We bet there are many of you reading this article who think nothing of taking Vitamin C and lots of liquids for a cold or using Aloe Vera gel for a burn. But, how many of you think about using natural treatments for bladder or vaginal infections, for a strep throat, or for more serious infections such as hepatitis or pneumonia? Most of the time the proper use of natural substances such as vitamins and herbs and homeopathic remedies will help you get over these conditions.
But it's important to know what works best for each condition, evaluate whether or not it's working, and to assess the consequences of unsuccessful treatment. In the case of hepatitis, for example, orthodox medicine has no real treatment, so you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. (We've seen Hepatitis A cases respond within a week to a combination of nutrititional supplements, herbal liver support, and homeopathy.) With pneumonia, strep throat, and bladder infections, on the other hand, we monitor our patients very carefully. We recommend natural treatment for nearly all types of infections, with the exception of gonorrhea and chlamydia, both of which are often asymptomatic in women and can result in permanent infertility if not eliminated.In such cases, there are natural interventions which are helpful following antibiotic treatment. Otherwise, we refer out only a few times a year for antibiotic treatment because natural alternatives work so well. If your infection is minor, you can try some of these suggestions yourself; otherwise be sure to consult a naturopathic physician.
Antibiotics have a number of drawbacks. They kill bacteria indiscriminately throughout the body. That's their job. So, if you have a strep throat, for example, the antibiotic you take kills the good bacteria, lactobacillus, in the gut and the vagina, which you need to crowd out Candida (yeast) if it arises. That's why vaginal and intestinal yeast infections are so common after antibiotic use. Antibiotics are often prescribed routinely, without any evidence of infection, with a "just in case, it can't hurt " mentality. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses, but are routinely prescribed anyway. When taken repeatedly, they can weaken, rather than strengthen, the immune system, and may lead to more serious problems later. This is especially true when antibiotics are given for years, as tetracycline for acne, or when, as with resistant bladder infections, one antibiotic is followed, unsuccesfully, by yet another stronger one. There are many effective natural alternatives which work with, rather than against, the body's own healing mechanisms. Why not try them first and save antibiotics for a last resort?
There are many more infections than we can mention in a short column. We include here a few of the most common and troublesome infections to inspire you to use natural remedies.
General recommendations for infections: Eliminate caffeine, alcohol, sugar, refined foods, meat, and dairy while you have an acute infection. Eat lightly. Drink lots of hot, warm, and room-temperature beverages such as herb tea. Juice fasting, or even water for a couple of days, can be very helpful during an infection. Enemas can help flush the system. We suggest vitamin C, beta carotene, and zinc to strengthen the immune system. Herbs such as Echinacea and Hydrastis (goldenseal) can help support the immune system, but more specific herbs are often more helpful. Saunas and steam baths can also be helpful in detoxifying the system during infections. Massage can speed up the elimination of toxins, particularly a garlic oil foot massage. Listen to what your body's trying to tell you and ask it what it needs. REST! Don't keep pushing yourself past your limit when you're sick. It may take you twice as long to recover.
Throat infections: Even if you have a strep throat (diagnosed by a throat culture), natural therapies can be very useful, but it's important to verify through a blood test that no strep is lingering because on occasion an undetected strep throat infection can lead to kidney, joint, or heart problems. Throat infections often respond well to gargles such as salt water, Calendula, goldenseal, myrrh, or oil of bitter orange. There are lots of excellent herbal throat lozenges available. Homeopathy works great for throat infections. We often use Belladonna, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Phytolacca, and Mercurius for sore throats. We recently treated a case of strep throat with a very unusual remedy, Spigelia, with a complete relief from pain within two days.
Skin infections: A mixture of Calendula and Hypericum tincture is what we use for bacterial skin infections. Other herbs commonly used are goldenseal, comfrey, and plantain. Boils and cysts can be successfully treated with hot packs, ginger poultices, and epsom salt soaks and homeopathic remedies such as Silica and Hepar sulphuris. Fungal infections often respond well also to homeopathy or to dilute vinegar applications. Also effective are turmeric powder and Tee Tree oil applied topically.
Bladder infections: A word of caution with bladder infections-treat them immediately. The longer you wait, the more pain and the greater the chance of a kidney infection and ending up on antibiotics. We recommend lots of water, cranberry juice or capsules, herbs (commonly Hydrastis, Uva Ursi, Bucchu, Chimaphilia, Berberis, and others) and homeopathy (remedies such as Staphysagria, Cantharis, Apis, and Sarsaparilla, to name a few).
Sinus infections: Rememember, no dairy! Drink lots of hot ginger tea. We use a great Ayurvedic combination called Sitopaladi to break up mucus. Homeopathic remedies such as Kali bichromicum, Pulsatilla, Mercurius, Natrum muriaticum, and Allium cepa work well. Use a neti pot to irrigate your sinuses with warm salt water. Treat yourself to a sauna or steam bath.
We could mention ear infections, conjunctivitis, vaginal infections, and many more, but hopefully we've conveyed the idea that there are effective natural treatments for all of them.
Be sure to consult a doctor if your own efforts don't work, and to get the necessary tests such as a strep culture, chest X-ray, etc. And, regardless of which method you use for your healing, remember to check in with your inner self to understand what the purpose of the illness is for you, what you can learn from it, and what will bring the deepest healing.
Drs. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are naturopathic and homeopathic physicians and cofounders of the Northwest Center for Homeopathic Medicine in Edmonds, WA. They are coauthors of The Patient's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine and Beyond Ritalin: Homeopathic Treatment of ADD and Other Behavioral and Learning Problems. They can be reached at (206) 774-5599.
Plastic is a miracle of modern technology, but improperly disposed of, it may harm birds and other wildlife. Each year, hundreds of thousands of birds become poisoned or have their digestive tracts obstructed after eating small pieces of plastic. You can help save the birds in your yard, and even halfway around the world, by making sure that you recycle plastic whenever possible, and otherwise properly dispose of plastic items after you are done with them.
Seabirds--that water bottle cap or other piece of plastic that you might be tempted to throw out your car window can easily be swept into waterways during the next storm and eventually end up floating in the ocean, where dozens of seabird species have been observed to die after eating floating plastic trash. You can easily find dozens of articles about this online, including an early review paper on the subject published in 1987.
California Condors--small pieces of plastic and other trash in the environment are one of the greatest threats to the critically endangered California Condor. For some reason that we don't clearly understand, adult condors feed small rocks and other items to their chicks--perhaps to help their digestion. When the adults find small pieces of trash, they feed them to their young, and the young get sick or die. See this report on microtrash and condors published last year in Bird Conservation International and read the latest report (here) on threats to the California Condor put out by the American Ornithologists Union and Audubon California.
Other Wildlife--while there aren't any studies of birds other than seabirds and condors being killed by eating garbage, trash may also threaten small birds and other wildlife (see this report).
Everyone knows not to litter. Here's just another reason not to--it kills birds and other wildlife. Recycling, putting litter in its place, and organizing a trash pickup not only keeps your neighborhood cleaner, it also protects your local birds as well as those flying over the oceans half a world away.
Cher Ami was a homing pigeon owned and flown by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. He helped save the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the battle of the Argonne, October 1918. In his last mission, he delivered a message despite having been shot through the breast, being blinded in one eye, covered in blood, and having a leg hanging only by a tendon. The bird was awarded the Croix de Guerre for heroic service delivering 12 important messages in Verdun.
