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Thread: Ammunition and the return of the condors

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwalker View Post
    Yes larger pieces could stay in the system longer, but a birds gizzard is not like a Tumbler in a factory for example.

    The Ball bearings in a tumbler are made to be too large to exit the holes.

    Birds eat grit that is small enough to easily pass thru their system with no problems.

    You might be surprised what large birds are capable of swallowing when it comes to the size of grit. Here is a plan do a study on the ducks, geese, and turkey you harvest when hunting, slice open the gizzard of each and check them for the grit content. I suspect you are going to find that all the grit that is small enough to easily pass through is the stuff that has been in there for sometime, the larger stuff, will likely be, the new arrivals, their size may surprise you. I use to raise chicken and they didn't necessarily pick up grit small enough to easily pass through their system, I used to feed them pieces of oyster shell, they were quite a size, the dissolved mineral from them was used to harden their egg shells. Mammal are drawn to the shoulders of roads by the road salt to use for ice melt, birds are drawn to the same location to pick up grit, the road department doesn't crush the stone down to small bits and pieces, there is small stuff but it is not necessarily the size of grains of sand. Those bulbous lead sinker can be close to .40 caliber but a loon can swallow them. Consider the elasticity of a pelican peak, they take in large size fish and swallow them whole. Unfortunately those fish have to get broken up and digest before they can exit the lower end, so the elasticity of the digest system seems to declines as the food moves along it. Hence, it has to be ground up and digested with acidic juices to exit. The grit wares down as well and gets dissolved by the same juices. The one article I copy indicate that some elements that are picked up for grit are relatively insoluble and may remain in the gizzard. As well you may wish to check the crop of the birds you take, it is a temporary storage area for the recent grit that is picked up. from there it is passed on to the gizzard.
    A bit of hands on science might change your ideas on grit size.

    You don't stop hunting because you grow old. You grow old because you stop hunting.
    - Gun Nut.
    Last edited by Gun Nut; July 13th, 2020 at 04:07 PM.

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  3. #12
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    Gun, I think we are splitting hairs over size of the grit which can pass thru.

    The question remains of Why do the other Mammals and other BIRDS not seem to suffer from the same problem, or at least to the same extent?
    With waterfowl you can see that the shot would be concentrated in a small area, but shot used on upland or large game is not.

    Now the lead used in firearms is NON-ORGANIC, well the byproduct from the mining is the organic form of lead and is more easily absorbed by animals..
    Take the warning labels off. Darwin will solve the problem.

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwalker View Post
    Gun, I think we are splitting hairs over size of the grit which can pass thru.

    The question remains of Why do the other Mammals and other BIRDS not seem to suffer from the same problem, or at least to the same extent?
    With waterfowl you can see that the shot would be concentrated in a small area, but shot used on upland or large game is not.

    Now the lead used in firearms is NON-ORGANIC, well the byproduct from the mining is the organic form of lead and is more easily absorbed by animals..
    Big part of the problem with Condors is they don't reproduce until age 6 and than only have one chick every 2 years. Other birds may be experiencing the same problem but due to clutch size/frequency and the fact they don't have to make it to age 6 the impact is mitigated. Lead bio-accumalates - i.e you never get rid of it so even if only consuming it only a few times per season it may kill them them or make them sterile before age 6.
    They say a man turns old when sorrow and regret take the place of hope and dreams

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    Quote Originally Posted by Species8472 View Post
    Big part of the problem with Condors is they don't reproduce until age 6 and than only have one chick every 2 years. Other birds may be experiencing the same problem but due to clutch size/frequency and the fact they don't have to make it to age 6 the impact is mitigated. Lead bio-accumalates - i.e you never get rid of it so even if only consuming it only a few times per season it may kill them them or make them sterile before age 6.
    Good points. But we should also see smaller birds dieing from lead. They may be, but I have not seen or heard any numbers..
    Take the warning labels off. Darwin will solve the problem.

  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwalker View Post
    Gun, I think we are splitting hairs over size of the grit which can pass thru.

    The question remains of Why do the other Mammals and other BIRDS not seem to suffer from the same problem, or at least to the same extent?
    With waterfowl you can see that the shot would be concentrated in a small area, but shot used on upland or large game is not.

