Our world of nature

Powered up robins, ‘dogumentaries’, takahē travel, beakboxing and… James Bond?

Power priorities in India

An Indian village decided to turn off street lighting for over a month last year after a robin was discovered to have laid her eggs in the local switchboard.

Karuppu Raja, the man responsible for using the switchboard each day to operate the streetlights, discovered the nest and alerted the community via a WhatsApp group message. “I explained… that so many bird species have become extinct and we should not let (the) Indian Robin go the same way.” The village decided to leave the birds in peace. After 45 days mum and hatchlings left the nest and the village returned to normalcy each night.

Takahē take flight

Here’s some great news, particularly considering April is Takahē Awareness month!

Fifteen takahē have been released into the Kahurangi National Park to join their friends there. This is the only wild population of the takahē outside of Fiordland. With their arrival the group has nearly doubled, the population now estimated to be around 34 birds.

It was a first class trip for the rare birds, flying from Invercargill to Nelson then by helicopter to near the Heaphy Track. It’s been an amazing journey for the breed as a whole too. Once thought extinct, the takahē was rediscovered in 1948 by Invercargill doctor Geoffrey Orbell​. Since then dedicated efforts have seen the population reach 445 by October 2020. We’re hoping this latest arrival of birds in the wild helps those numbers grow further still. 

Doggone (and back again)

Stray, a new documentary set in Istanbul, is gaining rave reviews for it’s insightful look into a dog’s life. The film crew ‘tailed’ three stray dogs, Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal, through the Turkish city for over two years.

What they discovered is apparently fascinating. The dogs have a “rich social calendar”, the Guardian review reveals they “trot to meetings with fishers on the Galata Bridge, lunches with refuse collectors on the Istiklal Caddesi, brisk liaisons with male dogs and long nights sleeping on construction sites with Jamil, Halil and Aliof, three refugees from Aleppo.”

In 2004 Turkey made it illegal to euthanise or capture stray dogs. As a result Istanbul is now home to 15 million people and an estimated 130,000 dogs.  This film, shot at ‘dog height’, has been called a “meditation on non-human intelligence”. We’re looking forward to seeing it…


The name’s Bird, James Bird…

The fictional James Bond regularly thwarts evil and saves the world while looking his finest in the latest tailored style. It turns out the real life version is just as cool too.

Author Ian Fleming named his superspy after American ornithologist, James Bond. It turns out that Fleming was a passionate birdwatcher and had a copy of Bond’s book, Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies, while he was in the Caribbean. The book itself makes an appearance in the Bond film Die Another Day, and first editions are now quite sought after.


This bird, rescued from a bad owner, seems to be right at home with this cool vet technician in Brooklyn. Who else wants to dance this good?

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