Cooper’s hawk killed; stink bug arrives; speak out against wolf killing; Paws for a Cause coming up

Cooper’s hawk killed by HawkWatch net at Mt. Hood

Despite Hawkwatch International‘s good intentions of catching and tagging migrating raptors for research, it was bound to happen sooner or later — the death of a captured bird. But we don’t know how often fatalities have occurred since the organization began trapping migrating raptors in 1995 on Bonney Butte near Mt Hood.

Check out these recent stories in the Oregonian:

Hawk Watch mishap: Cooper’s hawk killed by bow net at Bonney Butte

Hawk Watch crew makes big catch at Mount Hood: a golden eagle  (Includes a photo gallery.)

Hawk Watch International catches, releases sharp-shinned on beautiful Mount Hood day  (Includes a video.)

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s hawk. Courtesy Photo by Vince Mig.

A birder friend of mine who has witnessed the Bonney Butte captures — and was so unnerved by the experience she wrote a letter to the organization — questions the ethics of using live starlings or pigeons as bait birds to bring in the raptors. According to the Oregonian reporter who watched the captures, the bait bird is rarely touched by the raptors “and wears a stout leather jacket, just in case.” However, as my friend noted, the bait birds must nevertheless experience a tremendous amount of stress.

Wildlife research often forces us to grapple with ethical issues. A few years ago, friends and acquaintances of mine involved in orca research complained that the public often misunderstood their efforts.

Researchers sometimes use dart guns to acquire small plugs of tissue samples from orcas. The whales’ blubber is so thick and the plugs so tiny, the researchers are convinced the darting feels like no more than a pinprick to the animals. And the genetic information the researchers glean about the orcas is used to learn more about them and how to keep them from extinction. But the issue is not without controversy; see this story in The Seattle Times.

If we humans — ourselves animals with limited, albeit evolving, faculties — wish to help threatened species we must keep watching and evaluating research methods, embrace less intrusive methods when they become available, and stop the research as soon as we’ve acquired the sought-after information.

One thing is for sure; with global climate change creating rapidly changing environments for wildlife, research will become even more necessary.

What do you think?

Invasive stink bug arrives in Mosier

Stink bug

Brown marmorated stink bug. Photo by Tracie Hornung.

This invasive, Asian pest has the potential to wreak major damage on local crops as well as cedar and maple trees. And last week my husband found one on the outside of one of our windows. We sent a photo to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, which confirmed that it is indeed a brown marmorated stink bug.

Find out about the ODA’s efforts to control it: Oregon pursues biocontrol of brown marmorated stink bug

Predator Defense urges your support against killing of wolves

Although there are no wolves in the Columbia River Gorge, they probably once lived her. In any case, it’s a sad day when, as just happened last week, an entire pack is killed off in Washington because it preyed on cattle. See the story in the Spokesman-Review.

A Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on the issue is scheduled for Oct. 5th at 1111 Washington St SE #172, Olympia. The Wolf Management Plan is on the agenda at 1 p.m. for public discussion. This is your opportunity to voice your concerns over the plan which allows aerial gunning of an endangered species.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please contact the commission and be heard.

Mailing Address:
600 Capitol Way N.
Olympia, WA 98501-1091

Phone: 360-902-2267
Fax: 360-902-2448

Hood River Adopt-A-Dog’s First Annual Paws for a Cause event is October 18th

Save the date! The event will be at The Gallery at 301, 301 Oak Street, Hood River, from 5 -8 p.m. For inquiries call Hood River Adopt-A-Dog at (541) 354-1083 or check out Adopt-A-Dog’s website for more information about the program and the dogs.

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