Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Male blackbirds intent on protecting turf: Bicyclists, pedestrians report attacks; experts blaming feisty males

June 23, 2008

There’s a predator lurking in Chicago-area bushes these days. He strikes from behind, when victims are least aware. And the worst part, says ornithologist Doug Stotz: He could be almost anywhere.

Nesting season is in full swing for the red-winged blackbird, making the males extremely aggressive. Walk or bike too close to one’s nest and expect to hear its high, menacing squawk overhead. Then comes the peck-peck-peck on your head, victims say, or claws rustling your hair.

It happened to Holly Grosso. The businesswoman was on her cell phone, walking along West Grand Avenue near Rockwell Street on Wednesday, when the bird—dubbed “Hitchcock” by area workers—made its move.

“Something just came down, pecked me in the head, took my hair and started flying away,” she said. “It’s so bizarre. It’s this little bird.”

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Animals fare better in zoos as experts learn more

May 30, 2008

Scientists are learning more about how zoo animals feel and how a toy or a little training can sometimes help cut the endless pacing and other repetitive behaviours that are often assumed to be signs of distress.

Some big cats want a high perch from which to view visitors, polar bears want to scratch for hidden caches of food, and male barn swallows could use a tail extension to appeal to potential mates, according to experts from zoos and universities meeting on Friday at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo.

Visitors who see a cheetah pacing or a polar bear swimming in circles might assume they are stressed by confinement. But they may simply be expending excess energy or soothing themselves, experts said interviews at the symposium.

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Cougar Shot and Killed in Chicago

April 15, 2008

The animal was shot about 5:30 p.m. in the alley behind the 3400 block of North Hamilton Avenue, according to a Belmont District officer.

The officer confirmed an officer fatally shot the large cat.

“It’s [cougar] dead,” the officer said.

NBC5’s Alex Perez reported that the police cornered the animal against a fence, and then the animal tried to attack them. Police said the cougar was 5 feet tall and weighed approximately 150 pounds.

“It doesn’t look like it’s a very thin cat,” said Mark Rosenthal of Cook County Animal Care and Control. “It looks like it’s got good flesh on it — it was eating well.”

One resident, Jim Reynolds, helped police locate the animal, Perez reported.

“I was amazed,” Reynolds said. “I was like, ‘Is this happening?'”

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Tour Schedule for Super Furry Animals 2008

December 27, 2007

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What could be more Animal-esque than Super Furry Animals? Here’s their tour schedule for the new year.

12/31 – London, ENG – Royal Festival Hall
01/23 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s
01/25 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
01/26 – Philadelphia, PA – Starlight Ballroom
01/27 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club
01/29 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
01/30 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
01/31 – New Orleans, LA – The Republic
02/01 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theatre
02/02 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
02/05 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
02/06 – Solona Beach, CA – Belly Up
02/08 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
02/09 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
02/11 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
02/12 – Seattle, WA – Neumos
02/15 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theatre
02/16 – Chicago, IL – Metro
02/17 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
02/18 – Buffalo, NY – Tralf Music Hall
02/20 – Toronto, ON – Mod Club
02/21 – Montreal, QC – Cabaret Music Hall
02/22 – Ithaca, NY – Cornell University
02/23 – Boston, MA – The Paradise
02/25 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom

www.superfurry.com/