Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for December, 2008

Coyote photos to help you identify a real coyote when you see one

Coyote on Mount Diablo by Brian Murphy
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Coyote sightings around San Ramon, Calif., schools have been reported recently, the latest one Thursday morning when one of the animals was seen sleeping under a school’s marquee.

What follows is a collection of photos of local coyotes in the wild to help you make sure what you’re seeing is really a coyote.
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Posted on Friday, December 12th, 2008
Under: Brian Murphy, coyotes, Wildlife | No Comments »

Amazing video of a Cooper’s hawk on a clever hunt to catch a sparrow

In my last entry I wrote about a Cooper’s hawk in my backyard that used a sneaky, outside-the-box hunting technique to catch a sparrow on my bird feeder. Talk about small worlds! Here’s a video I just discovered of a Cooper’s hawk on a similar sneaky hunt, poking around on a patio until it gets a chance to fly up and grab a sparrow on a feeder from below!

This video was taken by YouTube user omniscientomar and used here under a Creative Commons license. He was feeding his 1-year-old kid (background sounds) while he took it.

Amazing! /Gary

Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2008
Under: Cooper's hawk, Hawks, Hunting | 1 Comment »

Cooper’s hawks: Outside-the-box hunters in an ever-changing world

Cooper’s hawk by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, Calif.
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Have you ever seen a Cooper’s hawk kill a mourning dove in your backyard?

The hawk usually comes diving out of nowhere to hit the dove with a huge splash of gray feathers. End of hunt.
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Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2008
Under: Cooper's hawk, Hawks, Hunting | No Comments »

Acorn woodpeckers: Please sign petition asking Rossmoor NOT to kill them

Acorn woodpecker by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, Calif.
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In case you haven’t already noticed, there’s a problem with acorn woodpeckers in Walnut Creek’s Rossmoor Retirement Community.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
Under: Acorn woodpeckers, Rossmoor Retirement Community | 7 Comments »

Would you REALLY do this for your dog?

American Kennel Club survey on canine companions
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A survey conducted this month by the American Kennel Club shows that despite a tough economy, pet owners are willing to sacrifice many daily luxuries to provide for the needs of their canine companions. Here’s what the AKC says:
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Posted on Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
Under: American Kennel Club, dogs | 4 Comments »

Contra Costa Humane Society & these pets need your help

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Gary:
Times are tough right now for many of our neighbors, friends and family. With so much financial unease in our communities, many companion animals are feeling the pinch as well. Many caretakers are not able to provide their animals with the medical care they might so desperately need.
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Posted on Monday, December 8th, 2008
Under: Cats, Contra Costa Humane Society, dogs, Pigs, Spay/Neuter | 2 Comments »

Got raccoons? Tearing up your lawn, coming into your house at night?

Raccoon in house by Maureen Wright, Pittsburg, Calif.
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You can’t really blame the raccoons for foraging for food … BUT … there are humane ways to help protect your lawn and house and still get along with your wild neighbors.

I’ve put together a 7-page “Gary’s Raccoon Help” and will be happy to provide a FREE COPY to anyone who needs it. It’s full of humane solutions that have been used successfully over the years by many of my other readers.
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Posted on Friday, December 5th, 2008
Under: Raccoon roundworms, Raccoons | 703 Comments »

California Condor gets lead-free protection from toxic heavy metal

California Condor photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Scott Frier
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Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council Help Extend Lead-Ammunition Ban to Protect Iconic Birds

LOS ANGELES — A settlement announced today between environmentalists and the State of California will strengthen protections for California condors by placing limits on the use of ammunition containing lead throughout the species’ range.
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Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2008
Under: California condors, Lead bullets | 9 Comments »

Pets & Holidays: How to make them safer for your pets

Our pets are important to us all
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Dr. Barry Kipperman, DVM, DACVIM, from VetCare Emergency & Specialist Care Center, Dublin, Calif., sent me some important information about your pets.

Dear Gary:
This is a wonderful time of year during which we give thanks for our blessings and spend time with our friends and family. This usually means travel, and that means your pets are either traveling with you or are being cared for by a neighbor, friend, or family member.

I see the following situation commonly at this time of year.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
Under: Cats, dogs, Holidays, Pets | No Comments »

I can’t believe a mourning dove did this to my window!

Mourning dove into window by Tony Martarella, Walnut Creek, Calif.
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Dear Gary:
About a week ago I was standing in my bedroom when I heard a thump on the window. The shade was partially down so I didn’t see what caused the noise. When I looked out I saw a bird lying on the sidewalk below.
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Posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008
Under: Birds, Mourning dove, Window | No Comments »