Hawaiian crows use tools

This video says about itself:

Tool-time with Hawaiian crows | Science News

14 September 2016

Hawaiian crows have just joined the short list of birds demonstrated to have a widespread, natural capacity for using tools, such as a stick for probing.

GOOD STICKWORK A Hawaiian crow manipulates a twig in its beak to wiggle out a meaty tidbit hidden in a log. Crows dissatisfied with sticks that researchers set out for snagging food sometimes flew into the shrubbery and selected their own tools for the task.

From Science News:

Hawaiian crows ace tool-user test

Second corvid species shows knack for deftly groping with sticks to snag food

by Susan Milius

2:59pm, September 14, 2016

A second kind of crow, native to Hawaii, joins the famous New Caledonian crows as proven natural tool-users.

Tested in big aviaries, Hawaiian crows (Corvus hawaiiensis) frequently picked up a little stick and deftly worked it around to nudge out hard-to-reach tidbits of meat that researchers had pushed into holes in a log, scientists report September 14 in Nature.

“A goosebump moment,” says study coauthor Christian Rutz of his first sight of Hawaiian crows tackling the test. Their nimble handling is “not some little fluke where a bird picks up a stick and pokes it in a hole,” he says. Anecdotes of such flukes abound, especially for crows.  What’s rare are demonstrations that most able-bodied adults in a species show a capacity for tool use in chores important for life in the wild. Because Hawaiian crows are extinct in the wild, Rutz and his colleagues had the bittersweet ability to test literally all adult members of the species. Youngsters too developed tool skills on their own.

Rutz, of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, has worked with New Caledonian crows, which routinely shape and wield food-snagging tools. These birds, like the Hawaiian crows, are native to remote tropical islands. So is the Galapagos woodpecker finch, one of the handful of other bird species proven expert in tool use. Remote islands may favor the evolution of such capacities, Rutz muses. There are no true woodpeckers to compete with birds for treats in crevices there. And few predators lurk to pounce on a bird distracted with its head practically in a hole.

Young albatross learns to fly

This Laysan albatross video from Kauai island in Hawaii says about itself:

30 May 2016

Honua head out towards the ocean with mighty wing flaps and hops. Watch live courtesy of Cornell Lab of Ornithology here.

Hawaii police arrests lesbian couple for kissing, now compensation

This video says about itself:

Lesbian Couple Files Lawsuit After Hawaii Cop Arrested Them For Kissing

29 October 2015

The Honolulu Police Department opened an internal investigation on Wednesday into allegations that an officer wrongfully arrested a vacationing lesbian couple after seeing them kissing in a grocery store.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Lesbian couple gets $ 80,000 for being arrested for kissing

Today, 21:56

A lesbian couple who were arrested in the US state of Hawaii after a kiss in a supermarket will get a compensation of 80,000 dollars (about 71,000 euros). The women were arrested brutally and were jailed for three days.

With the compensation the municipality of Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, wants to prevent the case from going to court.

The US American couple were last year on vacation in Hawaii and were shopping at a supermarket in Honolulu. The couple walked hand in hand along the shelves and kissed briefly.

A police officer who was in uniform in the supermarket talked to the women about their behavior. “He saw romantic behaviour and told the women loudly that should not happen there,” according to the report.

The women walked on, but stopped shortly afterwards to kiss again. To the fury of the policeman, who had followed the two and threatened to expel the couple from the store. When the two stood in line at the checkout, the policeman grabbed the wrist of one of them. There was a struggle, and the cop arrested the couple.


The women were accused of assaulting a police officer and were in jail for three days. After an internal investigation, the charges were withdrawn by the Hawaiian police and the women were set free.

“We are pleased that it is all behind us,” said one of the women to Associated Press. “And we think it is right that the policeman does not just get away with this.” … The policeman retired shortly after the incident.

Bernie Sanders’ Alaska, Hawaii, Washington victories

This video from the USA says about itself:

Sanders Gains Momentum With Big Wins in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington State

27 March 2016

Next up for the Democrats are key contests in New York and Wisconsin.

