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Archive for December, 2010

Pets eat the strangest things: 2010′s most unusual ingested objects

Photo by Flickr user joshDubya used under a Creative Commons License
happy to see me

Pets eat the strangest things: 2010′s most unusual ingested objects

I just got this fascinating news release from Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI):

With nearly 2,000 foreign body ingestion (insurance) claims received over the past year, VPI saw plenty of pets make meals of inedible objects. Many of the usual ingestions showed up again and again; socks, hand towels, sticks, and rocks were especially popular pet “snack” choices. Other ingested items were not quite as common.

Here are some of the more noteworthy items that were removed from the stomachs of VPI-insured dogs and cats in 2010:
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Posted on Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
Under: Cats, dogs | 3 Comments »

Robins: Check out this special robin spot at the Presidio in S.F.

Robin nesting material. Photo by Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, CA.
robin heather van rykn wc

Hi Gary:
Found these while playing at the Presidio in San Francisco: Winged Wisdom – 3 sites that describe robin behavior. Each letter is framed with a steel armature and mesh netting and is filled with straw, providing nesting material for the American robin.

I love living in the Bay Area!
Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Photo by Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, CA
robin2 heather van rykn wc

Hi Heather:
You’re right! You never know what you’re going to find lurking around the next corner! (I’ll bet a lot of other bird species will be taking advantage of all this free nesting material.) /Gary

Resolve conflict with song. Photo by Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, CA
robin3 heather van rykn wc

Posted on Monday, December 13th, 2010
Under: Birds, nesting, Robins | 1 Comment »

Wild turkeys crossing the road … to get to the other side

Photo by MacKenzie Terzian, Pleasant Hill, CA
turkeys mackenzie terzian ph

Gary:
Word on the street is that turkeys have unusually small brains. Well, not the turkeys that roamed through the intersection at Virginia Hills Safeway in Pleasant Hill, Calif. Escaping, only a few days before Thanksgiving, the rafter of turkeys made their way for the sweet hills of Paso Nogal Park.
MacKenzie Terzian, Pleasant Hill

MacKenzie:
They may have small brains but they appear to use them very efficiently. /Gary

Posted on Friday, December 10th, 2010
Under: wild turkeys | No Comments »

Speaking of robins: “YUM! It’s the berries!”

Robin eating red berries. Photo by Jim Kardos, Walnut Creek, CA.
robin jim kardos wc

Speaking of robins: “YUM! It’s the berries!”
Photo by Jim Kardos, Walnut Creek, CA

Got interesting photos of wild creatures in your backyard (or in the area) that you’d like to share with the rest of us?

Please e-mail your digital photos to me at gbogue@bayareanewsgroup.com. Please include the name and city of the photographer (example: “Photo by Joe Smith, Walnut Creek”). Also please include a statement that it’s OK for me to publish your photo(s) in my blog.

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing and sharing your pictures of local wild things. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, December 9th, 2010
Under: Birds, Robins, Wildlife | No Comments »

Help ARF’s Holiday Hope Fund & Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays

ARF’s Christmas Valentine. (ARF photo)
valentine arf

Help ARF’S Holiday Hope Fund & Foster FFF’s Lonely Pets For The Holidays

I’ve been alerted to some special needs for this Holiday season. If you can provide any kind of help to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and/or Friends of the Formerly Friendless (or any other local nonprofit animal rescue groups that need an assist), please do. Thanks for caring! Merry Christmas!! /Gary

Hi Gary:
AUGH!  I have tears in my eyes as I write this. We need your help!

ARF rescued a 13-week-old kitten in need of medical care and TLC from the Martinez shelter after having been abandoned the Concord BART station. A good Samaritan found her in a cardboard box. She has minor wounds however her ears have been badly damaged, possibly burned by a chemical agent or other unknown cause and will likely require surgical removal. They are stiff, we fear they will break! She can still hear and is remarkably affectionate, purrs like a diesel and engages anyone willing to pet her.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
Under: ARF, Cats | 2 Comments »

Red-tailed hawks are truly beautiful birds

Flying red-tailed hawk. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
redtail dave harper oakley

Red-tailed hawks are truly beautiful birds.

I think these photographs by Dave Harper of Oakley, Calif., speak for themselves. /Gary

Red-tailed hawk perched on fence. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
redtail2 dave harper oakley

Posted on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
Under: Hawks, Red-tailed hawk | 1 Comment »

The Aliens have landed … right outside my bathroom window!

Mantis on outside of bathroom window. Photo by Sharon Burt, Concord, CA
mantis sharon burt concord

Gary:
The Aliens have landed …right outside my bathroom window!

I’ve been lucky enough to live in a neighborhood that is apparently “Happy Mantisland.” I’ve noticed them every year since we moved here 18 years ago. They are one of my favorite insects!
Sharon Burt, Concord

Sharon:
The praying mantis is an amazing predatory insect. It they were as big as, say, a Chihuahua, it wouldn’t be safe to go outside! /Gary

Posted on Monday, December 6th, 2010
Under: Insects, Preying mantis | No Comments »

Great blue heron: Yum! Fish for breakfast!

By Jim Kardos, Walnut Creek, CA
gb heron jim kardos wc

A great blue heron flies off with a fish for breakfast at Lafayette Reservoir, in Lafayette, California. Photo by Jim Kardos, Walnut Creek, CA.

The great blue heron, our largest heron at 50-plus inches tall, will stand quietly in shallow water until a fish swims by and then grab it with its long bill. They are truly beautiful birds, as you can see! /Gary

Posted on Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Under: Great blue herons | No Comments »

Keep out! No trespassing! Wildlife only! No people!

Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, California
hawk no trespass dave harper oakley

Keep out!

No trespassing!

Wildlife only!

Wild creatures need their own special places without people. Don’t we wish. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
Under: Wildlife | No Comments »

Sunrise over Mount Diablo on Tuesday

There was fire in the sky this morning. Photo by Bob Brittain, Walnut Creek, CA
sunrise diablo nov 30 bob brittain wc

Sunrise over Mount Diablo on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010

Gary:
There was fire in the sky this morning.
Bob Brittain, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Bob:
What a wonderful way to start the day! /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Under: Mount Diablo, Sun | No Comments »