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Archive for August, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles sign Michael Vick: Humane groups have some suggestions

Photo by Flickr user phantoms5000 used under a Creative Commons License
vick dogfight

The American Humane Association and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals both issued statements after learning that Michael Vick had been signed by the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles last week.

American Humane Association:
The American Humane Association today offered this reaction to Friday’s signing of Michael Vick by the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. It is from Marie Belew Wheatley, president and CEO of the 131-year-old organization that protects both animals and children:
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Posted on Monday, August 17th, 2009
Under: Michael Vick | No Comments »

Lindsay Wildlife Museum: Free Admission Day on Saturday, Aug. 22

Great horned owl at Lindsay Wildlife Museum
lindsay owl

Free Admission Day at Lindsay Wildlife Museum August 22

Walnut Creek, CA – Lindsay Wildlife Museum announces a second Free Admission Day will be held on Saturday, August 22.

WHAT: Free wildlife Admission Day

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek
925-935-1978
http://www.wildlife-museum.org
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Posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Under: Lindsay Wildlife Museum | No Comments »

White pelicans circling above Martinez. What a beautiful sight.

White pelicans over Martinez, CA (Ralph Iwasa/Martinez)
safine pelicans1

Hi Gary:
Ralph Iwasa photographed some white pelicans circling above Martinez in the last week of July. What a thrill to see!
Betsy Safine, Martinez, CA

Hi Betsy:
What a thrill is right! Beautiful photo. There are so many wild creatures living around the San Francisco Bay Area. All you have to do is look up … or down … or left … or right … or anywhere. /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Under: Pelicans | No Comments »

Desert Tortoises: Act now to save them! It’s a matter of life and death!

Desert tortoise (Beth Jackson/USFWS)
tortoise

Dear Gary:
Last year, more than 250 desert tortoises died after a disastrous attempt by the Army to relocate 600 of the imperiled tortoises to make way for a tank-warfare training area in the California desert. Now, the Army and the Bureau of Land Management are rushing forward with a plan to move over 1,000 more tortoises — and have given the public a tiny, 15-day window of opportunity to voice comments on this lethal proposal.

This misguided attempt at translocation will inflict a massive blow to the federally threatened desert tortoise population — we must demand a full review of impacts to the tortoise and its environment before any tortoises are moved. It’s a matter of life and death.
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Posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
Under: Desert Tortoises | 2 Comments »

Muir Heritage Land Trust: Fresh Aire Affaire is Saturday, Aug. 15

freshaire

Muir Heritage Land Trust’s Fresh Aire Affaire 20th Anniversary Party is 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15 at John Muir National Historic Site, 4202 Alhambra Ave., Martinez, CA.

This year’s special 20th anniversary party will feature Master of Ceremonies, Doug McConnell, host of Public Television’s OpenRoad, celebrity guests and hundreds of Land Trust supporters.
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Posted on Monday, August 10th, 2009
Under: Muir Heritage Land Trust | No Comments »

Ospreys in the San Francisco Bay Area: A photo essay by Joe Oliver

Sitting osprey by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, CA
joe osprey4

The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a large hawk that mostly eats fish. You usually spot them hovering over local lakes and reservoirs looking for prey. When it sees a fish, the osprey will dive down into the water with a large splash as it catches the fish in its talons. It then flies away with its catch.

Joe Oliver, a wonderful photographer from Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, CA, has provided these beautiful photographs of ospreys for our enlightenment and enjoyment.
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Posted on Friday, August 7th, 2009
Under: Ospreys | 2 Comments »

“Behold the duck … When it dines or sups, it bottoms ups.” (Ogden Nash)

Male & female mallards dining. (anonymous)
anon mallards

Robert Carlton, president of the Rossmoor Nature Association in Walnut Creek, Calif., sends out a regular mailing to “Rossmoor Birders & Friends.” Bob’s mailings are always witty and interesting, but today’s was particularly hilarious. I sent him an e-mail and he said to “Feel free” to republish today’s mailing here. So I am.

Look at the photo above, read the poem below … and enjoy! (I sure did!) /Gary

THE DUCK: by Ogden Nash

Behold the duck.
It does not cluck.
A cluck it lacks.
It quacks.
It is specially fond
Of a puddle or pond.
When it dines or sups,
It bottoms ups.

Posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2009
Under: Ducks | No Comments »

Hummingbirds vs. Hawks: It has nothing to do with size

Hummingbird vs. red-tail hawk (Bryan McClure/Concord, CA)
humming hawk

These interesting photos by Bryan McClure of Concord, California, show a curious Anna’s hummingbird zooming in to have a closer look at an immature red-tailed hawk sitting on a power pole that’s probably right smack in the middle of the hummingbird’s territory.

When it comes to defending its turf, hummingbirds don’t give a hoot about size. Fortunately for the hawk,it doesn’t compete with the hummer for flower nectar … otherwise the tiny but VERY AGGRESSIVE hummingbird would have quickly sent it on its way.
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Posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
Under: hummingbirds | 1 Comment »

EPA asked to ban import of food containing deadly pesticide residues

ABC image

American Bird Conservancy Petitions EPA to Ban Import of Food Containing deadly Pesticide Residues

The American Bird Conservancy has petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the import of crops containing any residues of 13 pesticides that are banned or restricted for use in the United States. These pesticides are highly toxic to birds, but are commonly used on crops throughout Latin America where many species of U.S. migratory birds spend the winter months.  In addition to the environmental risks to birds, several of these chemicals also pose a risk to agricultural workers.

“Allowing residues of these hazardous pesticides on imported food gives tacit U.S. approval to foreign countries to use chemicals that are known to be deadly to U.S. migratory birds,” said Dr. Michael Fry, American Bird Conservancy’s Director of Conservation Advocacy.  “EPA has an obligation under Executive Order 13186, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Endangered Species Act to ensure that migratory birds are not harmed.”
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Posted on Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Under: Pesticide | No Comments »

Rodeo: July was a bad month for rodeo animals

I received the following letter dated June 30 from Eric Mills,coordinator for Action For Animals in Oakland:

Gary:
July was a worse month than usual for rodeo animals. Three horses and a steer were killed at the Canadian Calgary Stampede (for a total of 35 since 1986, mostly in the chaotic chuck wagon races). Another three animals died at Cheyenne Frontier Days (plus a half-dozen other injuries). Closer to home, I just learned that three roping calves suffered broken legs at the Salinas Rodeo last week and had to be euthanized. And babies, yet.
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Posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Under: Rodeo animals | 3 Comments »