One of the favorite of all songbirds is the bluebird. Their gentle disposition, and sense of family are amazing, not to mention their color and song. Placing a bluebird house in your yard is a great way to start, but may not do the trick in and of itself.
Fierce competition for nest boxes exists between house sparrows (a non-native species) and our beloved bluebirds. House sparrows are known to kill babies and adult bluebirds alike. One way to help alleviate the fighting, is to place an additional bluebird house about 10-15 feet away from the first one.
Adding a bird bath will not only help attract bluebirds, but other wonderful songbirds as well. The all-time favorite treat for bluebirds has got to be live mealworms! They are coveted for the high protein content, and most birds will gorge on them…literally eating you out of house and home! The way to exclude these little piggies is to feed meal worms in a bluebird feeder. There are very few birds, besides the bluebird, who will use this type of feeder – having to fly through a hole to reach the prize inside.
Bluebird babies are absolutely irresistible, and if you’re lucky enough to witness two broods in the same season, you’ll see the young from the first brood help mom and dad feed the new babies. Whether you choose a wooden bluebird house, or a recycled plastic one, pay close attention to placement – approximately 5-6 feet high, and in an open area. If you pole-mount the house, it’s best to use a baffle below it to thwart predators. A portal protector over the entrance will also help to ensure a successful brood.
Voice For The Animals Foundation Annual “Standup For Animals” Benefit To Raise Money For Cats And Dogs That Lost Homes Due To Foreclosure Crisis
Los Angeles – March 25, 2010 – The stars of TV’s classic hit comedy
Laugh-In are slated to appear and pay tribute to one of the show’s stars, Lily Tomlin, in a benefit for Voice For the Animals Foundation (http://vftafoundation.org) on Thursday, April 8th, at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood. The star-studded event begins at 6:00 p.m. and will feature a “green carpet” for celebrity arrivals along with a reception, silent auction, a VIP room and gourmet vegetarian delights and delicious cruelty-free deserts. At 7:30 p.m., non stop laughter will ensue as some of the greatest comics past and present take to the stage at the legendary Sunset Strip comedy landmark. Proceeds from the event will benefit Voice for the Animals Foundation and will go to the many dogs and cats that lost their homes in the ongoing foreclosure crisis.
To honor Tomlin, Voice for the Animals is bringing out the highly recognized personalities from Laugh-In: Jo Anne Worley, known for her razor sharp comic timing and infectious laugh, in addition to her turn on Broadway in Mame and Gypsy; Arte Johnson, whose iconic characters Wolfgang and Tyrone F. Horneigh left Laugh-In viewers in stitches; Gary Owens, the Laugh-In announcer with trademark deadpan delivery; George Schlatter, the show’s producer; and the show’s musical director Billy Barnes. Also scheduled are surprise special guest star appearances from the show’s cast of regulars.
To make certain that once the laughs start they don’t stop, several of today’s brightest lights of stand-up comedy will take the stage. Rainn Wilson (The Office); Peter Berman (The Late Late Show); Carrie Snow (7,000 Sailors Can’t Be Wrong); and Suzanne Whang (Comedy Central’s Premium Blend). Between laughs, the Foundation will recognize several individuals and entities for their contributions to the ongoing welfare of animals including Paul Jolly, executive director of the PETCO Foundation; Dick Van Patten, founder of Natural Balance Pet Food; and the City of West Hollywood.
Melya Kaplan, founder and executive director of VFTA says, “Many people don’t realize that Hollywood’s most gifted comics are some of the most vociferous and compassionate people when it comes to promoting animal welfare. Our Board is delighted to finally have an evening to bring them all under one roof, celebrate their accomplishments and honor them for the ongoing work they do in giving animals a voice in a very noisy world.”
Kaplan added that the stellar names have helped raise awareness of the Foundation’s many programs. She points to recent accomplishments such as Ruby the elephant reuniting with her companion and subsequent retirement from the zoo to the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) Wildlife Sanctuary; rescuing thousands of animals from foreclosures who would have gone to the pound; and the Helping Friends program that provides animal companions for seniors, shut-ins and those with disabilities.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person or $6,000 for a VIP table of 10 and access to VIP room, or $600 for individual VIP tickets. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available online at vftafoundation.org or by calling (310) 581-1585. Donations may also be sent to Voice for the Animals Foundation, 2633 Lincoln Blvd., #202, Santa Monica, CA; 90405-4656.
About Voice for the Animals Foundation
Founded by Melya Kaplan, Voice for the Animals Foundation (VFTA) is a nonprofit devoted to empathy for animals through education, rescue, advocacy and legislation. Since it’s founding in 2000, VFTA has implemented programs such as reuniting Ruby the elephant with her companion in the L.A. Zoo in 2004. In 2007, Ruby was moved to a free-roaming, natural habitat in Northern California. VFTA “Working Cats” program has successfully placed homeless cats in the Orchid Mart, Crossroads School campus and the Los Angeles Police Department Wilshire and Foothill divisions to repel rats. This has allowed the cats to live in cooperation with the businesses they help.