I am very happy to see this special event in New York; moreover, it's good news there is at least one political person who supports it. Hopefully other states will follow through and reward the gentle domestic birds.
Council Member Tony Avella District 19 (D)
“Pigeons are often a city child’s first contact with nature and an elderly person’s only friend.”
Saturday, June 13, 2009 Noon - 4 pm Pilgrim Hill in Central Park New York, NY (enter on northwest corner of 5th Avenue & E. 72nd Street) Come on out in honor of "New York's unofficial feathered mascot" (quoted in the New York Post)
submitted by pigeon friends in Belgrade, Serbia
Dear President Obama,
There is a hero that deserves to be honored with a special holiday ~ this hero saved countless lives in World Wars I and II, and possesses a gentle nature and exemplary characteristics and traits, including loyalty and devotion to family. Yet, like many heroes, this particular one is often undervalued and disregarded and, worst of all, sometimes unfairly persecuted. It is time for the truth about this hero to be to be made known and celebrated. This hero is…..the Rock Dove, also known as the pigeon.
Mayor Bloomberg, Make National Pigeon Day Official Anna Dove at the New York City Bird Club (yea I know, makes you wonder, like Ann Greathouse, real estate agent) wrote to remind us June 13th has been unofficially declared National Pigeon Day by the New York Bird Club. They're also asking New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to make it official. June 13th is the day that Cher Ami, meaning "Dear Friend" in French departed the Earth. Pigeons have a noble history. As you will recall, Cher Ami (a pigeon) served several months on the front lines during the Fall of 1918. He flew 12 important missions to deliver messages. Perhaps the most important was the message he carried on October 4, 1918.
London Blogger: "What would be your dream day/event in London to post about? My dream event, and I think I speak for all London pigeons when I say this, would be our very own National Pigeon day. They did it in New York last year. Unfortunately, it was largely attended by freaks, which meant the NY pigeons were forced to give it a wide berth. Wouldn't be like that here. I'm thinking some kind of outdoor event, maybe in Trafalgar Square for old time's sake? I'm thinking free seed, maybe some foam? I'm thinking a kick arse party. A musical extravaganza. Shift focus from the do-gooder war hero pigeons like Cher Ami, not that Cher doesn't deserve a shout out; dedicate it to the urbans instead. The real heroes. We deserve it. Just for one day, let us bring a little of that pigeon magic back to the Square. Will Young could host it. Sure he’d be up for it. Maybe have The Pigeon Detectives do a set, or The Kooks?" Hey...thanks Brian!
Please check back for updates to the event.... Speakers, political activism, entertainment and material distribution. Join us as we rally for the rights of birds, protest pigeon trafficking to Pennsylvania for the purposes of pigeon shoots, pigeon control methods and poaching, rigid feeding laws and hunting activities at places such as the Philadelphia Gun Club in Bensalem.
Committee of scheduled participants are the following (program description follows): Sam Hack, Peter Pigeon of Snug Harbor, Christine L. Mott, Esq, The Humane Society of the United States, Amos Latteier, United Poultry Concerns, Norene Leddy, Charles Patterson, Fiona Walsh, The Vivian Girls Experience, Mark Caponigro, Jenny Bower, Raghav Goyal, Johanna Clearfield, Don Jenner, the Trachtenberg Family, Rachel Hirschfeld, Esq., Mindful Tails, Ted Enik, Arlene Steinberg, A.M. Richard Fine Art.
The official national rollout of the award-winning illustrated book, Peter Pigeon of will take place on National Pigeon Day, June 13, 2009. And its publishers, Rocky Hollow Press are putting together an exhibition of artwork from the book especially for the National Pigeon Day Ceremonies in Central Park. Ed Weiss, the author and illustrator will be there autographing books and discussing the intricacies of pigeon illustration.
Small samples of high quality bird feed and grit will be given out courtesy of Gail at The Pigeon Store (920 Wellwood Ave, Lindenhurst, L.I.); however, please respect Central Park rules and regulations: Feeding of birds and other wildlife prohibited, and please do not litter.
Scheduled participants are in no particular order, they are all wonderful:
Patrick Kwan is New York state director for The Humane Society of the United States and spearheads the organization’s humane policy & campaigns in the Empire State. Backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28, including over 800,000 New Yorkers, The HSUS is the nation’s largest animal protection organization. Prior to joining The HSUS, he was a field organizer for Amnesty International and an advisory board member of the Center for Environmental Citizenship (now the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund), and managed media relations & communications efforts for corporate, nonprofit, and government organizations including the Mayor’s Alliance’s for NYC’s Animals, The September 11th Fund, and NYC & Company.
Amos Latteier - a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist who creates interactive public art using technology and performs PowerPoint lectures. He has performed lectures across North America and in Europe. His recent public art projects include a location-specific haiku by sms project, a telephone-operated karaoke protest song project, a pigeon condo, cell phone-operated nature tour, a 500lb potato battery, and a chainsaw-powered walking machine.
Norene Leddy - a video, installation and new media artist living in Jersey City and working in Hoboken. Her work has been exhibited in New York and internationally, and awards include a Fulbright Fellowship to Cyprus and residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, and Gallery Aferro. She holds an MFA from Parsons The New School for Design, and currently teaches at Parsons and Kean University. Visit Norene online. Norene also holds a class about pigeons at the New School for Design.
Charles Patterson- the author of Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust (soon to be in 13 languages). He dedicated his book to the memory of his neighbor, the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-91), who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978. The title of Patterson's book is from Singer: "In relation to them [animals] all people are Nazis; for the animals it's an eternal Treblinka." (Treblinka was a German death camp north of Warsaw.) Patterson will talk about Singer's love of birds and his devotion to feeding pigeons on Broadway and in Riverside Park.
Rachel Hirschfeld, Esq., nationally recognized pet trust attorney and advocate for people with pets will speak about "Feeding Laws in New York".
The Vivian Girls Experience is thrilled to play National Pigeon Day 2009! Ever since their single, "Kitten Lemonade Stand" hit number one on WKDU Blengin World Radio, Justin Duerr Vivian and Enid Crow Vivian have been enchanting the forests of Jennie Richie and Abiennia with songs dedicated to their hero Henry Darger and, you guessed it, feral pigeons. Songs like "Madeline, the Ash Grey Classic Blue Bar," "Pigeons on Parade," and "Pigeon Goes to a Party" are sure to make any true pigeon devotee flap her wings and coo with glee.
Mark Caponigro teaches literature, Greek and Latin languages at Montclair State University, NJ, Department of Classics and General Humanities. How a Pigeon Saved the Human Race: Doves in Ancient Religious Traditions (the role pigeons played in biblical and classic literature).
Jenny Bower first became acquainted with National Pigeon Day through Raghav Goyal. She has been a crusader for other species since the age of 6, when she found a dead bluejay on her driveway. Jenny studies Organ Performance and Geology at Oberlin College, and hopes to keep making a difference in this world, however small. She'll talk about the larger role of pigeons in America, from cultural to environmental: their influence in the arts in general, as well as the environmental niches they fill. Viva Pigeon!
Raghav Goyal, Oberlin '12, begun loving pigeons at a very young age, when first he ran giggling through a side-walk flock of them. Since, he has never let a cooing, head-bopping mass go un-run-through. "It is," he claims "his duty." Pigeons fill all of New York City's cold and dark and right-angle corners with little balls of feather-y life, and we must do anything we can to protect that bird that makes sure we're never alone. For the sake of all children and all grown-ups everywhere.
