Screech owl nest box.Photo by Carol Meyer, Galaxy Press, Concord, Calif.
Your monitoring can help the Cornell Lab of Ornithology study climate change and nesting birds.
Anyone with one or more nest boxes can help scientists learn more about bird families and how they might be affected by climate change. Just register the nest box (or boxes) with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch program at http://www.RegisterYourNestbox.org. It doesn’t cost anything but yields valuable information needed to better understand breeding birds and how their natural rhythms may be changing.
Cedar waxwing eating toyon berry. Photo by Bob Brittain, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Gary: 4/7/09, 11:29 a.m.: I noticed lots of birds flying around the toyons in my yard and grabbed the camera. The photos are a bit dark but they show fine detail of some of the birds’ features. They got spooked by my camera or something else and flew away to a neighboring tree. I would estimate over 100 in the flock. I will try to get shots later with better light. Read the rest of this entry »
The new First Dog, Bo, a Portuguese water dog. (AP Photo/the White House, Pete Souza)
I’d like to congratulate the Obamas on bringing home a new dog, Bo, into their family, and especially to thank them for taking in a “second-chance dog.” Bo is a Portuguese water dog who was apparently returned by the family that originally purchased him.
The puppy didn’t fit in with the first family that adopted it. It is a gift to the Obamas (that other first family) from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who tracked down the puppy. He owns several Portuguese water dogs himself. Read the rest of this entry »
California Condor. Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service/Scott Frier
It’s bad enough that California condors are frequently poisoned by lead ammo-killed game, but last month two of the highly endangered birds were themselves found shot full of lead bullets.
The Center for Biological Diversity, determined to bring the perp (perps?) to justice, has established a $30,000 reward … and Santa Barbara’s Wendy P. McCaw Foundation has pledged another $25,000 of the total … after the announcement that biologists found a young female condor with three shotgun pellets lodged in her wing and thigh.
A new survey from Petfinder.com, a network of more than 12,400 animal adoption organizations, finds that 84 percent of shelters and rescue groups are reporting pet surrenders because of the economic downturn, foreclosures and / or job losses.
And 74 percent said that they have seen an increase in pets being given away or abandoned since this time last year due to these economic trials. Read the rest of this entry »
Band-tailed pigeons on backyard feeder. Photo by Herman Koberle, Pleasanton, Calif.
We have lived in Pleasanton, in this house, for 28 years and it was 2 months ago that these band-tailed pigeons showed up. We have had bird feeders up for most of that time. Are they new to this area? I have talked to neighbors and people from different areas and no one has seen them or knows where they roost. Any ideas?
Brutal force-feeding of geese to make foie gras. Photo from The HSUS.
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, writes a great blog. His April 6 entry is about “Ducking Foie Gras.” Below are the first two paragraphs. You can click on the link that follows to read the rest of Wayne’s blog and view videos and other links on the cruel and abusive practice of making foie gras.
My wife and I love to read your column with coffee in the morning. Thank you for all of the good advice and the pleasure you have given us with your animal tales.
During our 10 years in Livermore, we have enjoyed the multitude of birds that have tried to bankrupt us at our six backyard feeds. We are fascinated by the Cooper’s hawks that seem to think our feeders are really smorgasbords for them. We were surprised when the egret and great blue heron stopped by to feast on the fish in our small pond and stayed to pose for great photos. We were delighted when mama quail brought the tiny chicks over for us to see. Read the rest of this entry »