Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for May, 2009

Hot cars are death traps for dogs. This info can save your pet’s life!


As weather heats up, so does a national campaign to stop dogs from dying in hot cars

United Animal Nations (UAN), a national non-profit animal protection group, has launched its “My Dog is Cool” campaign to prevent dogs and other animals and kids from dying in hot cars during warm-weather months.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, May 18th, 2009
Under: Hot Cars | 1 Comment »

Bird House For Rent: Look who’s been living in my bird house!

Western fence lizard living in a bird house by J. Mercurio, Antioch, CA
liz in house1

Times are tough and apparently some landlords will do ANYTHING to rent a house out these days — even a bird house.

But this is kind of pushing the envelope … don’t you think? /Gary

Western fence lizard living in a bird house by J. Mercurio, Antioch, CA
liz in house2

Posted on Friday, May 15th, 2009
Under: Bird House | 3 Comments »

Killdeer nest: Hatching their invisible eggs right before your eyes!

Just hatched killdeer chicks. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA.

In a gravel area at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek, four Killdeer chicks hatched and are probably off hiding in the bushes by now.

Jim Silva discovered the nest in a large gravel area and put a couple of orange highway cones around it to prevent someone from driving over the invisible nest. The 4th chick hatched yesterday afternoon and the egg shells disappeared very fast!
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Under: Killdeer nest | 50 Comments »

Student winners of Be Kind to Animals Week Art Contest

By Emily F., First Place, 3rd grade, Rancho Romero School, Alamo, Mrs. Clark (teacher)
first 3rd

Dear Gary:
This past week (May 3-9) was American Humane’s “Be Kind to Animals Week,” an annual tradition that dates back to 1915. For most of us pet lovers, celebrating animals is a daily routine. However, this week’s goal was to create awareness by honoring the roles animals play in our lives, advocating humane treatment of animals, and urging others — especially children — to do the same.

One way that Contra Costa County Animal Services celebrates this special week is by sponsoring our annual Be Kind to Animals “Art Show & Contest.” The theme for this year’s art contest was “Random Acts of Kindness Toward Animals.”

The Humane Education Department was once again blown away by just how amazing and talented the kids in our community are. We received over 200 pieces of art work showing random acts of kindness and global awareness for animals all across this planet.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Under: Be Kind to Animals Week | 1 Comment »

Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Want to be a better bird watcher?

Red-winged blackbird by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA.
blackbird in spring

It’s May, perhaps bird watching’s biggest month, as millions of birds return from the tropics, filling the Northern Hemisphere with summer’s full array of birds.

It’s a great time to go bird watching, and Chris Wood and Jessie Barry from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology are inviting you to go out with them — in a new free series of web videos, “Inside Birding.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
Under: Cornell Lab of Ornithology | No Comments »

Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo Video: This little guy can dance!


They wouldn’t blow away the competition on “Dancing with the Stars,” but it turns out that some birds got rhythm.

After studying Snowball, a cockatoo that grooves to the Backstreet Boys and about 1,000 YouTube videos, scientists say they’ve documented for the first time that some animals “dance” to a musical beat.

The results support a theory for why the human brain is wired for dancing.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, May 11th, 2009
Under: Dancing cockatoo | No Comments »

Gray wolves lose federal protection: Let the killing begin …

Here’s an eye-opener from the weekly e-newsletter of the Center For Biological Diversity:

This Monday (May 4), the feds’ April 2 rule went into effect to prematurely remove federal protections for gray wolves in the northern Rockies, Great Lakes region, and other areas — just more than a month after the rule was finalized and the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, represented by Earthjustice, filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue.

The rule — the same rule published in Bush’s last days and temporarily put on hold when President Barack Obama came on the scene — is a follow-through on a Bush administration plan to increase federal and private wolf hunting.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, May 8th, 2009
Under: Wolves | No Comments »

Guess who gives a hoot this weekend at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum?

3 Little Owls
3 owls
photo by Flickr user EltonHarding used under a Creative Commons license.

HEAD TURNING EXPERIENCES: Owls Take Center Stage at Lindsay

Walnut Creek, CA — Visitors to Lindsay Wildlife Museum are sure to have a head turning experience on May 9 and 10, as the museum’s live owls will take center stage for a series of live animal presentations, feeding demonstrations, and kids’ activities.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, May 7th, 2009
Under: Lindsay Wildlife Museum | No Comments »

Mother’s Day is May 10: Checkout these Moms Gone Wild!

Golden eagle mom and chick by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, Calif.

This Sunday, May 10, we celebrate Mother’s Day. Motherhood is a life-changing experience for humans and wildlife alike.

Wildlife mothers devote precious resources to finding a mate, digging dens, building nests, giving birth and protecting and feeding their babies. Just because they’re not human doesn’t make wildlife mothers any less dedicated.

This week, the National Wildlife Federation ( passed along these examples of wildlife moms going beyond the call of duty. I thought it would be fun to share them with you:
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
Under: Animal Moms | No Comments »

Fish can feel pain and react to it like humans

King salmon by USFWS
king salmon1

Fish don’t make noises or contort their faces to show that it hurts when hooks are pulled from their mouths, but a Purdue University researcher believes they feel that pain all the same.

Joseph Garner, an assistant professor of animal sciences, helped develop a test that found goldfish do feel pain, and their reactions to it are much like that of humans.

A paper detailing the finding was published in the early on-line version of the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
Under: Fish | 4 Comments »