animals

Steven Lilley / Creative Commons

Thousands of chickens have died in a fire at a coop in eastern Connecticut that belongs to a major egg producer.

Andy Morffew / Creative Commons

A rare bird described as a "flying rainbow" that normally doesn't fly north of the Carolinas on the East Coast has turned up in a small town in Vermont, drawing hundreds of bird watchers to Pittsfield hoping to catch a glimpse of the painted bunting. 

After days of anticipation, a fuzzy wing flopped out of the remains of an egg shell Friday morning, signaling the hatching of a baby bald eagle who's been watched and fretted over, via an eagle cam set up at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

The bird then worked its way out of its shell over the next hour, emerging more fully around 8:20 a.m. ET. Throughout the process, its parent eagle alternated between peering attentively (to be honest, eagles don't seem capable of anything but) and nestling over the fledgling and a second, as-yet-unhatched, egg.

Steven Sola

In the 1960s, the eagle population in the United States was in critical decline, due in part to the pesticide DDT and loss of habitat. 

Maybe Dodos Weren't So Dumb After All

Mar 1, 2016

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “Dumb as a dodo” before. Dodos were supposed to be dumb — the story goes — that’s why the three-foot tall, flightless birds weren’t afraid of the European sailors who hunted them to extinction on the island of Mauritius in the 1600s.

With their outsized, cartoonish beaks, their tiny wings and their gangly necks stuck on a plump body, they don’t look very smart.

“As goofy as it looks, it’s actually not that bad. It may not be a genius, but it’s no dodo,” says Euginea Gold, a Stony Brook University researcher.

When you edit a blog called "Goats and Soda," and you read a story about a goat locked in a car in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Oxford, Mass., and you learn that the goat turned on the hazard lights and wipers, pooped on the driver's seat and ... drank an old cup of soda, you have no choice.

You have to cover the story.

lutrus / Flickr

Researchers with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth said a new video system will help provide data to better inform management of New England's beleaguered cod population.

Tambako The Jaguar/Creative Commons

Six seals have been spotted on the North Shore of Long Island, off Centre Island.

An executive director of the Riverhead Foundation said seals are more typically seen on the East End. Most seals live in cold waters off Maine, Nova Scotia, and Massachusetts.

Paul Sullivan / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is holding a public meeting on migratory bird hunting regulations.

praline3001 / Creative Commons

Two musicians-turned web developers have created a product inspired by an online dating app, but filled with pictures of cats.

International Whaling Commission / iwc.int

A whale’s majesty can be glimpsed during a whale watching trip anywhere the regal mammals roam. But the chances of that vision being marred are increasing as more whales become entangled in fishing gear.

Most people visit the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland for the beautiful scenery or historic castles or maybe the Talisker Distillery.

Not Stephen Brusatte. He goes to Skye for the dinosaurs. And he's pretty jazzed about what he and his team discovered on a recent field trip. "What we found is the biggest dinosaur site that's ever been found in Scotland," he says.

Artie Aiken used to have stomach problems. During World War II, he served on bases in Connecticut and Texas instead of going overseas. When he got back to Vermont, a doctor prescribed goat milk – and things were never the same.

Fintrvlr / Creative Commons

A new plan is being discussed to reduce the number of -- but not eliminate -- horse carriages on New York City.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

 A group of doctors, scientists, and engineers announced an ambitious new medical goal this week in Hartford: they'll attempt to re-generate a human knee and a human limb. 

fidelco.org

The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation has received a federal grant of $106,000 to place two German Shepherd guide dogs with disabled service members and veterans.

Neanderthals have long been recognized as humans’ closest relatives. They were highly intelligent, skilled hunters, with a rugged build, and a knack for toolmaking.

Every other Saturday, a huge semi truck with a 42-foot trailer pulls up in a parking lot in Putnam, Connecticut. Amid the barking of dogs in the background, a burly man named Greg Mahle hops out.

For the past 10 years, Mahle has made it his mission to find homes for rescue dogs. He brings them up from the South to what he calls “forever families” here in the North. He estimates he has saved some 50,000 dogs.

Josh Haner, The New York Times / European Pressphoto Agency

This past week brought us the long-awaited first of six Democratic candidate debates, held at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. The tone was substantive, exposing a few stark differences between the candidates and their Republican opponents. They offered nuanced and complex views -- overall, a good night for voters who want to know the candidates. 

Amtrak: Pets Welcome Aboard Northeast Regional, Downeaster

Oct 12, 2015

Amtrak says it will now allow passengers on some Northeast routes to bring along their pets. Under the program, passengers can take a cat or small dog on trips up to seven hours long.

Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium is launching a national program to reach out to at-risk youth, and it's the result of the biggest federal grant the non-profit has ever received.

Connecticut is urging poultry owners to register the location of their flocks with the state as a precaution against bird flu. 

Patrick Lynch/Yale University

Earth is home to thousands of different species of birds with an amazing array of behaviors, body types, and colors. For biologists studying evolution, that diversity has presented a fundamental question: How did so many different types of birds evolve? And how do they relate? 

You may be familiar with hoarders (not the TV show, but same idea).  In nature, a hoarder will hide food in one place.  Everything it gathers will be stored in a single tree or den.  But for some animals one food cache isn't enough.  We call them scatter hoarders.

William Warby / flickr creative commons

A man named Billy Williams became a legend during World War II, but not only for his heroic actions; Williams, stationed in Burma, became an elephant "whisperer." The book Elephant Company describes the man's exceptional ability to understand the elephants around him, and the stunning ability of the elephants to understand and communicate with him, in return.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

At one of the state's oldest fairs this weekend, farmers and 4H-ers kept history alive in the fair’s annual working steer competition, where both teens and adults competed to navigate their oxen through a series of challenges.

Meagan Racey / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A partnership to protect Connecticut's only native rabbit appears to be working, which means the New England cottontail will not need protection under the Endangered Species Act. 

The campaign to force America's farmers to change the way they handle their animals celebrated a victory this week.

McDonald's USA announced that in the near future, it will no longer buy eggs from chickens that live in cages.

Those cages are still the industry standard, and 90 percent of America's eggs come from chickens that live in them.

Carl Safina

What, exactly, do animals think and feel? That's the question at the heart of a new book by Carl Safina, an ecologist who traveled to Kenya, the Pacific Northwest, and Yellowstone to research his latest work, Beyond Words.

  Woodstock Farm Sanctuary takes in – or works to place – farm animals who are victims of cruelty and neglect. Most of these animals are rescued during investigations of farms, stockyards, auctions, and slaughterhouses – others arrive from humane societies and SPCA cruelty cases.

After 10 years of doing their good work in Woodstock, they are moving to a new 150 acre location in High Falls, NY. The new space is a former camp and retreat center in the heart of the Hudson Valley -- just 20 minutes from New Paltz and 90 minutes from New York City.

With more than six times the space they had in Woodstock, the sanctuary will have the resources to rescue additional farm animals as well as to increase the scale and scope of the sanctuary’s public programming.

The sanctuary is celebrating their re-opening this Saturday, September 5th. Jenny Brown is the Co-Founder and Director of the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary and she joins us.

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