American Humane Association Assists in caring for dozens of horses Seized near buffalo, N.y.
DENVER, March 26, 2010 – A team of five emergency responders with the American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services™ today began assisting in the care of 73 horses rescued from deplorable conditions at an Erie County, N.Y., property on Thursday, March 18. Animal cruelty charges are pending against the owner.
The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) asked American Humane to assist by providing horse handling teams to help in the day-to-day care of the horses for the next two to three weeks.
All horses rescued are in SPCA Serving Erie County custody at an undisclosed location. The SPCA Serving Erie County is the lead organization in the rescue. Four dogs and 53 cats, also rescued from the property, are at the SPCA’s Tonawanda, N.Y., shelter.
“American Humane is honored to work with the ASPCA and the SPCA Serving Erie County on this important effort to care for these horses in distress,” said Debrah Schnackenberg, vice president of American Humane’s Animal Protection Division and director of its Animal Emergency Services. “Our team of Red Star emergency responders — all highly trained in this type of work — were eager to assist these horses and provide them with the kind of care they so desperately need.”
Reports say it appeared that the horses had rarely — if ever — been let out of their stalls. Feces covered the stall floors and walls, the food and water dishes, and even some of the animals themselves. It was difficult for the horses to stand in such conditions. Many were also allegedly underweight by hundreds of pounds.
Please help these rescued animals and give today. You can donate online to the SPCA Serving Erie County, N.Y., at http://bit.ly/aBAgFf or by calling 716-629-3532.
To support American Humane’s work helping vulnerable animals like the 73 severely neglected horses discovered in New York, donate to our Animal Emergency Services programs at www.americanhumane.org/aes-donate.
If you have the dreaded spring cleaning blues, just step outside and switch to spring cleaning your bluebird houses. Now’s the time when males start trying to lure females to the best, and most beautiful house in which they’ll raise their brood.
Clean out old nests, and discard the nest materials away from the house so as not to attract predators. It’s best to scrub the inside with a mild bleach solution as well, (1:10) to kill any infestations, bacteria or molds. Rinse well and let air dry before putting the house back.
Wooden bluebird houses may appear rough around the edges, especially at the entrance…a usual sign of squirrel damage. Don’t fret though, the house is likely still usable. Just add a metal portal, or protector over the existing entrance. They’re inexpensive and work well to repair bluebird houses.
If you’ve just put up your first bluebird house, and are hoping to attract these wonderful birds – try adding live meal worms to your feeding regimen. They really do magically attract bluebirds. A Bird bath with fresh water is helpful too. Our eastern bluebirds braved the harsh winter here in North Georgia as the heated baths, suet and live worms kept them fat and happy. Just know that when feeding live worms, most birds will literally eat you out of house and home, which is why a bluebird feeder works best. The bird must pass through an entrance hole to get the worms. Very few birds, besides bluebirds will do this.
Happy Spring and Happy Birding!
It’s a known fact that hummingbirds practice site fidelity – if they find great accommodations, there’s a very good chance they’ll return the following season. If you love watching the tiny sprites and have window hummingbird feeders or hanging ones, there’s a couple more things you can offer to accommodate more hummingbirds, and keep them coming back.
They love water, and if it’s moving water – even better! Birdbath accessories like fountains and drippers act like a magnet for hummingbirds. I think the leaf misters might just be their favorite. The way they dance, back and forth to play and bathe in the fine mist is mesmerizing. I could sit and observe for hours if there were time. We have two misters, one is upright, staked in the ground, wrapped around a simple green plant stake with a twistie to hold the nozzle in place. The other is up higher, and more horizontal, off the front porch railing, attached to a metal bracket. They really love these things!
Another wonderful accessory (actually endorsed by The Hummingbird Society) is Hummer Helper Nesting Material. It’s a kit with a hanging, red flat basket, and nest material. Goldfinches use this material as well to build their nests. The good thing with the kit is that refills are also sold separately. Our kit saw a lot of activity last season, but I never could figure out where the nests were?
During Be Kind to Animals Week®
Winners Will Be Awarded $1,000 — Entry Deadline: April 15, 2010
DENVER, March 15, 2010 – The American Humane Association’s Be Kind to Animals Week® has been celebrated since 1915, and the highlight of this annual observance is the Be Kind to Animals™ Kid Contest, which recognizes children and teens who show extraordinary kindness to animals and go out of their way to help them.
Nominations for two age groups, 6-12 years old and 13-17 years old, will be accepted through April 15, 2010. In each age group, the grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and the runner-up will receive $500. Winners will be announced during Be Kind to Animals Week, May 2-8, 2010. Contest rules and nomination forms are available at www.americanhumane.org/bkaw.
Last year, Annie Lee Vankleeck, of Shokan, N.Y, was the grand prize winner in the category for 6- to 12-year-olds. She showed kindness to animals by collecting used blankets and towels for shelter dogs, including going to yard sales and persuading people to donate their blankets — or buying them from the people — as well as collecting blankets and towels at school. Annie’s actions, and the actions of every young humanitarian, clearly demonstrate compassion, the power of the human-animal bond, and the importance of animals in people’s lives.
