Herring gulls and carrion crows


This video from the USA is called Herring Gulls Courting at Kalmus Beach.

While in the botanical garden on 2 February, I saw two herring gulls swimming in the canal.

They were probably in love, as they bobbed their heads up and down.

Then, they flew out of he water, as there was food on the canal bank.

A carrion crow also approached the food, but waited for the gulls to finish. Another carrion crow sat in a treetop.

As the herring gull couple ate, two other herring gulls arrived which drove their rivals away.

Jackdaws, parakeets, blackbirds at the botanical garden


Yesterday, to the botanical garden.

Jackdaw, 2 February 2013

On our way there, jackdaws near a canal

In the garden, a young mute swan grazing near the entrance bridge.

Many blackbirds.

The berries of the big yew tree, which birds were eating last time, are gone now.

Ring-necked parakeet, botanical garden, 2 February 2013

There were four ring-necked parakeets in another tree.

As we went back, the young swan was still near the entrance bridge.

Herring gull, 2 February 2013

So was this herring gull.

Hello Kitty doll’s space trip


The Hello Kitty doll. The balloon reached 93,625 feet above the Earth at its peak. When it fell back to the ground, it landed nearly 47 miles away from its launch point

From the New York Daily News in the USA:

Girl sends Hello Kitty doll into near space for science project

Lauren Rojas of Antioch, Calif., wanted to test the effects of altitute on air pressure and temperature for school. She documented the journey taken by her furry friend who launched skyward.

By Michael Walsh

Saturday, February 2, 2013, 5:57 PM

That’s one small step for Hello Kitty, one giant leap for Hello Kitty fans.

A seventh-grade girl sent a Hello Kitty doll into near space for a science project, upstaging baking soda volcanoes worldwide.

When Lauren Rojas, a precocious 13-year-old from Antioch, Calif., decided to propel a weather balloon carrying a rocket through the stratosphere, she knew of one thing that would make the project even more exciting: Hello Kitty.

“I liked her ever since I was 6 years old,” Lauren told the Daily News. “My love for Hello Kitty has never gone away and I thought it would be really fun to add a toy inside the rocket.”

So Lauren strapped in her Hello Kitty doll that her [sic; her parents?] got her on a business trip in Tokyo. She collected the flight gear from High Altitude Science and attached GoPro Hero2 video cameras to record the journey.

U.S. researchers believe they have answered a long-standing question about how electrons in the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts can suddenly become energetic enough to kill orbiting satellites: here.

Dutch Amsterdam feral parakeets


Once more, about the feral parakeets in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

This morning, the city ecologist said there are now about 3,000 ring-necked parakeets, and 100 Alexandrine parakeets in Amsterdam.

This is a video of a ring-necked parakeet nest in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

In autumn and (early) winter, ring-necked parakeets gather in big flocks of hundreds or thousands of birds to sleep together in trees. Now, these flocks are getting smaller; as ring-necked parakeets nest early. They are dispersing to find good nesting sites.

This video is about ring-necked parakeets and Alexandrine parakeets in the Oosterpark in Amsterdam.

Alexandrine parakeets are about 10cm bigger than ring-necked parakeets. They also have bigger bills and darker neck-rings.