Sam Hack began creating puppet shows with Pigeon Woman and her pals the ÜberWomen in 1993. They have starred in many puppet performances around NYC. The episode when Pigeon Woman organizes pigeons to remove bags from trees was an audience favorite and became the premise for Pigeon Woman and the Snagged Bag, a children’s picture book. In creating the book, Sam spent years developing ways to set up tableaus in the park with puppets and pigeons, while avoiding running dogs and children. When not photographing pigeons, Sam is Ms. Sam the art teacher at PS 11in Chelsea.
Johanna Clearfield is a New York State licensed wildlife rehabilitator who has worked closely with The Wild Bird Fund to rescue and rehabilitate our city's sick and injured pigeons. Johanna will talk about pigeons in urban areas.
Don Jenner is a university teacher of political and moral philosophy by training, a whole lot of other things by default — and somewhat to his surprise, a person who really likes pigeons. He is a New York State licensed rehabilitator, and with his wife Sue, Laurie Spiegel, Anne McDonald and Jano Roze, a founding trustee of Wildlife in Tribeca, a new association aiming at support for the other "Yorkers" who share our town.
Mary Bruce CTTP, of Mindful Tails, will be speaking on the value of TTouch for injured or ill birds, as well as providing short demos at their booth. TTouch is a holistic method of wellness and rehabilitation that has been used successfully for over 30 years for all animals, including people. Mary is a Guild Certified TTouch Practitioner, licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, and Director of Tavi & Friends, a non profit group that helps animals with special challenges.
Enjoy a humorous, rhyming puppet play by the team of Enik + Enid (Ted Enik and Enid Crow) about the downfall of an arrogant politician intent on ridding a city of pigeons in order to impress his seven year old ornithophobic daughter. Author-illustrator Ted Enik has worked with a variety of contemporary and classic children’s book characters and titles, including Magic Schoolbus, Harry Potter, and Eloise. He is currently an artist for the popular Fancy Nancy series where pigeons can be spotted. Enid Crow is a photographer whose self-portrait photographs have been featured in magazines and galleries. She lives with two wounded pigeons, Hattie and Daisy, to whom this puppet play is dedicated.
Arlene Steinberg, contributing member of New York Bird Club, Philadelphia resident and animal advocate. Arlene will share her perspectives on how an early childhood interaction with pigeons started her on her way to a life-long love affair with animals in general and birds in particular, and how that love evolved into animal advocacy and rescue.
Exhibition of photographs from "The Last Pigeon" - A.M. Richard Fine Art. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the New York Bird Club's continued commitment to promote the positive portrayal of pigeons, we will hold our 2nd annual National Pigeon Day on Saturday, June 13th, 2009 to commemorate Cher Ami and other carrier pigeons who served humanity during times of war and unrest.
It is a time to reflect too on the three to five billion Passenger Pigeons that ranged across eastern North America that are now extinct. What a pity for them and also for mankind that one of the most abundant birds is now forever gone. Martha, thought to be the world's last passenger pigeon, died on September 1, 1914 in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to Wikipedia, the primary cause for extinction was held to be the commercial exploitation of pigeon meat on a massive scale. However current examination focuses on the pigeon's loss of habitat.
Pigeons and doves are universal symbols of peace, love and tranquility throughout recorded history. Adding to the "love" connection is the pigeons endearing loyalty and devotion to the same mate year after year. In biblical times, the pigeon had become a familiar image and symbol. According to biblical flood legend Noah sent out a raven that didn't come back and later a pigeon that returned with the olive branch, a sign of dry land - and of peace. From Noah to today's peace negotiations, writers, poets and artists have used the pigeon and dove to embody these ideals. Familiar images are the rock pigeons and doves carrying an olive branch, doves on wedding announcements and as emblems on peace slogans. Can it be a coincidence that of all the birds in existence it is the pigeon/dove that has been the chosen symbol of hope, love, purity, the Holy Spirit and also revered in Islam as the friend of the Prophet?
In 1150, the Sultan of Baghdad launched a pigeon postal service that functioned until about 1258. Pigeons were used as messengers in Julius Caesar's times as well as during the siege of Paris in 1870-1871 and in both World Wars. During World War II at least 32 pigeons received the Dickin Medal for brave service. By the late 1800s, every US Naval station had a pigeon loft, and some maintained them well into the 1950s.
Doves and pigeons have a dignified charm and an intriging though subtle personality and are loyal and trusting.
Pigeons are a parrot's close avian relatives. They share such traits such as mating for life, producing a crop milk to feed their young, having a fleshy skin covering their nostrils and producing a powdery down in their feathers and bonding easily with humans.
Science now tells us that the pigeon has been found to be able to remember hundreds of faces and are equal to higher order animals, such as dolphins and porpoises in their cognitive abilities.
Some think that a life without pigeons as unthinkable.
For centuries domestic pigeons were revered, until the 1960's and 70's when there was a concerted effort and false campaign employed by the pest control industry so that they could be exterminated, thereby creating a billion dollar industry.
People for Pigeons New York, NY, United States People for Pigeons is concerned with the protection and preservation of mankind's oldest domestic bird, the gentle and loyal pigeon. We strive to promote pro-pigeonism, eliminate pigeon persecution and prejudice and support their positive portrayal in society. View my complete profile National Pigeon Day Slideshow (please do not reproduce without permission)
Hello to all pigeon friends, advocates and lovers and thank you to all who made it happen!
It was good to see many old and new friends at our first National Pigeon Day which was a whopping success. The weather cooperated with us and NYC Parks Department personnel were helpful and cooperative. Thank you to the NYC Parks Department for allowing us to use their beautiful space Pilgrim Hill. If you have not visited there, you are missing one of New York City's nicest areas. Nearby is a pond, restrooms and a lovely quiet ambience. The only thing missing are: PIGEONS. I did not spot one during the four hours we were there.
Thank you to our wonderful New York Press who provided great coverage of the event.
I would like to thank all of our speakers with special thank you's to Councilman Tony Avella and Joe Franklin who gave a nice talk about his love for pigeons. If you have not met and spoken with Joe, you are missing someone very special. His warm and pleasing personality added a sparkle and magic to everything. It is easy to see why he is such a success. Also special thanks to Nellie McKay singing Feed the Pigeons on her ukelele and her music friends Tina Trachtenburg and her young daughter Rachel who joined in were sweet and delightful. Thank you all.
And thank you you to all our speakers -- Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns who travelled from Virginia and our Master of Ceremonies Amanda Tree. It was a beautiful afternoon filled with good spirit, peace and harmony.
I hope to see you all again at our next one on Saturday, June 13, 2009, and please feel free to write with any suggestions.
Desi Sanchez, our webperson took photos and some film footage and I will post them as soon as she has them ready, so please check the site for updates.
In the meantime, I found some post National Pigeon Day material on the internet which I will post sporadically.
Thank you again to EVERYONE, and the pigeons thank coooooo. If I have left anyone out, thank cooooooo too.
Pilgrim Hill in Central Park New York, NY (enter on northwest corner of 5th Avenue @ E. 72nd Street)
Entertainment, political activism, materials distribution, candlelight prayer service with guitar accompaniment and pigeon shaped cookies. Learn how carrier pigeons Cher Ami, GI Joe and Winkie saved the lives of more than 1,000 men in wartime. Become part of Project Pigeon Watch and have fun learning about our fascinating NYC residents.
