“B is for bufflehead,” photos and text by Steve Hutchcraft of Alamo, CA.
Available at bookstores in October, 2009; ISBN 978-0-9824925-0-5; LCCN: 2009905001; Hardcover; 8.5 x 8.5 inches; 80 full color pages; suggested retail price, $19.95; published by PhotoHutch, P.O. Box 482, Alamo, CA 94507; 925-324-5510; firstname.lastname@example.org
This book will send your children on many fun-filled flights through their ABC’s with a flock of fascinating feathered friends. Read the rest of this entry »
Leucistic hummingbird. Photo by Don McConnell, Oakland, CA Gary:
A cream-colored hummingbird with a rusty back has been visiting my feeder, fighting with the Anna’s hummers that usually dominate it. It doesn’t resemble any of the hummers in the Sibley guide. This was my first effort at setting up a tripod and focusing on a feeder – I didn’t realize that meant I’d have to stand there and pray the bird showed up. But it did eventually, at twilight, which is why the shots are dark. I also sent photos of an Anna’s male, earlier in the day, showing the tiny iridescent plates on its head.
But what the heck is my cream-and-rust hummer? I live in the Oakland hills west of 580, by the way. Don McConnell, Oakland Read the rest of this entry »
Every year about this time, the Center for Biological Diversity throws open the nominations for the center’s Rubber Dodo Extinction Award. This award goes to the individual who has worked the hardest to send yet another stressed out species down the road to extinction during the last year.
I just received the following news release from the center. Please read it and then vote for or nominate the 2009 Rubber Dodo of your choice by clicking on the link below: Read the rest of this entry »
Hummingbird moth in Greve, Italy, about 25 miles south of Florence. Photo by Don Morgan, Concord, CA
This past June my family took a trip to Italy (Chianti region). Our last day there, I spotted what first looked like a very large bug in a patch of lavender. It was moving between the flowers. It had a long bill which then made me think it was a hummingbird. But when I looked at its body, it almost looked like the body of an insect. Based on the bill and the hovering between flowers I’m sticking with my hummingbird theory. Don, Concord
Not a hummingbird. It’s a “hummingbird” moth. Note the two antennae, which birds don’t have. The “bill” is actually a long proboscis that curls up when not in use and uncurls when it probes into a flower for nectar. We have a similar San Francisco Bay Area species called a sphinx moth. They hover in front of flowers like hummingbirds as they feed on the nectar.
I just got the letter below from Eric Mills, coordinator for Action For Animals In Oakland. Eric has been trying for years to get the state Fish and Game Commission to ban the importation of non-native frogs and turtles that are sold in California’s many live animal food markets. These creatures are diseased, spreading deadly infections to our native amphibians and reptiles and killing them. They are also (illegally) released into the local environments, creating havoc and destruction in local native populations.
Please read Eric’s letter and then send a quick e-mail or letter to the Fish and Game Commission, supporting a proposed ban on the import of these frogs and turtles. Thanks for caring! /Gary Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Campaign Director for the organization, Restore the Delta, called on the California Legislature to include 9 ideas in future water package discussions following the failure of the Joint Water Conference Committee to pass a package of water bills during the final weeks of the 2009 Legislative session.
Check out what Restore The Delta has to say in their 9 ideas below and then please add your own comments and let us know what you think about it. Got any better ideas? Thanks. /Gary Read the rest of this entry »