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Aruba Teil 1: Donkey Sanctuary

Februar 26th, 2009 Posted in Unser Amerika

newsletter_donkeysanctuary_febr_2009.pdf

Da mein blog-Beitrag über Aruba einfach nicht fertig werden will (Schreibblockade?), hier zumindest ein kleiner Einblick in das Leben auf Aruba. Es gibt dort das Donkey Sanctuary. Hier bekommen die Esel ein neues und artgerechtes Zuhause, die entweder wild auf der Insel leben und Gefahr laufen, überfahren zu werden, oder ausgesetzt und/oder mißhandelt wurden. Offenbar gibt es Menschen, die es lustig finden, auszuprobieren, wie lange es dauert bis ein Esel tot zusammenbricht, wenn man ihn an die Stoßstange eines Autos bindet und losfährt. Kranke Menschen gibt es auch im Paradies…

Freiwillige Helfer nehmen sich der Tiere an und opfern einen großen Teil ihrer Zeit und auch ihres Geldes für diese klugen, schönen Tiere.

Man kann einen der Esel adoptieren, um das Donkey Sanctuary zu unterstützen. Man kann aber auch bald online nette Esel-bezogene Kleinigkeiten kaufen. Natürlich kann man auch einfach mal auf die homepage surfen und sich an den Bildern der Esel erfreuen. Also auf geht´s!

www.arubandonkey.org

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Hitchcock in Hartford

Februar 14th, 2009 Posted in Unser Amerika

Flocking By Thousands

Capitol Crows

Abandoning Flatbush For More Regal Roost, Do Black Birds Bode Ill For Budget?

Crows at Riverside Park

Thousands of crows gather near Riverside Park at dusk in a communal roosting habit. The crows have been gathering in various locations around Hartford during the winter for years. (BOB MACDONNELL / HARTFORD COURANT / January 29, 2009)


Those thousands of crows that roost in Hartford’s West End trees on winter nights?

They’ve moved again — almost downtown.

After spending several years roosting near Flatbush Avenue by I-84, a colony of crows that sometimes numbers 15,000 or more birds has moved east, spending some nights in trees on the grounds of the State Capitol and of the Supreme Court and State Library complex across the street.

„They’ve been bopping around to different locations in Hartford,“ said Sylvia L. Halkin, a biology professor at Central Connecticut State University. Other nights they have been seen near Trinity College or the Mark Twain House or Putnam Street.

Before the crows roosted in the area near Flatbush, they spent winter nights off Capital Avenue in the West End, and, in the mid-’90s, roosted for a time in the trees on the grounds of Aetna Inc. Why they suddenly choose a new nighttime roost is a mystery.

„We never know why they move,“ Halkin said. Moreover, she asked, „How do they decide where they are going for the night? What kind of consensus process is going on?“

Human harassment or predation by great horned owls are two possible reasons for the move, but it might be something else, too, she said.

Crows roost communally only during winter, probably at least in part as a kind of protection against predators, biologists believe. Roosting crows often number in the tens of thousands, often with hundreds in a single tree.

The scientific literature indicates that crows cannot see that well at night, Halkin said, which might explain why they seem to roost in comparatively well-lit areas. Because they will sometimes move from one cluster of trees to another during the night, the artificial light may make it easier for them to see, she said.

The latest move has another odd wrinkle. The birds roosting near downtown are far fewer than when the colony was near I-84 — perhaps only 6,000 birds, down from 12,000 to 15,000 birds.

Halkin said it is possible that the roosting birds split up, and that a larger number may be roosting elsewhere, perhaps in a suburb. If so, „We’d love to hear about it,“ she said.