Due to NYC Parks Department policy and restrictions, Pilgram Hill is considered a "quiet area", therefore, amplified sound is not permitted, making this event a casual and informal gathering.
Amanda Tree will host and play her music for National Pigeon Day.
Council Member Tony Avella, Nellie McKay, In Defense of Animals, Deacon Joseph Dwyer, Janice Fredericks, United Poultry Concerns, Raghav K. Goyal and Ana A. Garcia, Amanda Tree.
The New York Bird Club wishes to thank In Defense of Animals who will provide a banner, Hanna Fushihara Aron who will bake pigeon shaped cookies, God's Creatures Ministry who will provide candles, the United Federation of Teachers Humane Education Committee who will bring Pigeon Watch materials for distribution, all speakers and contributors and all our pigeon friends who advocate on behalf of our beautiful birds.
Guest Speakers and Schedule: (biographies of some speakers follow)
4 pm - Valerie Sicignano, East Coast Director of In Defense of Animals Opening remarks. The current situation regarding the illegal baiting and trapping of pigeons will be addressed.
5:15 - Deacon Joseph Dwyer, graduate of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey; Ordained Catholic Deacon; Vice Chancellor for Administration for the Diocese of Newark; Board Member for Catholic Concern for Animals.
Synopsis: Why compassion and love must be applied in all our relationships with animals, and how the loyalty of pigeons saved mankind during World Wars 1 and 11 carrying messages in the heat of battle. Medals were bestowed upon Cher Ami, G.I. Joe and Winkie for saving human lives.
Immediately following Deacon Dwyer's talk, he will conduct a Candlelight Vigil and Prayer Service for the pigeons of New York City, accompanied on the guitar by Jan Fredericks. Copies of the Best Friends Proclamation will be available for hand out.
June 13th is also the day of the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of Theology and Franciscan Patron Saint of the Animal Kingdom. An integral part of St. Anthony's Feast Day is the blessing of the animals.
Proverbs 12:10, "The righteous man regards the life of his beast."
In Genesis 9, after the flood, it is mentioned five times that "I will make a covenant with you and with all living creatures."
Deuteronomy 22 and Exodus 23, "If you see an animal that is overburdened, you should lighten its load to help it."
Job 12: 7-10, "Ask the birds, ask the beasts and they will teach you."
5:45 - Amanda Tree, filmographer and entertainer, will give a performance of "Over the Rainbow" and a talk about Cher Ami.
Cher Ami was a homing pigeon owned and flown by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. He helped save the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the battle of the Argonne, October 1918. In his last mission, he delivered a message despite having been shot through the breast, being blinded in one eye, covered in blood, and having a leg hanging only by a tendon. The bird was awarded the Croix de Guerre for heroic service delivering 12 important messages in Verdun.
Synopsis: A scientist calls pigeons "geniuses." Pigeons are highly intelligent birds and model parents. She will show by way of example how closely their hearts and minds are akin to our own.
6:40 - Raghav K. Goyal, Committee Member (Facebook)
Synopsis: A Long Island teenager's perspective on the fight for the singular international bird.
7 - Ana A. Garcia, Social Studies high school teacher
Synopsis: presentation of art works by students that display the valuable and valiant efforts of the gentle and intelligent pigeons during World War I. Students indicated a respect and admiration for the courage and intelligence that the pigeons demonstrated during a critical time during WWI. Their sentiments are wonderfully displayed in their artwork which was part of a special project as a result of a lesson plan that revolved around the bravery of the pigeons, and most particularly Cher Ami.
7:15 - Nellie McKay, singer-songwriter, acclaimed actress and animal activist. She will sing Feed the Birds on her ukelele among other songs.
The song speaks of an old beggar woman who sits on the steps of Saint Paul's Cathedral, selling bags of breadcrumbs to passers-by for tuppence a bag, so that the passers-by can feed the many pigeons who surround the old woman. (The scene is reminiscent of the real-life seed sellers in nearby Trafalgar Squarethat once existed.)
Council Member Tony Avella won election to the New York City Council in the 19th District - Northeast Queens in 2001 and was reelected with an overwhelming majority in both the 2003 and 2005 elections. Tony is Chair of Zoning and Franchises for the City Council and is a member of five Council committees: Higher Education, Housing and Buildings, Fire and Criminal Justice Services, Land Use, and Veterans. Tony is the founder and Chair of the first Italian-American Caucus of the City Council.
Tony's public service career began over 20 years ago as an aide to New York City Council Member Peter Vallone, Sr. He served as an aide to Mayors Koch and Dinkins and as Chief of Staff to the late State Senator Leonard Stavisky and to State Senator Toby Stavisky.
Since taking office in January 2002, Tony has authored important legislation that helped end a seven-week long private bus strike, encouraged boating safety and protested Neo-Nazi organizations that spread racism and bigotry.
Tony's historic "Demolition by Neglect" bill was signed into law by the Mayor in February 2005. This legislation enables the Landmarks Preservation Commission to prevent the willful destruction of our City's treasured landmarks by unscrupulous property owners. Tony's legislation was strongly supported by 46 preservation and civic groups including the Landmarks Conservancy, the Historic Districts Council and the National Historic Trust.
As Zoning and Franchises Chair, Tony led the fight for and won citywide amendments to the "Community Facilities" section of the zoning code to address serious abuses that impact the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the City. His efforts resulted in the first real changes to this part of the zoning code in over 40 years.
Tony has also been at the forefront in the battle citywide against overdevelopment and the proliferation of "McMansions." Working with the Mayoral administration and the Department of City Planning he has created new zoning districts such as R2A, which prevents the construction of "McMansions" and rezoned major portions of his district as well as numerous other neighborhoods in the City to preserve the unique residential character and quality of life.
As Chair of the Italian American Caucus, Tony has promoted Italian culture and heritage through an annual celebration at City Hall in October during Italian American Heritage Month. Tony has also been in the forefront of fighting the negative stereotyping of Italian Americans.
Prior to his election, Tony served in numerous volunteer capacities including, founder and President of the North Shore Anti-Graffiti Volunteers, Bay Terrace Civilian Patrol President, College Point Sports Association President, Preservation Alliance of Northeast Queens President, Bayside Historical Society President, founder and President of the Joint Community Council of College Point, and a member of Queens Community Board #7.
For his numerous volunteer civic endeavors on behalf of all New Yorkers, in 1997 Tony was awarded New York State's Community Service Award from nominations received across the entire State. Since his election, Tony has been honored by numerous fraternal organizations, civic associations, sports and school/educational groups. In 2005 alone, Tony was honored by the Garibaldi Meucci Museum on Staten Island, received the 2005 Friend In High Places Award from the Historic District Council, the Community Mayor's 2005 Humanitarian Award and the coveted Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
Tony is a graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York. He is a lifelong Queens resident and currently resides in Whitestone, Queens with his wife Judith.
General Information - Entered City Council: 01/01/2002 Current Term Expires: 12/31/2009 Represents: Bayside, College Point, Auburndale, Beechhurst, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Robinwood; parts of Flushing, Douglaston, Little Neck. Committees: Zoning & Franchises (Chair); Fire & Criminal Justice Services; Higher Education; Housing & Buildings; Land Use; Veterans. Tony Avella for Mayor
Deacon Joseph Dwyer, graduate of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey; Ordained Catholic Deacon; Vice Chancellor for Administration for the Diocese of Newark; Board Member for Catholic Concern for Animals.