    Now the lead used in firearms is NON-ORGANIC, well the byproduct from the mining is the organic form of lead and is more easily absorbed by animals..
    The organic your thinking about is actually the ore form of lead, it a mixture of other minerals and possibly metals. after it is separated from the slag you have the purist form of the metal which is harder to dissolve and be absorbed in the digestive system of birds. The ore because of its mixture is easier for the digestive acids to leach away at. It is like thin flakes of lead glued together with the other mineral. In refinement when the ore is raised to the appropriate temperature the lead liquidates and flows away from the other ore minerals. In casting compounds elements like tin and antimony are fluxed into the lead to harden it so it will hold the rifling and spin the bullet. Jacket bullets have softer lead surround by the copper jacket which provides a harder surface to the bullet so it can be driven at higher velocities than the cast bullet. The jacketed bullets mushroom and in some cases break up into fragments of jacket and lead, how badly depends a lot upon their speed and core density and if they hit muscle tissue or bone. If mammals eat the tissue with these fragments they pretty much pass through their digest system because of the size of the digestive track, but like other components of nutrient, lead can be leached from the copper-lead fragments as they pass through. With birds like the condor the fragments remain for awhile in the gizzard and service as grit where the digestive action slowly leach them away so they can safety pass through the remainder of the digestive system without doing harm. Of course as this continues more and more of the leached lead get absorbed into the body as it moves through the intestinal region of the digestive track where nutrients are absorbed into the blood stream. Eventually over time the leads builds up in the blood and tissue enough to kill the bird. I once quizzed at handler at a raptor display and show about the effects of DDT on these birds, his reply took me back a bit, he said that DDT as it has been phased out is no longer the problem, the real problem is lead.

    You don't stop hunting because you grow old. You grow old because you stop hunting.
    - Gun Nut
    Last edited by Gun Nut; July 13th, 2020 at 10:52 PM.

  7. #16
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    Gun ( not going to quote)..
    Are we seeing Mortality in other birds or mammals like we are in Condor?

    There seems to be good numbers ( Documentation) for Condors, but not for much other Animals. I know the wide spread of use of poison in middle of the last century did a lot of damage to everything.
    Take the warning labels off. Darwin will solve the problem.

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwalker View Post
    Gun ( not going to quote)..
    Are we seeing Mortality in other birds or mammals like we are in Condor?

    There seems to be good numbers ( Documentation) for Condors, but not for much other Animals. I know the wide spread of use of poison in middle of the last century did a lot of damage to everything.
    Snowwalker, I haven't done a lot of research into other raptors dying of lead poisoning, I'm only aware of it being the case from what the handler of the raptor said at the show. I suspect there hasn't been any great pains taken as yet to study the turkey vultures, ravens and crows for lead poisoning. Those species have health population numbers as yet, but I would expect it happens, especially if they are picking up lead fragments from the carcasses they feed on. As for the other bird populations that feed on grubs, insects and plan material, the lead that has been leaching into the soil from pesticides may not have yet reach enough of a critical level to create a problem. That doesn't mean their bodies don't have lead levels, the levels may not be high enough to pose a threat. DDT was a bit more of a problem because of its growing accumulation in fat tissue. There has been some research done on other toxins in water damaging the reproduction systems of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians, Then the Regs warn us from time to time of the high cadmium build up in the organ meat of big game animals. The accounting only seems to really get done when there is a danger of a specie collapse.

    You don't stop hunting because you grow old. You grow old because you stop hunting.
    - Gun Nut

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Nut View Post
    Snowwalker, I haven't done a lot of research into other raptors dying of lead poisoning, I'm only aware of it being the case from what the handler of the raptor said at the show. I suspect there hasn't been any great pains taken as yet to study the turkey vultures, ravens and crows for lead poisoning. Those species have health population numbers as yet, but I would expect it happens, especially if they are picking up lead fragments from the carcasses they feed on. As for the other bird populations that feed on grubs, insects and plan material, the lead that has been leaching into the soil from pesticides may not have yet reach enough of a critical level to create a problem. That doesn't mean their bodies don't have lead levels, the levels may not be high enough to pose a threat. DDT was a bit more of a problem because of its growing accumulation in fat tissue. There has been some research done on other toxins in water damaging the reproduction systems of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians, Then the Regs warn us from time to time of the high cadmium build up in the organ meat of big game animals. The accounting only seems to really get done when there is a danger of a specie collapse.

