders unashamedly lust for.

2012 72

Rogue Ales & Spirits: Outta Line West Coast India Pale Ale

10,000 Birds

The aroma is an inviting throwback to a time around 2010 when West Coast IPAs – especially from San Diego – were the biggest thing in brewing: it’s brash and hoppy, with big doses of tropical fruit, citrus, and pine. Apologies for the unintended three-weak break here at Birds and Booze. I was on vacation in Peru for nine days and meant to schedule a few reviews for my absence.

2019 43

In the Weeds

10,000 Birds

It’s my first return to Prospect Park since my overwhelming San Diego adventure and things seem quiet, despite favorable overnight winds and gushing reports of a wild sparrow bonanza the previous day. In honor of fall, and of the Chipping Sparrow that just smacked itself (thankfully not too hard) against my balcony window, here’s a blast from the past: Oct. The morning is cold, and it’s damp, although not the buckets-from-the-sky affair that yesterday was.

2014 74

Searching for the Elusive and Less-Colorful: The Sinaloa Martin

10,000 Birds

They packed up in June of 2013 and headed south from San Diego with the southern tip of South America as their destination. Kathi Borgmann and Josh Beck are living the dream of many a North American birder. Like so many trips this one is more about the journey than the destination which brings us to why they have a guest post (hopefully the first of several) on 10,000 Birds.

2013 78

Stuck in the middle (of the AOU/COS meeting)

10,000 Birds

I learned a lot about why Wood Thrushes (like the one Corey photographed above) are less efficient at migration than adults (like human kids, they seem to make more pit stops along the way), and that Dark-eyed Juncos which spend all year in San Diego seem to have undergone a fairly recent genetic shift toward “sedentariness.” I’m not an ornithologist. I don’t even play one on TV.

2013 76

Cliff Swallows and Pest Management

10,000 Birds

I know it sounds strange, especially when the folks at Mission San Juan Capistrano are trying to coax them back by playing recordings of the bird’s mating calls. Salmon, UC Cooperative Extension, San Diego Co.; Some people consider Cliff Swallows ( Petrochelidon pyrrhonota ) pests! Because I am a local Audubon board member, I was recently contacted by a bird lover who witnessed Cliff Swallow nests being destroyed at the marina where they dock their boat.

2012 57

Close Encounters of the Cuckoo Kind

10,000 Birds

They packed up in June of 2013 and headed south from San Diego with the southern tip of South America as their destination. Kathi Borgmann and Josh Beck are living the dream of many a North American birder. Like so many trips this one is more about the journey than the destination which brings us to why they have a guest post (hopefully the first of several) on 10,000 Birds.

2013 69

For the Love of Ants

10,000 Birds

They packed up in June of 2013 and headed south from San Diego with the southern tip of South America as their destination. Kathi Borgmann and Josh Beck are living the dream of many a North American birder. Like so many trips this one is more about the journey than the destination which brings us to why they have had a series of guest posts on 10,000 Birds.

2014 78

Red-crowned Parrots at Irvine Regional Park, Orange County, California

10,000 Birds

Quite a few species are well-established and breeding from San Diego to Los Angeles and beyond. Southern California is loaded with parrots. Many escapes and introductions have taken place over the years and some species have found the warm, dry climate to their liking. Red-crowned Parrot in Irvine Regional Park Despite the number of species involved only one, the Red-crowned Parrot , is considered countable by the California Bird Records Committee.

The Wild and Crazy Emu

10,000 Birds

All the information on the Emu in this post was gleaned from Wikipedia (with loads more information) but here are a few other good sources: Unique Australia Animals , the San Diego Zoo , and the Internet Bird Collection. The Emu is the second largest living bird in the world by height, second only to the Ostrich. It is also the largest bird native to Australia 1. They can be rather intimidating when they are close up and looking at you eye to eye.

2014 57

The Great Hummingbird Nest Heist

10,000 Birds

You see it was about now that the non-resident owner of the boat had decided to move his boat back to his home town of San Diego. Tom Brown grew up in the high desert area of Central Oregon. His love for birds and photography started at a young age. Thru the course of time, travel, and a lot of different occupations, he ended up living in Seattle, and met a girl with a sailboat. They’ve been traveling the world ever since!

2016 63

What’s the Next ABA-Countable Exotic?

10,000 Birds

Outside of Florida, there are also growing populations in Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Houston. Red-masked Parakeet, a near-threatened endemic of southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru, has sizeable population clusters in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. These are the famous parakeets of the documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill , which is based on the population in San Francisco.

2015 54

A Different Kind of Spring

10,000 Birds

I know Seagull Steve, who is slaving away on Snowy Plover and Least Tern monitoring in San Diego, is busy as well, but he can’t help but reflect on how different his current job is from his last spring gig. Broad-winged Hawks are one of the most abundant northbound migrants at Swainson’s Hawk Bird Observatory, often with over 100,000 (and sometimes many more) being counted on their way north every spring. One cannot rule as The Greatest Birder In The World on his own.

2012 70

On Not Chasing Grace’s Warbler

10,000 Birds

The southwestern US is still undiscovered country for me – barring one trip to San Diego and a handfull of layovers in Las Vegas, I’ve never been – and I had imagined a Grace’s Warbler darting out of a treetop in Nevada or New Mexico to add a flash of color to my first real exploration of the region. I got word of the Grace’s Warbler a bit late in the game.

2012 66

From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

Judith Abeles San Diego, March 26, 2007To the Editor: Re “ Mr. Puck’s Good Idea ” (editorial, March 26): Thank you for writing about the restaurateur Wolfgang Puck and his desire to buy meat raised humanely. This issue is an important one and needs to be talked about. If we are to live in a more peaceful world, we must abandon the cruelty on our plates. Kristina Cahill Long Beach, Calif.,

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

10,000 Birds

At one point, Hayward, in San Diego for a pelagic that turns out to be cancelled and desperate for bird #700, must choose between a Curlew Sandpiper on Plum Island and a Blue-footed Booby in New Mexico. 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.”

2016 55

The Horned Guan in Chiapas

10,000 Birds

They packed up in June of 2013 and headed south from San Diego with the southern tip of South America as their destination. By fortune of our staying two months in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, we were able to get to know Jose-Luis and meet Fernando when he visited San Cristóbal for CECAM (Congreso para el Estudio y Conservación de las Aves en México). Kathi Borgmann and Josh Beck are living the dream of many a North American birder.

2014 70