Once again, Bernie Sanders has demonstrated, with a trifecta of big wins in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington State, that he has broad and enthusiastic support, especially among the young. Equally astonishing is the large percentage of voters who say they are attracted rather than repelled by Sanders’ embrace of socialism. But if you bother to conduct your own focus group among Americans under 40, neither phenomenon should be surprising. Except for those graduating from elite universities, with either full scholarships or wealthy tuition-paying parents, this is the stunted generation — young adults venturing into a world of work, loaded with student debt, unable to find stable jobs or decent careers: here.

Bernie Sanders: Hillary Clinton’s Fundraising Is ‘Obscene’. He took a swipe at her “big-money” connections: here.

Bernie Sanders scored landslide victories over Hillary Clinton in Democratic Party caucuses held Saturday in Washington state, Hawaii and Alaska. The scale of the defeats for Clinton, the presumptive front-runner in the contest for the presidential nomination, was overwhelming in all three states. In Washington’s caucuses, Sanders beat Clinton by 73 percent to 27 percent. In Alaska, the margin was 82 percent to 18 percent. Sanders won the Hawaii caucuses by 70 percent to 30 percent. The Vermont senator has won six of the last seven Democratic Party contests, including last Tuesday’s victories in Utah and Idaho. Clinton won in Arizona the same day. … Sanders, who has had far less media coverage than the other major candidates, has received 1.5 million votes from those under 30 in the primary process prior to Saturday, 300,000 more than Clinton and Trump combined.: here.

Little bird brings Bernie Sanders big election victories

This is another video about the Portland, Oregon, female house finch’s appearance at the Bernie Sanders United States presidential election rally. Where one sees the bird at closer range than in the other videos in my earlier blog post.

This video says about itself:

Bird At Bernie Sanders Rally Feels The Bern

26 March 2016

Bernie Sanders was giving a speech at a rally when a bird flew on stage. Then onto his lectern. Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, Jimmy Dore, and Jordan Chariton (TYT Politics), hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“Portland literally “put a bird on it” at a Bernie Sanders rally in Oregon … .

A bird landed on the Democratic presidential candidate’s podium during his speech, and the crowd went wild.

“That bird really is a dove asking us for world peace,” Sanders said.

The “put a bird on it” slogan was made famous by the sketch comedy show “Portlandia.”

Read more here.

The Young Turks commenters mention that this songbird would have been received far less kindly at a Donald Trump rally, deducing from the habitual violence against interlopers at Trump meetings (and, one may say, the enmity between Trump and birds; especially between Trump and bald eagles).

More on this video is here.

The name of the bird at the Sanders rally is house finch in English. In Dutch, it is ‘Mexicaanse roodmus’; literally, Mexican red sparrow. Their scientific name, Haemorhous mexicanus, means roughly the same. A name for it in Spanish is pinzón mexicano, Mexican finch.

The ‘Mexican’ provides another reason why this songbird would have been very unwelcome to Donald Trump. The ‘red’ is more ambiguous. Red is the colour of Trump’s United States Republican Party. But red is also the colour of international socialism; so, an unwelcome reference to Trump’s rival Sanders.

Bernie Sanders’ Bird Shows Us How Great Our Politics Can Be. As Donald Trump gives us the bird, the Bern brings us a dove: here.

Sanders and house finch

Today, there is news of big victories of Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in Democratic party caucuses in Alaska, Washington state and Hawaii.

The Huffington Post in the USA reports that in Alaska Sanders won 81,6% of the vote with victories in all counties.

In Hawaii (most votes counted, but not all yet), Sanders had 70,6% of the vote. And in Washington state 72,7%; with victories in all counties.

Baby albatross fed, video

This video, recorded in Hawaii, says about itself:

[New born albatross] Kialoa gets fed, Kauai Laysan Albatross Cam, 28 January, 2016

A clip showing the first feeding on cam, in daylight!

It takes some maneuvering, but [father] Ikaika and Kialoa eventually figure it out. The gooey substance Ikaika coughs up is dense, nutritious stomach oil that will help Kialoa grow rapidly.

Laysan albatross chick gets breakfast, video

This video from Hawaii says about itself:

Laysan Albatross Chick Gets Breakfast

1 February 2016

Honua, a two-day old chick, receives a feeding from Mom Moana. Thank you Cornell Lab of Ornithology for the Live Cam. Thank you Kauai Albatross Network for work you do for these incredible seabirds.