    You don't stop hunting because you grow old. You grow old because you stop hunting.
    - Gun Nut
    You can bet that there has been some cherry picking over what does get researched. If it does not help a cause it likely is not being done.

    The food pyramid natural passes the toxins of any kind up to the larger animals. But I ask would the lead or other toxins be primarily coming from grit, fragmented bullets and water or up the food chain.

    A raptor eats, snakes, Lizards, rabbit, ground squirrels, etc.
    Snakes eat, snakes, Lizards, Rabbits, Ground Squirrels, Frogs, toads, etc.

    The rabbits and other rodents eat grass and plants which can be contaminated with pesticides or other toxins.

    The Vultures and Condors are only eating the dead ones.

    No serious research needed. Just a intelligent over a coffee or some brown pops conversation...
    Last edited by Snowwalker; July 16th, 2020 at 12:01 AM.
    Take the warning labels off. Darwin will solve the problem.

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwalker View Post
    You can bet that there has been some cherry picking over what does get researched. If it does not help a cause it likely is not being done.

    The food pyramid natural passes the toxins of any kind up to the larger animals. But I ask would the lead or other toxins be primarily coming from grit, fragmented bullets and water or up the food chain.

    A raptor eats, snakes, Lizards, rabbit, ground squirrels, etc.
    Snakes eat, snakes, Lizards, Rabbits, Ground Squirrels, Frogs, toads, etc.

    The rabbits and other rodents eat grass and plants which can be contaminated with pesticides or other toxins.

    The Vultures and Condors are only eating the dead ones.

    No serious research needed. Just a intelligent over a coffee or some brown pops conversation...

    Yes, a lot of harmful stuff gets past up the food chain, some of it may even get into the water resource. I quizzed the Canadian Wildlife Service when they opened up the season on doves about why here in Ontario we were required to use non-toxic shot, while out in B.C. they had the option of using lead or non-toxic shot. I point out that the dove like the woodcock was more like an upland game bird, and that there is no restriction on shooting woodcock. His answer: there is too much leads in Ontario’s environment so you are being limited to non-toxic shot for hunting dove. With that answer there was no further discussion. As I pointed out earlier if you want to elevate the lead level in you blood you have a number opts: smoking, imbibe some beer or wine, another option go to the range and suck back some lead range dust. I found an internet site that went on about a few more option. The apparently the thing that affects the condors is the slow speed at which their digestive system deals with ingested pieces of lead. All animals including us appear to get a daily dose of lead from our food, our system eliminate it ready. so its effects are minimal.

    You don't stop hunting because you grow old. You grow old because you stop hunting.
    - Gun Nut

  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Nut View Post
    Yes, a lot of harmful stuff gets past up the food chain, some of it may even get into the water resource. I quizzed the Canadian Wildlife Service when they opened up the season on doves about why here in Ontario we were required to use non-toxic shot, while out in B.C. they had the option of using lead or non-toxic shot. I point out that the dove like the woodcock was more like an upland game bird, and that there is no restriction on shooting woodcock. His answer: there is too much leads in Ontario’s environment so you are being limited to non-toxic shot for hunting dove. With that answer there was no further discussion. As I pointed out earlier if you want to elevate the lead level in you blood you have a number opts: smoking, imbibe some beer or wine, another option go to the range and suck back some lead range dust. I found an internet site that went on about a few more option. The apparently the thing that affects the condors is the slow speed at which their digestive system deals with ingested pieces of lead. All animals including us appear to get a daily dose of lead from our food, our system eliminate it ready. so its effects are minimal.

    You don't stop hunting because you grow old. You grow old because you stop hunting.
    - Gun Nut
    Well it's nice to see the condors are making a come back.

    I just think some times the easiest solution to a problem targets the wrong reason for the problem..
    Take the warning labels off. Darwin will solve the problem.

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