Co-authored “A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion,” a document whose creation was sponsored by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Deacon Joe speaks frequently on the need for kindness and compassion toward animals to be realized as a core spiritual value. Deacon Joe has contributed stories to Angel Animals and is published on Aunt Mary's Doghouse. Also a certified veterinary technician, Deacon Joe and his wife share their lives with three beloved dachshunds; Greta, Rommel and Spartacus.
Karen Davis, Ph.D. is the founder and president of United Poultry Concerns (UPC), an organization that addresses the treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl in food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations and promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
In November of 1999, Karen and UPC were profiled in “For the Birds” in The Washington Post, winner of the Ark Trust Genesis Award for Outstanding Newspaper Feature that year, and in July of 2002, Karen was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame “for outstanding contributions to animal liberation.”
Karen is the editor of Poultry Press, the quarterly magazine of United Poultry Concerns. Her essays appear in collections that include Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations (Duke University Press, 1995), Terrorists or Freedom Fighters: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals (Lantern Books, 2004), Animal Liberation Philosophy and Policy Studies Journal (Center on Animal Liberation Affairs, 2005), and Encyclopedia of Animals and Humans (Greenwood, 2007). Her essay “Procrustean Solutions to Animal Identity and Welfare Problems” is forthcoming in a collection published by SUNY Press.
Karen’s books include A Home for Henny (UPC, 1994), Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey: A Poultryless “Poultry” Potpourri (Book Publishing Co., 1999), More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality (Lantern Books, 2001), The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities (Lantern Books, 2005), and Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (Book Publishing Co., 1996; New Revised Edition, 2008).
Karen Davis maintains a sanctuary for chickens, turkeys and ducks at UPC’s headquarters on the Virginia Eastern Shore. In 1998, Ira Glass, host of National Public Radio’s This American Life, was so impressed with the chickens he met at the sanctuary that he told millions of viewers on Late Night with David Letterman, in 2007, that he hasn’t eaten chicken or any other animal flesh since.
Nellie McKay has released three critically acclaimed albums: Get Away From Me, Pretty Little Head, and her most recent, Obligatory Villagers.
Nellie's music has been heard on the television shows Weeds, Grey's Anatomy and NCIS. She created original songs for the Rob Reiner-directed film Rumor Has It, and recently made her feature film debut in P.S. I Love You.
On the stage, Ms. McKay won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera. She has performed on numerous television and radio shows, opened for Bo Diddley and Sting, dueted with Eartha Kitt, TreyAnastasio and Taj Mahal, interviewed Doris Day, and shared the stage with Gloria Steinhem, Odetta, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Cyndi Lauper, and many other wonderful artists.
In addition to her music, Ms. McKay is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review. A recipient of the Humane Society's 2005 Doris Day Music Award for her dedication to animal rights, she has also participated in benefits for groups ranging from Planned Parenthood and Fair Fund to the ACLU and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. In addition, Nellie has been active in supporting get-out-the-vote efforts, the campaign to close primate laboratories and working to ban carriage horses throughout the country.
Raghav K. Goyal is a Herricks High School graduating student; Oberlin College Class of 2012 and a Barack Obama proponent.
Pigeons are nature’s ambassadors to many young New Yorkers. Kids may grow up singing about Old McDonald, imitating farm animals, and reciting their “this little piggy”s, but those animals aren’t city dwellers. What parent hasn’t gotten a whine-free afternoon thanks to some birds and a few crackers? Nonetheless, pigeons have enemies: landlords, the bird-poop-phobic, and Woody Allen, who dubbed them rats with wings. But on June 13, bird lovers will spring to the underdog’s defense by hosting National Pigeon Day in Central Park. “We’re trying to promote a positive image,” says New York Bird Club founder Anna Dove via telephone, rescued canaries tweeting in the background. “There’s such negativity for no reason. They’re harmless, defenseless. They can’t attack; their beak is very soft.” Other members of the crusade against “anti-pigeonism” include Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns and Valerie Sicignano of In Defense of Animals. The day is equal parts class and party: Kids will learn cool pigeon facts (e.g., how the birds acted as wartime carriers and how they’re smart enough to recognize alphabet letters) as they nibble on pigeon-shape cookies, view pigeon-inspired children’s art, and take part in a candlelight prayer service. (Dove worries there might not even be urban pigeons in five years.) Meanwhile, she urges all New York families to “carry a bit of bread crumbs in your bag, a few seeds to show kindness and respect. The pigeon isn’t a threat or an enemy. It goes along with quality of life to show kindness and compassion to all living things.” That’s a lovely lesson for the children.
6/13, 4 to 8 p.m. Pilgrim Hill in Central Park, enter on Fifth Ave. at 72nd St. (212-369-1293 or nationalpigeonday.com); free.
National Pigeon Day - In Defense of the City Pigeon Friday, June 13 4 - 8 pm Pilgrim Hill in Central Park New York, NY enter on 5th Avenue @ E. 72nd Street
Guest Speakers: Deacon Joseph Dwyer (Cheri Ami - The Hero Pigeon) Karen Davis, Ph.D., President, United Poultry Concerns Valerie Sicignano, East Coast Director, In Defense of Animals Additional speakers will be announced at a later date.
Speeches, materials distribution, candlelight prayer service with guitar accompaniment and pigeon shaped cookies. Learn how carrier pigeons Cher Ami and GI Joe saved the lives of more than 1,000 men in wartime. Become part of Project Pigeon Watch and have fun learning about our fascinating NYC residents.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, Apr. 29 -/E-Wire/-- Why do many people hate pigeons? Woody Allen inadvertently cursed them when he infamously described them as "rats with wings" in "Stardust Memories." Unfortunately, to paraphrase Henry David Thoreau, "The 'pigeon' you kill in jest dies in earnest." These birds do not deserve the jihad against them.
Currently in New York City, there is a particular problem of pigeon poaching, with people driving up in vans in pre-dawn hours, throwing out food for pigeons and then netting the birds when they land and eat. While it is thought that some of these birds end up in food markets or as fresh racing stock for homing pigeons, most of them are likely destined for shooting clubs in Pennsylvania, where gun clubs use them as living targets in bird shoots. Legislative efforts are underway to put an end to these events, but until then, the birds are deprived of food and water and are so disoriented upon release that a blind, drunk shooter with missing fingers would still be able to shoot some birds.
In addition to the poaching, some areas are proposing extreme local legislation and fines for feeding pigeons. Pigeons are peaceful creatures, faithful mates, exemplary parents, have the most amazing navigational and homing abilities, and are also considered to be one of the most intelligent birds on the planet. They have been proven to recognize their reflection in a mirror and are one of only 6 species (and the only non-mammal), that has this ability. They can recognize the letters of the alphabet and can differentiate between photographs.
In both World Wars I and II, carrier pigeons saved thousands of lives. In WWI, Cher Ami (Dear Friend) was awarded the French "Croix de Guerre" for saving many French soldiers by getting a message across enemy lines in the heat of battle despite being shot in the chest and leg. In WWII, G.I. Joe delivered a message to stop a bombing that would have killed a thousand soldiers. He received the "Dickin" medal for his bravery.
