Today, in honor of the most wonderful mom in the world (mine), I am posting adorable pictures of birds taking care of their babies.
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I am thrilled to announce that the ducklings are back, and as adorable as ever. There were, in fact, two separate groups. I shall call them the Itsy Bitsy Group and the Fluffily Adorable Group. Both groups were down in the pond and the creek that run near my house. Having seen these precious little babies last year, my fiance and I have been going on walks solely to see them again this year.
We saw the Itsy Bitsy Group first:
They were definitely the younger group, so tiny and squee! But they were a little shy, so this is as close as we could get:
There’s no feeding the ducks in this area, which I do understand, even if I would love to lure them closer.
On our way back, the trail runs alongside the creek, and we got up-close and personal with some more ducklings! These were far less shy, although they kept a weather eye on us.
Now we’re just waiting for the quail to hatch their ridiculously tiny offspring. Nothing like some darting, fluffy pinballs to make your day!
So, dear readers, which baby animals do you like to go out and *squee* at?
Today, in Adorable News, I bring you: The Hedgehog Cafe.
Anyways, the Harry Cafe can be found in the Roppongi District of Tokyo.
The name “Harry” stems from a wordplay on the Japanese word for hedgehog.
For $9-11, you can go pet and play with hedgehogs (presumably while drinking tea? It is a cafe after all… Then again, maybe not.)
Mizuki Murata, who works at the cafe, told Reuters, “We wanted to show people the charm of hedgehogs, which give the impression of being hard to handle. We wanted to get rid of that image by letting people touch them.”
She added, “The cutest thing about hedgehogs is getting them to finally open up and show you their face.”
And what cute faces!
P.S. Did you know that a group of hedgehogs is called an array or a prickle? A prickle of hedgehogs!
So what do you think, readers? Would you like to pet a hedgehog, or are they too prickly for you?
Most of us haven’t had the (mis?)fortune of seeing a cougar in real life. Maybe at the zoo, but even then they like to hide. These two wildlife officers in Utah come across one stuck in a bobcat trap, and they don’t have any tranquilizer darts handy to help them free it. So…they make do.
These guys are pretty brave in my book – that was not a risk-free procedure! But the cat is free and hopefully fine.
Seeing creatures up close like that (even on camera) always leaves me in awe at their design. Who can not be impressed by that beautiful creature? Plus, that cougar reminds me of a character in my next book… You’ll see!
‘Cause this guy has one. Check it out:
This penguin swims thousands of miles every year to visit the Brazilian man who saved his life. Joao Pereira de Souza found this Magellanic penguin crippled with oil-slicked feathers and close to death near his home. Joao cleaned him up and nursed him back to health. Now the penguin, dubbed JinJing, has adopted him.
“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” de Souza told Globo TV. “No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if they do. He lays on my lap, lets me give him showers, allows me to feed him sardines and to pick him up.”
Although it’s not common, penguins do sometimes end up in Brazil after getting sent a little off course by currents. But I’m pretty sure this is the only one trying to replace dogs as man’s best friend.
Drones are an increasing problem, cluttering the skies, poking their noses where they shouldn’t be, and getting up to all kinds of mischief. Dutch police have gone back to nature in trying to solve this problem: eagles.
That’s right, these here are drone-killing eagles:
CNN reports: Dutch cops train eagles to hunt drones
Drones are now readily available to the public (and let’s face it, they’re pretty cool). My fiance even has one. I mean, it’s tiny and the battery only lasts about 10 minutes, but still. They’re proliferating. And when they’re getting too close to airports and flight-paths, measures need to be taken to protect the more important objects hurtling through the air – you know, the ones carrying people.
There is technology that “detects radio signals from rogue drones and uses tracking technology to force the drone to land,” which is pretty cool, even though it’s only in the research stage. But we all know as software improves, some drones will become impervious to that.
CNN lists some other countermeasures:
Countermeasures cited in the report included signal jamming, lasers, and the deployment of missiles, rockets and bullets, where it’s acknowledged there is high risk of collateral damage, and potential for “catastrophic damage” if they miss their target.
But eagles are pretty awesome. Let’s hear it for more eagles. Because what could possibly go wrong?
There are some falcons in Morocco that, around egg-hatching season, take some pretty extreme measures to keep their food “fresh.” Why eat rotten bird when you can “[stuff] small birds into small crevices, ensuring they were tightly wedged in and unable to escape,” or dropping “small migratory birds [into] holes and fissures with their flight and tail feathers removed” so they couldn’t fly away. Now, I know nature can be cruel, and I don’t doubt that having fresh food for the hatchlings is an evolutionary advantage, but…yikes. This is downright creepy.
Haven’t had enough cruel animal brilliance? How about this one. There are many stories and evidence to suggest that birds of prey in Australia are starting fires to flush out prey. They’re not just taking advantage of existing wildfires that drive small creatures from their homes. Oh no, They are “picking up smoldering sticks and dropping them in unburnt territory.” It’s another creepy, evolutionarily advantageous behavior.
“Reptiles, frogs and insects rush out from the fire, and there are birds that wait in front, right at the foot of the fire, waiting to catch them,” Gosford said. Small fires often attract so many birds that there is insufficient fleeing prey for all, so a bird that was being beaten to its lunch might benefit from starting a new fire with less competition.
So yeah, you could say that these birds are scarier than you. When was the last time you started a fire to flush out lunch?
I was browsing animal news on National Geographic when I came across this: Healthy Diet Helps 183-Year-Old Tortoise Feel Young Again …And I immediately did a mental facepalm.
Am I the only one who immediately thought of all those cheesy alarmist/click-me-now-before-you-think ads that permeate the internet? Like this headline: “Enjoy Flat Abs With These 10 Super Foods” or this one: “30 Mind Blowing Photos You Won’t Believe Are Real.” We’ve all seen the ads. They’re impossible to avoid, even with the best ad-blocker.
I mean, I’m happy that Mr. 183-Year Old Tortoise is feeling better, but don’t you feel like, if you read the article, someone’s going to try to sell you a dieting program or phish your information? I’m not sure what my point is, but I thought it was hilarious and wanted to share.
In any case, that’s one very old tortoise, and it’s entirely possible I’ll die before he will. Live long and prosper, Jonathan The Tortoise.
So this is a little disturbing:
An anonymous hunter shot the above cougar in Idaho. And it evidently has… horns? teeth? growing out of its head.
The hunter didn’t know it, but he stumbled across the machinations of an evil scientist creating an army of mutant animals! Maybe. …Okay, probably not.
Still, it’s a little disconcerting. IFLS has more details, but in short, no one knows what exactly is up with this twisted kitty.
Here are the theories:
“Firstly, it could be that it has a teratoma. This is a rare type of tumor that spawns a grotesque growth capable of containing hair, bone, teeth, and even parts of limbs or organs. These tumors are incredibly rare in humans, although there have been a few isolated examples in the animal kingdom among dogs, horses, and other mammals.
Second, it could be the remnants of a “conjoined twin” that possibly died in the womb and was absorbed by the mountain lion.
Lastly, it could be the result of an injury to the cougar’s teeth or jaw, which healed in an unfortunate way. Zach Lockyer, a local wildlife biologist, told Idaho State Journal that this is perhaps the least likely of the possibilities as the image doesn’t appear to show any injury or trauma around the jaw.”
So readers, what do you think caused it? Teratoma, conjoined twin, trauma, or evil scientist?