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Old 2019-09-19, 13:45   #34
retina
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This vid gives a (dangerous) solution the the magpie attacks:
http://youtu.be/9wHreVKgOT4

Also, people sharing their stories:
https://www.magpiealert.com/Swooping...AndReviews.php
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Old 2019-09-19, 14:13   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
This vid gives a (dangerous) solution the the magpie attacks:
http://youtu.be/9wHreVKgOT4

Also, people sharing their stories:
https://www.magpiealert.com/Swooping...AndReviews.php
Seems like the solution is to cover the helmet with a brown wig, so the helmet does not look like the rider is wearing a giant egg shell on his head.
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Old 2019-09-20, 00:23   #36
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The hummingbirds in my area have headed south. I see an occasional one passing through, but the fighting over the feeder is done at least until spring. I wonder how many of them will make it back.

According to a study just out, the birds of North America are not doing well. For many species, not well at all.

Decline of the North American avifauna

Science 19 Sep 2019:
eaaw1313
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw1313
Quote:
Abstract
Species extinctions have defined the global biodiversity crisis, but extinction begins with loss in abundance of individuals that can result in compositional and functional changes of ecosystems. Using multiple and independent monitoring networks, we report population losses across much of the North American avifauna over 48 years, including once common species and from most biomes. Integration of range-wide population trajectories and size estimates indicates a net loss approaching 3 billion birds, or 29% of 1970 abundance. A continent-wide weather radar network also reveals a similarly steep decline in biomass passage of migrating birds over a recent 10-year period. This loss of bird abundance signals an urgent need to address threats to avert future avifaunal collapse and associated loss of ecosystem integrity, function and services.
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Old 2019-09-20, 02:49   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
Seems like the solution is to cover the helmet with a brown wig, so the helmet does not look like the rider is wearing a giant egg shell on his head.
Yeah, I think your are correct. The magpies appear to dislike the headgear, and don't actually about the bike or the rider.
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Old 2019-09-21, 06:14   #38
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Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Wow! That I did not know. I suppose they would not be worth a hawk's effort, and so would be safer.
"Aquila non capit muscam"
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Old 2019-09-21, 12:14   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
"Aquila non capit muscam"
That's "muscas".

Yes, hummingbirds are generally too small and agile to be worth the effort of larger hawks to pursue and catch on the wing.

However, according to THIS WEEK at HILTON POND 1-7 September 2007, sharp-shinned hawks and loggerhead shrikes, which prey on other birds, do occasionally catch them on the wing. Insect-eating birds also occasionally catch hummingbirds.

Other sites say that owls sometimes find (and eat) hummingbirds in torpor at night.

There are at least two species of robber fly which can take down hummingbirds: the large red-footed Cannibalfly (Promachus rufipes) AKA Bee Panther, which lives in much of the eastern US (click on "Data" tab in previous link), and the even larger "beelzebub (or belzebul) bee killer" Mallophora leschenaulti (AKA black bee killer), which lives in Colorado and Texas (and south to Argentina).

See also Operation RubyThroat's Predators #1.
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Old 2019-09-21, 15:40   #40
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That's quite a list of hazards for the poor little things. There is video on YouTube of the mantis threat succeeding.
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Old 2019-09-22, 08:18   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
That's "muscas".
No, that's not. One of the biggest web-era misconceptions. The word "muscas" didn't exist in Latin, the plural of "musca" (fly) is "musci" (pronounced mus-tchi). Latin, in general, didn't form plurals by adding "s", this is more like an Iberic invention. The "am" is the accusative case in Latin. The sentence "Aquila non capit muscas" (and therefore the word "muscas") appeared for the first time as a title of a book wrote by an ignorant westerner, and it went into the popular culture like that. Even wikipedia is mistaken about it, and I tried for a while to convince them without success. Funny part is that we learned this from a Japanese guy (no joke!), many years ago, then we didn't believe, and made research. Old Latin books we have at home (our mother was language teacher and phylologist), including more "recent" books we used to learn from in school ("recent" here means in the 70'a and 80's, pre-net era) are very clear about that (but of course at the time we didn't give a dime about learning Latin, and we were only thinking how to make life miserable for our teachers and parents).

Re accusative case in Latin, it is hard to explain that to a native English speaker, as you don't have (much of) cases in your grammar. Think about the two (correct) Latin phrases: "Philosophus non facit barba" versus "Philosophum non facit barba". The first means something like "a philosopher does not make (build, construct, etc) a beard", when the second is "not the beard makes a philosopher". In Latin, same as in Romanian, due to case system, the structure of the phrase is flexible, you can move the words around in any way, and yet it will be very clear who does what, where the things are coming from, and where they are going. We use this deliberate and in subtle ways, to stress things or show subtleties, same as in German (where the cases are also present, but they got them from Greek two centuries ago when they restructured their grammar) where they place words at the beginning of the sentence to stress them out.

Both "muscam non capit aquila" and "aquila non capit muscam" are CORRECT Latin and they mean exactly the same thing, the eagle does not catch flies (i.e. an important person can't be bothered with trifle things), but in the first case the "flies" is stressed out. Also correct, and with the same meaning, would be "non capit aquila muscam" and "non capit muscam aquila". Due to aquila is nominative form, and muscam is accusative form, you know exactly who is catching who. The opposite, the flies catches the eagle, would be either "musca capit aquilam" or "aquilam capit musca", both correct and having the same meaning. Similar, "barba non facit philosophum", "non barba facit philosophum", etc, about 20 of the 24 possible permutations are correct, and mean the same thing, except the stress is different. Similar of what you do in English by rising your voice, when you say "I have a blue cat" (i.e. not you), vs. "I have a blue cat" (i.e. sure I have one!), vs. "I have a blue cat" (i.e. one, not more), vs. "I have a blue cat" (i.e. not a green one), vs. "I have a blue cat" (i.e. not a dog).

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2019-09-22 at 09:10
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Old 2019-09-22, 10:05   #42
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Musca, Latin first declension, so the nominative plural is muscae. If the eagle catches one fly, then it's accusative singular, muscam. But if it's several, then it's the plural muscas.

Six years of Latin in high school, and got the highest grade in the matriculation exams. By coincidence the Finnish scoring system is in Latin, and that grade is "laudatur".

Latin never felt that difficult for me to learn, because even though Finnish is from a completely different language group, grammar cases are quite familiar. We have fifteen of them. Various constructs like ablativus absolutus never caused any trouble either. We have some similar grammatical constructs too. But plenty of other stuff on top of those, that cause trouble for those trying to learn Finnish, coming from an Indo-European language background...

Sorry, off-topic, not much to do with birds anymore.
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Old 2019-09-24, 23:57   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
Yeah, I think your are correct. The magpies appear to dislike the headgear, and don't actually [care] about the bike or the rider.
Oops, I accidentally a word out.

But I wonder if the headgear (i.e. the helmet) is triggering the magpies desire for shiny objects? That is, if the helmet was matt black will they still swoop? Perhaps they just want to add someone's shiny helmet to their hidden collection of shiny things.
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Old 2019-09-25, 00:32   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
Oops, I accidentally a word out.

But I wonder if the headgear (i.e. the helmet) is triggering the magpies desire for shiny objects? That is, if the helmet was matt black will they still swoop? Perhaps they just want to add someone's shiny helmet to their hidden collection of shiny things.
Or, they're outraged that the egg-sucking primate was so greedy he got his head stuck in a large one, and now it's every bird's chance at revenge for an obvious nest robber.
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