As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 4 May 2017

City's drug problem sees birds 'making nests out of needles'

Adam Boult

4 May 2017 • 11:04am

A viral photo tweeted by a high ranking police officer in Vancouver purports to show a pigeon's nest made entirely from used hypodermic needles.

The image was shared on Twitter by Superintendent Michelle Davey of Vancouver Police, who said that pigeons had been spotted making a nest out of needles in a single room occupancy (a form of low-cost housing) in the Downtown Eastside area of the city.

She described the image as reflecting the "sad reality of the opioid crisis", and added the hashtag #notstaged, indicating she believed the image had not been faked in any way.

Staff Sergeant Randy Fincham said the image “was captured by our Homeless Outreach Coordinator during an inspection of a vacant room."

Vancouver is experiencing an epidemic in the use of fentanyl, an analgesic estimated to be up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

In December nine people died from fentanyl opioid overdoses across the city in one 24 hour period. Two milligrams of pure fentanyl - the size of about four grains of salt - is enough to kill an average-size adult.

Mayor Gregor Robertson, addressing the overdose crisis, said: "It's desperate times in Vancouver and it's hard to see any silver lining right now when we haven't hit rock bottom."

As the "bird's nest" image started to go viral the fact-checking site Snopes commented: "The authenticity of the 'pigeon’s nest' photograph is still uncertain, and we are one of many news outlets who have sent requests to Superintendent Davey seeking more information about it.

"We don’t yet know if or how it was determined that a pigeon had in fact constructed and used the pile of needles as a nest."


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