From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1995:

Psychologist Shigeru Watanabe of
Keio University in Tokyo reported in the
May edition of New Scientist that pigeons can
tell paintings by Pablo Picasso’s cubist period
from those of impressionist Claude Monet,
but cannot distinguish the works of Cezanne
from those of Renoir––which is to say they
have about the same ability to discern style as
the average art appreciation student.
The last male crested ibis in
Japan died suddenly on May 1 while carrying
grass to the nest occupied by his mate, bor-
rowed from China, and their cluster of five
eggs. The egg were to hatch circa May 10.
The dead ibis, age 21, was the next to last of
five who were taken from the wild for
attempted captive breeding in 1981. None so
far have bred successfully. The sole survivor
of Japan’s once plentiful crested ibises is a 28-
year-old female. China still has 28 of the big
birds, all in zoos and/other sanctuaries.

Wu Guanzheng, governor of
Jiangxi province in China, has ordered a
crackdown on poaching at Poyang Lake.
Poachers kill more than 30,000 birds at the
lake each year, the newspaper L i b e r a t i o n
D a i l y reported. The western Xinjiang region
meanwhile is going after falcon smugglers,
who have taken more than 500 falcons in
recent years, usually bootlegging them to the
Middle East, where falconing remains a popu-
lar form of hunting among those who can
afford to do it.
Memphis environmental court
judge Larry Potter on April 26 set aside a
contempt judgement against bird-feeder Mary
Lane after Lane agreed to put out only five
pounds of feed per day instead of 10. Lane,
who says she feeds the birds to give her house-
bound 88-year-old mother the chance to watch
them, earlier agreed to remove eight of her
nine bird-feeding stations, due to neighbors’
Blue-green algae toxins caused the
deaths of 150,000 eared grebes at the Salton
Sea in southern California in early 1992, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says, plus the
deaths of another 20,000 eared grebes last
year. About a million grebes winter on the 35-
mile-long lake each year.
The U.S. Turkish Tourist Offices
on May 17 honored Green Active Productions
and the Unilever-Rama Group with a recep-
tion at the United Nations building in New
York City. The two firms recently combined
resources to build a pipeline that restored the
fresh water supply to the drought-stricken
Izmir bird sanctuary––home of at least 150
different avian species.
Kestrels, falcons, and sparrow
hawks have ultraviolet vision that allows them
to track prey by following the ultraviolet light
emissions of their fecal matter, researchers at
the Konnevesi Research Station in Finland
reported in a recent edition of Nature.
Ducklings who follow their moth-
ers into the water at Marina Village on the
San Francisco Bay island of Alameda often
become exhausted and drown, according to
the Waterfowl Preservation Committee,
because there are no ramps to enable them to
get back out. The WPC, formed of concerned
Marina Village homeowners, has offered to
build ramps, but the Marina Village manage-
ment and homeowners association refuse to
allow it. Letters may be sent to Rich Noble,
Noble Community Management, Marina
Village, POB 1216, Alameda, CA 94501,
and Jim Grubb, president, Marina Village
Homeowners’ Assn., same address.
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