Want to make a difference?
Here are ideas for celebrating the human-animal bond – both during Be Kind to Animals Week and throughout the entire year:
- Speak out for animals. Get active in local animal welfare policies and legislation. Also register on American Humane’s website at www.americanhumane.org to receive timely Action Alerts about issues affecting animals. You’ll be able to make a difference for animals with just the click of your mouse.
- Share kindness. Teach the people in your life – especially children – about the importance of being kind to animals.
- Identify your pets. Make sure your pets have current tags and are microchipped so they can be returned home quickly if they become lost.
- Make a donation to your local animal shelter. A donation can be any number of contributions, from your time or money, to needed items such as pet food or laundry detergent.
- Appreciate wildlife. Leave room in your yard for natural habitats, like a pond for fish or a birdhouse.
- Report animal abuse. While acts of violence against animals are tragic in their own right, they are also a red flag for other violent behavior, including domestic abuse and violent crime.
- Educate yourself about The Link® between violence to animals and violence to people to help stop the cycle of violence. When animals in a home are abused or neglected, it is a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe, and children who witness animal abuse are at a greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.
- Adopt a pet from a shelter or breed-rescue group. Local shelters and rescue groups are the best place to find companion animals – no matter what type you’re looking for. Keep in mind that one out of every four dogs in shelters is a purebred.
- Help end the tragedy of euthanasia of adoptable animals by not contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. If you have pets, make sure to have them spayed or neutered.
Find us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/americanhumane and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americanhumane. The information contained in this release may be reused and posted with proper credit given to the American Humane Association.
About American Humane
Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the only national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, American Humane develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link® between violence to people and violence to animals, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humane’s office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the “No Animals Were Harmed”® end-credit disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humane’s office in Washington, D.C., is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. The American Humane® Certified farm animal program is the nation’s original independent certification and labeling program for humanely raised food. American Humane meets the strong, comprehensive standards of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, has been awarded the Independent Charities of America’s “Best in America” Seal of Approval, has met the stringent standards for financial efficiency and accountability required by the American Institute of Philanthropy to qualify as a Top-Rated Charity, and has received a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator. Visit www.americanhumane.org to learn more.
The advantage to any window bird feeder is the close up view. Right from the comfort of sitting at your breakfast room table, sipping morning coffee (or guzzling in a frantic rush like most) wonderful bird behaviors are seamlessly incorporated into your day. Window feeders come in just about every kind and style, from platforms, and suet feeders, to tube style and hummingbird feeders.
What if you just wanted that feeder a few feet further, or didn’t really prefer it slap right on the window? This stylish window hummingbird feeder actually can be attached to a deck rail as well. It’s the perfect window hummingbird feeder…not on the window itself!
Other excellent hummingbird attractors include moving water and nesting material. Hummer Helper Nest Material has actually been endorsed by The Hummingbird Society as helpful for hummingbirds nesting process. Nectar producing flowers are always a sure bet, and brighten up any landscape. Window hummingbird feeders make great and long lasting gifts, that will be used again and again, to provide nourishment for hummers and entertainment for hosts.
If you’ve ever seen pesky ants crawling along your hummingbird feeder, or swimming (drowning) in the nectar, this is the solution. An ant moat really works at keeping ants off and out of your hummingbird feeder. The only, simple requirement is that the moat be kept filled with water. Moat…water…get it? Ants can’t swim, so there’s absolutely no way for them to touch the feeder.
If bees or wasps are a problem, look for a hummingbird feeder with wasp-proof ports. Thee are usually raised, which makes it harder for the wicked pests to enter. They eventually give up.
To attract hummingbirds, a fresh water source always helps. Preferably something that is moving, like a birdbath fountain, or bubbler. Leaf misters are adored by hummingbirds and butterflies, and you can bet they’ll be back everyday to play and bathe in the fine mist they produce.
It’s time…the migration has begun!
Hummingbirds have got to be one of the most anticipated of all migratory birds. Their antics at feeders is entrancing, I could watch for hours. The migration from Central and South America has begun, and the first birds should start appearing in the Southwest and Southern states in a few weeks. This is an exciting time for many backyard birding enthusiasts.
It’s time then to get hummingbird feeders ready for action, by making sure they’re clean, filled with fresh nectar, and in an obvious place where hummers can see them, you’ll start seeing these flying jewels in no time.
Hummingbirds also love water…moving water that is. Whether a birdbath fountain, leaf mister, or bubbler, you can bet that moving water attracts them and keeps them coming back daily.
The quick and easy nectar recipe: 4 parts water to 1 part plain table sugar.
Never substitute anything for white cane sugar as it will harm hummingbirds. It’s not even necessary to boil the water, but it helps to dissolve the sugar quickly and effectively. Store unused nectar in the fridge, and change old nectar in feeders at least twice a week. Nectar will stay fresher longer if hung in the shade too.
Thousands of Audubon members living in Western states have won a victory over special interests trying to build a dump near Joshua Tree National Park. