LOONY FOR BOOBIES
Blue-footed birds delight Calif. watchers
High-diving seabirds known as blue-footed boobies have been found across Southern California and even farther north in recent weeks, the Los Angeles Times reports. The birds, which rarely venture north of the Salton Sea, are suddenly "all over the place," said Kimball Garrett, manager of the ornithology collection at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. A similar wave of the birds hit Los Angeles County beaches, lakes and streams in the early 1970s.
SNAKE ON PLANE
Tiny reptile keeps 370 on the ground
An 8-inch mandarin rat snake that stowed aboard a jet from Asia was found in the passenger cabin of a Qantas Boeing 747, leading to 370 passengers being grounded in Sydney, Australia, overnight, the airline said Monday. Qantas said the jet would be fumigated before returning to service. The mildly venomous Asian snake was about the width of a pencil and thus no match for the last Qantas hanger-on: a 10-foot python on a wing in January.
CROC IN A BOX
Swedish barber packs fierce lizard
The 30-year-old man caught at the airport in Gothenburg with a small Nile crocodile packed in a cardboard box says he bought the animal believing it to be a lizard. A judge disagreed, the Local.se reports, so the barber was fined and the croc seized. "The pictures taken at customs control shows an animal that is clearly a crocodile," the newspaper Aftonbladet quoted the judge as saying.
Compiled from wire services and other sources.