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Archive for February, 2011

Cool cat in her cozy backyard winter condo

BooBoo’s cozy backyard condo. Photo by Sandy Leonard, Concord, CA
cool cat sandy leonard concord

Just couldn’t resist sending this picture of my BooBoo. This is her “winter condo” in the backyard. She loves this cozy sleeping place when it’s cold outside.
Sandy Leonard, Concord, California

Burrr! It was definitely cold outside when I got to work this morning, 31 degrees F. Does BooBoo have any room in her condo for me? /Gary

Posted on Friday, February 11th, 2011
Under: Cats, Cold weather | 1 Comment »

U.S. wolves in danger — here’s what you can do to help

Wolf by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
wolf dave harper oakley

I found this important bit of news in the latest weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity. Do you like wolves? Read this and do what you can to help them. Thanks for caring. /Gary

Center for Biological Diversity e-newsletter N0. 550, Feb. 3, 2011:
Southwest wolf attack stalls, but ALL U.S. wolves are in danger — Take Action!

“In a victory — however temporary — for the Southwest’s most endangered wild canine, ranchers and counties on Feb. 1 withdrew from a lawsuit meant to get Mexican gray wolves out of New Mexico. The suit asked the federal government to remove endangered Mexican wolves from the wild because of a few cattle depredations — even though the most recent count finds that only 52 Mexican gray wolves and just two breeding pairs survive in the United States.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2011
Under: Wolves | 1 Comment »

Mama opossum with babies riding on her back

andy & peggy mosko, fremont2

“Come on up, everybody, there’s PLENTY of room!”

Photo of mama opossum and her babies by Andy and Peggy Mosko, Fremont, California.

Posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
Under: Opossums | No Comments »

White-tailed kites: Looks like it’s going to be a good year for voles

White-tailed kites and vole by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
kite vole brian murphy wc

The Kites have returned to Singingwood after a 3 week vacation somewhere – the nice weather must have brought out the voles, mice & gophers on the grassy slopes.
Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, California

After all the rain we’ve had and the resulting lush grass crop, Looks like it’s going to be a good year for voles. The white-tailed kites obviously think so. Checkout what the kite on the left has clenched in it’s right foot. YUM! /Gary

White-tailed kite by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
kite dave harper oakley

Posted on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Under: Vole, White-tailed kite | No Comments »

Raccoons competing with squirrels for peanuts

Raccoon peeking over fence. Photo by Bill & Ann, Concord, CA.
coon peanuts2 bill ann concord

Spotted this little guy peeking over our back fence.

He/she returned later that night to clean up the peanuts our squirrels left. The second one was taken at night through my kitchen window. That’s why it’s dark and blurry.
Bill & Ann, Concord, California

Bill & Ann:
Raccoons seem to be interested in everything … as long as it’s edible. /Gary

Raccoon eating peanuts. Photo by Bill & Ann, Concord, CA.
coon peanuts bill ann concord

Posted on Monday, February 7th, 2011
Under: Raccoons, Squirrels | 2 Comments »

How birds stay warm when it gets cold

Cold purple finch. Photo by Richard Strange, Cave City, Kentucky.
finch richard strange cave city ky

I got this from my brother in Cave City, Kentucky:

“The temperature was 29 degrees when I took this picture.  Most birds fluff themselves up when they are resting on their selected perch during cold weather.  Flo and I weren’t sure what this bird was when we first saw it this morning, but with the zoom lens on my “new” Canon we knew it was a Purple Finch.”

He is an avid bird watcher and participates in the bird count every year.  I hope the bird was indeed warm with those feathers fluffed out like that.
Betty, Concord

Bird feathers are very efficient. When they fluff them out like that, more air is gathered in the spaces between the feathers, providing more insulation. Kind of like you putting on a down jacket when it’s cold. /Gary

Posted on Friday, February 4th, 2011
Under: Birds | No Comments »

Max the Dachshund: “Who, me? What garbage can?”

Who, me? What garbage can? Photo by Sandy Fee, San Leandro, CA
garbage can max sandy fee san leandro

“Who, me? What garbage can?”

Max is our little Dachshund, a little clown who keeps us laughing.
Sandy Fee, San Leandro

I think you should train Max to take out the garbage every day. Might as well put those heroic efforts to good use. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Under: Dachshund, dogs | 2 Comments »

Chinese New Year, Feb. 3, Year of the Rabbit

Helen Chin and bunny, celebrate Year of the Rabbit, Rabbit Rescue & Rehab, Animal Care & Control of NY City.
year of rabbit helen chin animal care and control nyc

Chinese New Year falls on Thursday, February 3, this year.  It’s the Year of the Rabbit — a year for people to hop out of misfortunes and leap for a brighter future, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. (Learn more about “I Love NYC Pets Month” and upcoming events  in New York City at

As we approach the Year of the Rabbit, we are reminded that often, adorable baby rabbits are given as gifts. Sadly, too many are quickly discarded or die.

If your family is not ready for a lifetime commitment to a bunny, get a plush toy rabbit to celebrate the Chinese New Year instead. If you ARE ready for a great companion, check out all the neat bunnies at SaveABunny in Mill Valley, California, at

Hop to it! /Gary, Year of the Rabbit

Posted on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Under: Rabbits | No Comments »

Barbed wire fence: Does it slow down wild animals?

Coyote moving through barbed wire. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
coyote dave harper oakley

Barbed wire: does it slow down wild animals?

Some, maybe, but not all of them.

The above photo shows how easily a coyote maneuvers through a barbed wire fence.

I’ve seen black-tailed deer run full speed “through” a barbed wire fence and keep on going. (In slow-motion, what actually happened was the deer dropped to its knees, scooted under the bottom strand of the fence, came back to its feet on the other side of the fence and kept running without seemingly breaking its stride … all so fast it looked like the deer simply ran through the fence as if it wasn’t even there!). Amazing illusion. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Under: deer | 2 Comments »