It is a great misconception that pigeons are capable of spreading disease to human beings through their droppings. Pest control companies have seized this irrational fear as a way of pumping up their business, but the fact is ALL animals and birds have the potential to carry and pass on diseases; however, the likelihood of this happening is virtually zero. Pigeons give a city a wonderful "flavor" – they are part of the charm, they belong there. They are often a city child's first contact with nature, and an elderly person's only friends. It would indeed be a loss and a mistake to remove them from the scene.
Although homeopathy as a form of therapy is more than 200 years old and has been practiced continuously during this period, few lay people today are familiar with its fundamentals. Unlike orthodox medicine, called allopathy by the homeopath, which has an ill defined set of assumptions about health and disease, the homeopathic practice is based on very definite conclusions about disease and its effects. For homeopathic treatment to be optimally successful, it is important for the patient to be acquainted with these basic principles and to be in agreement with the objectives the homeopath desires to obtain.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), the founder of homeopathic medicine and a brilliant scientist of his day, abhorred the completely unscientific manner in which drugs then used for healing human ailments were selected, tested, and prescribed. From his investigations and the observations of his fellow practitioners, he realized that most drugs were discovered mainly by chance, often by those not in the medical professions and they were used basically for what has become known as the "primary effect," with little regard to their actual mode of operating within the body or their secondary toxic effects.
Many years have passed since Hahnemann's original observations, yet modern-day homeopaths find that despite our current improved technology, the basic information available to orthodox medicine concerning drug functioning has advanced only meagerly since Hahnemann's time. In fact, because there has been such a tremendous proliferation of drugs since Hahnemann's time and only a moderate amount of new revelations about their use, there probably is now more accumulated ignorance about the actions of drugs in use than there was in Hahnemann's time.
The allopathic school takes a simplistic and almost naive view of health and disease. Allopaths consider disease as that which is represented by certain sets of symptoms that are deviations from the normal parameters of body activity. They then attempt to discover a drug or drugs that will force these symptoms to regress to a point they consider normal. Only rarely do they concern themselves with the true causes of the symptoms or with the reason that the body produces them in the first place. The general assumption is that if the various body reactions they can measure by their insensitive methods are within normal ranges, the patient is healthy. This isn't to say that allopaths don't try to find the cause of an infection, or if the ankles are swollen that they wouldn't check the heart or kidneys for malfunction. On the other hand, they probably wouldn't attempt to discover what body imbalances enable the infection to occur or what deficiencies are causing the heart or kidney malfunction.
The homeopath, on the other hand, as do all natural healing physicians, tends to consider most symptom patterns not as the disease per se, but as the body's attempt either to warn of the disease condition or to cast off the basic disease entity. If the disease were only the symptom pattern, the allopathic method would be adequate to cure all our ailments. If the homeopathic and naturalist views are correct, however, the allopathic method would all too often tend to thwart the body in its actual healing efforts, making the person less healthy than he was before the treatment.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, Hahnemann began to develop a theory of medicine that he hoped would place the medical art on a solid foundation. He was a logical, methodical physician who did not believe in putting into the body any substance whose action he did not know as completely as possible.
He postulated that each drug used in treating the sick had a unique specific action on the body, and that before such a substance could be properly used, this unique and specific action must be thoroughly investigated to the point that the physician knew exactly what effect it would have in the human economy. In his day, there were no instruments capable of such a complete investigation, so the good doctor turned to biologic methods. After some thought, however, he rejected the much-used animal research of his allopathic contemporaries. Experience had taught him that the reactions of each species are individual and unique and one can't necessarily extrapolate information gained from one animal body system to that of another species.
Hahnemann therefore restricted all his investigation to the use of human subjects and with this he developed the method known as proving. In order to prove a drug, moderate physiologic doses of the compound were given to a large number of persons considered in to be in good health. Young medical students were usually used because they were available and were considered to be more observant than the average lay persons. The specific drug was continued until various symptoms caused by the drug's action began to appear. These symptoms were carefully recorded by the students and the drug was continued until either the symptoms had run their gamut or until signs of toxicity appeared.
Two groups of symptoms were generally elicited. First, a prevailing group that was more or less common to almost all the drug's provers; and second, individual idiosyncratic symptoms that occurred only in one or two prover. The more consistent set of symptoms was considered the most important; although the idiosyncratic symptoms were preserved and are available in the larger homeopathic texts on materia medica. They can be useful to the homeopath in difficult cases.
From these provings, Hahnemann ascertained the specificity of each drug he tested. In other words, after an extensive set of such provings, Hahnemann had information about the specific organs and tissues affected by each drug, and he also had knowledge about the exact manner in which this drug affected these structures. While such information went well beyond what had been done previously in pharmacology, it still didn't provide him with a method of curing diseases.
At this time, the inspiration came to Hahnemann that resulted in the homeopathic school of medicine and laid the foundation for the fundamental basis of cure by all the natural therapeutic methods. Some inner wisdom brought him to see that the symptoms usually present in most diseases weren't actually the disease itself, but were in truth the body's attempts to overcome the disease and that a true healing method should encourage the body in these efforts and not discourage the body from carrying out its constructive eliminative processes.
As Hahnemann began to appreciate the true nature of health and disease, he also began to develop a method by which drugs, and the knowledge of their action, could best be used to help the sick. He hypothesized that because the symptoms produced by the body in most diseases were really an effort by the body to overcome such conditions, we should help the body in this effort in every way we can. If drugs are to be used to treat disease, the most practical way, he reasoned, was to use them to stimulate the body in its efforts to eliminate the disease.
In his provings on drugs, he discovered that individual drugs were capable of stimulating specific tissues in the body in the same manner that the different disease processes could. "If the drugs and disease cause similar effects, what would happen," he asked himself, "to a patient, who has a certain set of symptoms which the body is creating to overcome a disease, if I gave a drug which in a healthy person would cause that identical set of symptoms? Would this drug stimulate the body in its efforts to overcome the disease more rapidly than it could without this help?" Such reasoning put into practice was the beginning of homeopathic medicine.
When this new method was put to the test, Hahnemann was overjoyed to discover that it was more successful than even he had hoped. He found that when the specific drug that caused a certain set of symptoms in a healthy person was given to a diseased patient with a similar set of symptoms, a speedy and apparently complete recovery ensued. For example, belladonna, when given in large doses to a healthy person produces a hot, dry, very red, sore throat. When such a throat is encountered as a disease entity, it usually is rapidly cured if small amounts of belladonna are given. Thus, although the allopath and the homeopath both use this drug in their treatment programs, the conditions and principles behind the administration of the drug are entirely different.
Let's use the sore throat again to show the difference between these schools. The allopath holds that if he can destroy the bacteria, the disease is cured and the body will be healthy once again. Hahnemann and the homeopaths would look on this matter from an entirely different viewpoint. They know our body is always inhabited by bacteria; in fact, almost all the known pathogenic bacteria can be cultured from the healthy human throat. The homeopath would therefore consider the sore throat an attempt by the body through an inflammatory process to eliminate a morbid or unhealthy condition that may have been building up in the body, rather than consider it a disease per se. The homeopath would consider bacteria as the agents by which this morbid matter is destroyed and not necessarily as detrimental agents. This would be particularly true of recurring sore throats that are controlled but not cured by the usual antibiotic therapy.
The disease process then is actually this morbid or toxic matter that has accumulated within the body. The throat inflammation is the body's attempt to overcome and cast off this disease material. The homeopath gives the patient a remedy that will help the body in its efforts to eliminate this matter. When this is done, the bacteria, their job finished, disappear and the throat returns to normal.
