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Unread 10-05-2008, 08:32 PM   #1
Udrivecrap
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Exclamation Birds threaten dragstrip

http://archives.starbulletin.com/200...turecalls.html

Endangered island birds need our help to survive



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The early Hawaiians knew the birds we call Newell's shearwaters. Naming them was easy: The birds' call sounds like "ah-oh," so the early Hawaiian settlers called them ao. Bird watchers have referred to the lively sounds heard around the nesting colonies as "jackasslike braying" or "crow calling."


Today's natural resource experts recognize this bird as a unique subspecies of shearwaters endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and nowhere else. They are listed as "threatened" on the Endangered Species List.

It's obvious that we humans are part of the problem -- especially those who arrived after Capt. Cook, bringing the rats, cats, mongoose, cattle, sheep and dogs that would add to the decline of the ao.

The birds were once abundant on all of the main islands but now nest primarily on Kauai, which claims 75 percent of the world's population. A few probably nest in remote areas of other islands.

In 1995 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated the population of Newell's shearwaters at 84,000, with a breeding population of approximately 14,600 pairs. Recent data from radar surveys reveal a decrease of 50 to 70 percent between 1993 and 2001.

Shearwaters are birds of the open tropical seas and offshore waters near breeding grounds. During their nine-month breeding season (April through November), they live in burrows under ferns on mountain slopes, but some are left literally clinging onto vertical cliff faces and nesting in rock crevices.

Another ground-nesting marine bird, the native endemic Hawaiian petrel (uau), is also on the Endangered Species List. (Its name also comes from the sound it makes -- "oo-ah-oo.")

The petrels also once nested on all the main islands except Niihau. They're now restricted to Haleakala Crater on Maui, with smaller numbers nesting on Kauai, Lanai and the Big Island.

Petrels are generally seen close to the main islands only during breeding season, according to the Hawaii Audubon Society. Otherwise, they cruise the ocean, their flight characterized by high, steeply banked arcs and glides. The adults feed on squid, fish and crustaceans and pass food to newly hatched chicks by regurgitation.

WITH both of these Hawaiian birds, as our numbers went up, theirs went down. As more people have moved to these islands, building homes, businesses and roads and bringing animals, the number of these birds has steadily decreased.
We brought something else that has been blamed for a large number of bird deaths: 24/7 artificial light.

Fledglings typically take their first flights at night, leaving their upland nest sites and instinctively seeking natural light shining on water to help them find the sea. Artificial lights leave them disoriented and exhausted as they collide with buildings and power lines.

Falling to the ground, these birds become prey to cats, rats, dogs and mongooses. They are hit by cars or die of injuries or dehydration. Combined with a naturally low reproductive rate and lack of natural defenses, these additional threats greatly increase the vulnerability of these seabirds.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has worked with the community to reduce nonessential lighting between Sept. 15 and Dec. 15, when the young birds are flying toward the open sea. The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative darkens lights, shields streetlights so they don't shine upward and installs large balls on power lines to help birds avoid the wires. Lights at Chevron's Port Allen facility, traditionally a significant site for shearwater "fallout" on Kauai, have been retrofitted to reduce light leakage, all to save these birds.

What can the rest of us do? Volunteer for the annual Audubon Society bird count; remind ourselves, when visiting Kauai, to dim lights during this time; support spaying and neutering programs for cats and dogs; and get involved with other programs in progress.

The birds can only remind us by shouting their names.
The rest is up to us.
i've seen these birds at night. they nest in the bushes and make a weird sounding cry. they can fly towards your headlights.. happened to us not long ago.

the dragstrip is having to decide on IF they run next month and if it would be during the day. these birds are forming a loose knit community against the racetrack apparently.. ROFL.. and they have a voice.

next month is supposed to be the last race of the season. next year they (GIRA) might have to start the year early.

there will be info on the Kauai Raceway Park website after the meeting of the board of directors.. which i believe is this week sometime.

just wanted to post this to let people know how a bird can threaten a racetrack

maybe they should move it near the airport... LOL
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Unread 10-05-2008, 08:57 PM   #2
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Sad to hear...it's always a compromise here.
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Unread 10-05-2008, 09:21 PM   #3
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does the track run open headers? maybe the loud sound will scare the birds
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Unread 10-05-2008, 10:14 PM   #4
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oh yeah, they got cars with open headers there, lots of them.. and some of the cars sound like they are shooting off rounds between shifts.. lol

but i guess that's not what the bird saving people and the DLNR want to hear..

they want to hear that the drag racers are willing to voluntarily re-arrange their schedule. it seems really difficult to do that, from what i was told, people who work and run the track take off a day to get things ready for a night of racing on the weekend. its going to be really difficult for them to run in the day only...



i suspect they'll have to open at 7AM and run trials at 9AM and race at 1PM finishing around 6PM to have the same kind of race day as they do now.

only thing is... it will be really really hot and that sucks. the upside is that shave ice sales will go through the roof!
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Unread 10-05-2008, 10:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udrivecrap
oh yeah, they got cars with open headers there, lots of them.. and some of the cars sound like they are shooting off rounds between shifts.. lol

but i guess that's not what the bird saving people and the DLNR want to hear..

