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Top medic operates on New Zealand’s ‘lost’ penguin

WELLINGTON (AFP) – One of New Zealand’s top surgeons was enlisted to operate on an ailing Emperor penguin found on a beach near Wellington, some 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) from its Antarctic home. More used to dealing with sick humans than poorly penguins, surgeon John Wyeth on Monday performed a…

Emperor penguin makes rare appearance in New Zealand

WELLINGTON (AFP) – Wildlife experts said they were astonished Wednesday at the appearance of an Emperor penguin in New Zealand, some 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) from his Antarctic home. The penguin, a juvenile male, arrived at a beach on the Kapiti Coast, 40 kilometres north of the capital Wellington on…

Birds vanishing in the Philippines

The number of birds flying south to important wintering grounds in the Philippines has fallen sharply this year, with experts saying the dramatic demise of wetlands and hunting are to blame. Despite some harsh, cold weather across the Eurasian landmass, some waterbirds that usually migrate in huge flocks to the…

Scientists genetically modify chickens to not spread bird flu

WASHINGTON – European scientists have found a way to genetically modify chickens so that they don’t transmit bird flu, according to research published Thursday in the journal Science. Bird flu, also known as H5N1 avian influenza, usually afflicts poultry but can cross over to humans and cause lethal respiratory problems…

Mass bird deaths rare, not apocalyptic: experts

Birds falling out of the sky in the United States and Sweden are freak examples of the kind of mass animal deaths, from beached whales to deluges of frogs, that have unusual but not apocalyptic causes, experts say. Storms, hail or lightning can kill birds while tornadoes or waterspouts may…

Japan bio-scientists produce ‘singing mouse’

Japanese scientists said Tuesday they had produced a mouse that tweets like a bird in a genetically engineered “evolution” which they hope will shed light on the origins of human language. A team of researchers at the University of Osaka created the animal in their “Evolved Mouse Project”, in which…

Rescuing oiled birds can do ‘more harm than good’

GRAND ISLE, Louisiana — Michael Seymour peers at the oiled pelican floating near an island of mangrove trees and winces in frustration because — once again — there’s absolutely nothing he can do to help. An amber sheen has stained the pelican’s white head and brown chest and wings. But…

Black tide takes heavy toll among Louisiana pelicans

The animal rescuer opened the pelican’s beak and slipped his hand inside to remove stubborn blobs of oil coating the mandible, a seemingly small step in the desperate fight against a massive disaster. The rapidly spreading Gulf of Mexico oil slick has swallowed up as many birds in the past…

GOP senator flipped me the bird: ABC News producer

ABC News producer Zach Wolf said he was given the middle finger by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), when a fellow reporter asked why the senator had put a hold on a federal highway bill that has furloughed more than 2,000 federal workers. Wolf didn’t elaborate, but Tweeted, “Jim Bunning…

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