Antibiotics, as used by the allopath, prevent bacterial growth and suppress the acute inflammation, thereby leaving the body with the disease still fulminating within its depths. Homeopathic treatment helps the body to cast off the disease so that when the symptoms subside by the use of homeopathic remedies, not only is the patient pain-free, but also the morbid disease matter itself is eliminated. In other words, the patient usually becomes healthier after the proper treatment of conditions by homeopathic methods, whereas all too often he may become less healthy when treated by allopathic methods.
Over the years, there have been many explanations about why homeopathic medicine works. One theory is that because the remedy and the disease are nearly identical in their effects, there is created within the body a neutralization somewhat like that caused when two out-of-phase sound waves of identical frequency cancel one another.
Hahnemann's original explanation, however, was not quite so complicated. He merely said that the drug has a stimulating effect on the specific cells affected by the disease and that this reaction greatly hastens the body's attempt to cast off the ailment. In chronic diseases, he believed that the body's attempts to overcome the disease were unfortunately quite feeble, thus enabling such chronic ailments to persist. Here he particularly thought the homeopathic stimulative method to be very important to properly direct and activate the vital force in its efforts to overcome such conditions.
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1.Biochemistry vs Homeopathy - The biochemic cell salt remedies are homeopathic medicines. Since they more often apply to cases of deficiency than excess, the cell salts do offer an interesting challenge to homeopathy’s fundamental principle of Like Cures Like . The primary exception to this being the sea salt remedy, NATRUM MUR, which was proven by homeopathy’s founder, Samuel Hahnemann. Regardless of their adherence to rules, their long history of success prove that all the cell salts are a critical part of the whole of homeopathy and that they contribute to the healing potential of most other remedies.
2.Does this mean cell salts are supplements? Definitely not. Though made from the basic mineral compounds that the cells in our bodies depend on, cell salts are diluted and potentized like all homeopathic remedies. Thus they apply to issues of assimilation, access and utility of minerals, and should not be taken in place of a nutritious diet or nutritional supplements.
3.The Symptom Picture - When choosing KALI PHOS or any remedy, you look for a certain pattern of symptoms that match the case: If KALI PHOS can help a case of nerves, it will work best if the patient’s nerves are hypersensitive, nervous, and quickly fatigued by any effort, plus there might be a need for rest and possibly an inclination for seeing the glass half empty.
4.“Proving” remedies - In cases of some cell salts, including KALI PHOS, the symptoms and personality traits are linked to it by recordings of deficiencies rather than provings by excessive dosing. According to Dr. Scheussler who established the biochemic cell salts, KALI PHOS’ source, Potassium phosphate, “is contained in the cells of the brains, nerves, muscles, blood and intercellular fluids. A disturbance in the motions of its molecules produces: In Brain cells: Despondency, anxiety, fearfulness, home-sickness, suspiciousness, agoraphobia, with a weak memory... In Sensory nerves: Pains with sensation of paralysis. In Motor nerves: Weakness of muscles and nerves even to paralysis. In trophic tissues of Sympathetic Nerve: Retarded nutrition, even total arrest in a limited area of cells and then a softening.” - Robin Murphy, ND - Homeopathic Remedy Guide.
In other remedies - As the cell salts are part of our cells and tissues, they can be equally vital to certain plants and thus are part of the remedies we make from various plant sources. Some have been analyzed to confirm this with interesting results. COCCULUS, a great colic and cramp remedy, contains MAGNESIUMPHOSPHATE, the anti-spasmodic remedy useful for leg cramps, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, backaches, etc. KALI PHOS was found in substantial quantity in PULSATILLA and CIMICIFUGA, two more very nervy or emotional remedies. KALI PHOS can be as gloomy and dark-sided as CIMICIFUGA or as anxious and moody as Pulsatilla. Of the other remedies tested, Baptisia, Rhus tox,Phytolacca, Hamamelis and more contained Kali phos.
The tuxedoed seabirds’ homeland is melting beneath their feet as global warming strikes hard in Antarctica and elsewhere
AS DEE BOERSMA sees it, penguins could be environmentalists’ best allies in the fight against global warming. A prominent conservation biologist at the University of Washington, Boersma has studied a colony of half-a-million Magellanic penguins at Punta Tombo on the Argentina coast for the past 25 years. A decade ago, tens of thousands of the burrow-nesting birds died every year from contact with dirty ballast water dumped by passing tankers. Justifiably, she ranked oil pollution as the most serious peril faced by penguin populations scattered across the southern seas. But no longer.
“Mounting evidence points to climate change as the greatest threat to penguins, especially those species breeding in the Antarctic region,” she says. “These elegant creatures are global sentinels, and they’re telling us that something is very wrong. Maybe policy-makers will pay attention. After all, I’ve never met a person who didn’t love penguins.”
Penguins cope with a host of problems, from habitat loss, alien animals, guano mining, deadly trawl nets and capricious weather systems to food shortages from overfishing. Consider the precarious state of Humboldt penguins—barely 12,000 pairs breeding only on the coast of northern Chile and Peru. Schools of anchovies in these cold, rich waters are a major component of the birds’ diet. But the fish have been severely depleted, ground into meal for salmon farms in Europe and Asia.
Of the world’s 17 penguin species, 10 are flagged as endangered or vulnerable on the World Conservation Union Red List. The numbers of two listed species are stable, but the other eight are in freefall. Penguin researchers invariably cite global and ocean warming and their impact on food supplies as major contributing factors. As Falklands conservationist Mike Bingham writes, “Breeding colonies rely on highly productive feeding areas within their daily foraging range [and] any reduction in food abundance will have adverse effects on chick-rearing.”
Rockhopper penguin numbers on New Zealand’s Campbell Island, for example, plummeted from 1.6 million breeding pairs in the 1940s to around 100,000 pairs by 1985, and the population has never bounced back. Scientists blame the decline on rising sea temperatures, which reduce the oxygen levels necessary for the penguin’s marine-invertebrate prey to reproduce.
Macaroni penguins, with their golden crests, are in trouble on Bird Island, in the South Georgia group, where their colony has declined by 50 percent since a 1979 census counted 5 million pairs. The catalyst here appears to be competition between penguins and a burgeoning population of fur seals for declining stocks of krill, the shrimplike crustaceans that are prey for all kinds of Antarctic life, from fish to whales. A recent British Antarctic Survey study revealed an 80 percent decline since 1979 in densities of krill in the southwest Atlantic, the most productive krill spawning and nursery area in Antarctic waters.
That Antarctica is warming faster than the rest of the world seems indisputable. Another British Antarctic Survey team recently digitized data collected by weather balloon instruments at nine stations on the southernmost continent between 1971 and 2003. It found that atmospheric temperatures over Antarctica in winter had risen 2.7 degrees F during a 30-year period, the largest regional warming ever documented. In contrast, National Aeronautics and Space Administration tells us that Earth overall warmed about 1 degree during the same period. Scientists, however, are at a loss to explain why heat-trapping greenhouse gases, which reached record high levels in Earth’s atmosphere in 2005, are having their greatest impact in Antarctica.