they want to hear that the drag racers are willing to voluntarily re-arrange their schedule. it seems really difficult to do that, from what i was told, people who work and run the track take off a day to get things ready for a night of racing on the weekend. its going to be really difficult for them to run in the day only...



i suspect they'll have to open at 7AM and run trials at 9AM and race at 1PM finishing around 6PM to have the same kind of race day as they do now.

only thing is... it will be really really hot and that sucks. the upside is that shave ice sales will go through the roof!
i see..

pretty strange how the birds are attracted to the lights!!
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Unread 10-05-2008, 10:43 PM   #6
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i'm an advid drag racer myself but i'm on the mainland
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Unread 10-06-2008, 08:30 AM   #7
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fascinating
how a lil bird can be a challenge...
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Unread 10-06-2008, 09:46 AM   #8
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i think its a stupid bird. my wife disagrees. we agree to disagree but i think i'm right.. lol

i mean really, you fly to the light fall to the ground and have a low reproductive rate... epic fail for a species. its either the humans or the birds in my opinion... only the strong will survive.

i think there's some kind of sea turtle with the same concerns about artificial light.. i remember seeing that on the discovery channel one time.

Last edited by Udrivecrap; 10-06-2008 at 09:51 AM.
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Unread 10-06-2008, 11:32 AM   #9
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bird relocation program coming to a drag strip near you

do they close the airport permantely cause of birds.... F no!
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Unread 10-06-2008, 03:04 PM   #10
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if these birds are such a big concern... maybe the State can pay to relocate the dragstrip closer to the main airport. build a bad azz one with grandstands.. its a far drive out there and there is nothing around but small towns on the way.

the pacific missle range is next door and there is an airport there too... that's where i seen those birds at night that dive bomb the car going for the headlights.

what i saw as a concern is the beach party folks... they drive right up on the beach with their 4x4's and hang out right at the turnaround for the dragstrip. its kinda dangerous and from what i understand there is vandalism that happens on the strip when the racers aren't there using it.

mean da dope
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Unread 10-06-2008, 05:58 PM   #11
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I also think the bird thing is stupid, but thankfully its only September through December. I've never seen any of them at the track. I'm good with starting in February; I probably wouldn't even go if they tried to make a day race in November. In addition to the things you mentioned earlier about how hard it is to get the track ready that early, there would hardly be any spectators coming to watch (and help pay the bills).

The track location is good to me; anywhere else and there would be all kinds of jackasses complaining about noise and stuff. Plus its only 5 minutes from my house.
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Unread 10-06-2008, 08:44 PM   #12
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5 minutes??.. sheeeet, it takes us 45 minutes to get there.

man.. you were killin it on saturday. great job .. car sounds awesome. Pew didn't get to race you though.. haha

i have a feeling that next month will be cancelled because of the hardships. we shall see though... the plan for us is that i'm supposed to start saving money to bring a car there for me to drive next season. its kind of a blessing that i'm not driving, that way i can concentrate on one vehicle. i drive the chase car, i'm the mechanic and its hard when not all of our crew can go each time... so, before February i'll have to train at least one of the other guys how to tow without giving whiplash.. lol
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Unread 10-08-2008, 12:58 AM   #13
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I finally got my launches down pretty good and ran real consistent all day. Every round was real close too, I really had to earn that one. Couldn't have asked for a better race.

I used to help pit crew for a dragster and yeah, that was a lot of work. Prep the car, tow it out, tow it back, do it again. Busy the whole day. Towing a rail that can't turn isn't fun either. That's why I like my car now; all I do is eat snacks and pass out, lol.
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Unread 10-12-2008, 07:55 AM   #14
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haha..

well, it looks like the race is on! http://www.islandracer.com/forum/sho...=1520#post1520

date changed to sunday.. only thing is, it says at 6:30 its over even if your class hasn't run the final round. if the day goes smooth then every class should be able to finish by then.
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Unread 10-13-2008, 12:45 PM   #15
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There's this thing where the neighbor islands cannot have any kind of exterior landscape uplighting that has been adopted into law and enforced by the WW people.
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Unread 10-16-2008, 01:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udrivecrap
haha..

well, it looks like the race is on! http://www.islandracer.com/forum/sho...=1520#post1520

date changed to sunday.. only thing is, it says at 6:30 its over even if your class hasn't run the final round. if the day goes smooth then every class should be able to finish by then.
Are you guys still going to come and race? 2pm when the racing starts is the hottest time of the day. I know my car would be fine, but I think I would be the one overheating. I'm still debating if I'm even going to go watch.

Oh yeah, and the cornfield right across the road from the track has the exact same lights but they're on all night long and no one seems to care.
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Unread 10-16-2008, 08:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KYNgsx
Are you guys still going to come and race? 2pm when the racing starts is the hottest time of the day. I know my car would be fine, but I think I would be the one overheating. I'm still debating if I'm even going to go watch.
not sure yet.. our driver is in a full on suit and the windows don't roll down. he's gonna get stink azz by the time the racing is over.. LOL! i wouldn't have to ride back with him so i'm good with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilikopela
There's this thing where the neighbor islands cannot have any kind of exterior landscape uplighting that has been adopted into law and enforced by the WW people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYNgsx
Oh yeah, and the cornfield right across the road from the track has the exact same lights but they're on all night long and no one seems to care.
hmmm.... interesting
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