Signs of warming are everywhere in the south-polar region. French scientists who examined 55 years of nesting data from eastern Antarctica’s Adélie Land—home to emperor and Adélie penguins, southern giant petrels, southern fulmars, south polar skuas, snow petrels, Antarctic petrels, Cape petrels and Wilson’s storm petrels—report that global warming has led penguins and other seabirds to arrive an average of nine days later than in 1950 to set up territories, court and lay eggs. The study attributes the delay mainly to dwindling stocks of krill and other marine life that force penguins and their polar neighbors to spend more time building up reserves necessary for breeding.
The impact of warming on Antarctic seabirds is all about the sea ice that encircles the continent year-round. The 10-foot thick ice pack covers 7 million square miles—an area the size of Russia—in winter, melting to 1.5 million square miles in summer. Winter sea ice provides critical spawning and nursery areas for krill, which feed on microscopic algae growing on the underside of the ice. This ice pack has shrunk 20 percent during the past 50 years because of global warming, according to Australian scientists who traced ice patterns in the Southern Ocean as far back as 1840. When the ice melts earlier, less food is available for krill, yielding &ldquorofound implications for the Southern Ocean food web,” says Angus Atkinson of the British Antarctic Survey.
The most detailed—and dramatic—evidence of warming’s impact comes from King George Island off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, where Wayne Trivelpiece launched a study of a penguin rookery in 1976. Adélie penguins, the dominant species at the site, share the area with nesting gentoo and chinstrap penguins. In the study’s early years, the Adélie population hovered around 10,000 breeding pairs, but their numbers “fell off the table” in 1989. A more recent survey counted only 2,400 pairs. “The area has become so warm that three to five years can pass without sea ice forming around these islands,” says Trivelpiece, now director of Antarctic seabird research for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “No ice means no young krill. And the probability that young penguins will be able to find enough food to survive three years at sea before returning to breed is less than 20 percent. That’s driving the decline.”
The story of emperor penguins, stars of the popular documentary film March of the Penguins, and their interaction with sea ice is even more complex. Emperor penguins, the British Antarctic Survey’s John Croxall wrote, “are justly celebrated for their unique adaptations for survival under the most demanding conditions of any polar bird. They breed throughout the Antarctic winter (mainly feeding on small fish but also squid and krill) so that their chicks can fledge before the ice on which their colonies are situated breaks up.”
In the 1970s, during an abnormally warm period lasting several years, the emperor penguin colony on Adélie Land, where the film was shot, crashed to half its former size. French scientists believe adult mortality rates soared then because of the loss of pack ice in the birds’ foraging area. Receding sea ice, moreover, may explain why the population has never recovered. The world’s largest penguins haul out on pack ice to molt in mid-summer. If they have to swim too far to find a refuge that will not break up during the three- to four-week molting period, adults and juveniles die at sea. Indeed, Dee Boersma visited the French Antarctic base last December and reports that a big storm in September 2006, toward the end of the austral winter, blew all the ice out to sea. “The emperor chicks went with the ice, but they couldn’t survive as they didn’t have their feathers grown.”
Sea ice and krill nurseries are not concerns, however, for Magellanic penguins at Punta Tombo, which sits 800 miles beyond the Antarctic Convergence. This is the line where polar waters of the Southern Ocean sink below the relatively warmer waters of the southernmost Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The climate and marine-life associations of the sub-Antarctic region north of the convergence are distinctly different.
Boersma relates that fewer Magellanics have died from oily water since Argentina moved shipping lanes farther offshore to protect its penguin rookeries. The Punta Tombo population, she says, is now stable after declining by 35 percent. But her birds are traveling 60 miles farther than a decade ago to find food because of competition with fishing fleets, which are targeting smaller and smaller species. And now Argentina is promoting a trawler fishery for anchovies, which make up 50 percent of the Magellanic’s diet. Global warming is likely to further undercut the already beleaguered food sources of these penguins.
With a population of about 1.5 million breeding pairs around the Patagonia shore of South America, the Magellanic penguin is by no means jeopardized. Still, as Dee Boersma reminds us, it is sobering to observe that in recent decades the Humboldt penguin population numbered not 12,000 birds but a million.
Les Line, longtime editor of Audubon magazine and a field editor for this magazine, last wrote about penguin conservation in International Wildlife (September/October 1997).
Crispy tortillas encase spicy soy chicken to create this delicious dish that is perfect as an appetizer or a main course.
3 Tbsp. canola oil, plus additional oil for frying the taquitos 1 medium onion, diced 2 medium Anaheim peppers 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb. vegetarian chicken, torn into small pieces (try Worthington Chic-Ketts or Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Chik'n Strips) 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes 2 Tbsp. chili powder 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. cumin 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 1 tsp. oregano 2 cups faux chicken broth or vegetable broth Salt, to taste 18 to 24 corn tortillas
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, peppers, and garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vegetarian chicken and continue cooking for 3 more minutes.
Blend the tomatoes, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and oregano in a blender and pour into the saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the broth. Simmer over medium heat, covered, for about 25 minutes. Season with the salt.
Wrap the tortillas in a damp cloth, place in the oven, and heat through, until soft, under low heat.
Strain the sauce and place 1 Tbsp. of the mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll the tortilla tightly and use a toothpick to hold it. Repeat for the remaining tortillas.
In a medium sauté pan, heat enough oil to cover the taquitos two-thirds deep. Fry the taquitos for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
Remove the toothpicks and serve with your favorite salsa, nondairy sour cream, and guacamole on the side.
June 15, 2007 - A pair of geese, who made a nest underneath the Lakeshore Rd. bridge at the mouth of the Credit River, have figured out a way to fool those nasty officials from the City of Mississauga who keep preventing their eggs from hatching.
All this spring, those who work and live around the lighthouse on Lakeshore Rd. at the bridge have been keeping an eye on two nests that were built almost side by side in the area.
One belonged to a pair of Canada geese and the other to a pair of swans. The eggs laid by the geese were covered with mineral oil by City officials to prevent them from hatching — part of an ongoing strategy to reduce the waterfront population.
When the mother swan seemingly abandoned her nest, one of the regular observers of the avian antics at the harbour decided to intervene. He took the swan egg and placed it in the goose nest.
The egg has now hatched and the baby is being raised by the geese, who are known as being some of the most attentive parents in the world.
The little swan has even been seen riding around the harbour on the back of one of its adopted parents. The geese have proven once again that – with a little help – you can fight City Hall.
telling myself the truth.
And honesty is telling
the truth to other
Many years ago, when I
was in high school
chemistry lab, I was
assigned to do a litmus
test to determin...
New Petition! Speak out
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and your programming
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Time-Warner and Comcast
New Petition! Speak out
Merger with Comcast! Let
your opinion be know
before your bill goes up
and your programming
Urge DOJ and FCC to Not
Allow Merger of
Time-Warner and Comcast
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meek? I guess it
depends who you ask, but
I think the meaning
implied in the passage
above has somehow been
lost over the
My two current books have
been published and are
available for sale
through Amazon, Barnes
and Noble, and the
Hammer. Reading these
books can be very helpful
for anyone seeking ...
It is said that
the eyes are the windows
to the soul. There
is much to be said about
this. You can see
emotion through the eyes,
can you not? You
can often tell if a
person is lying or not by
looking into their
When we are born, we are
aware of our spiritual
this is the part of
ourselves with which we
are most aware! The
body is new.
Wow! Look at those
fingers and toes!
As to the mental aspect
of self, we were ha...
I no longer choose to
trust the medical system
with caring for my health
in any significant
way. If I need
stitches or an emergency
But for my ongoing health
care, no thank you.
I do not believe in their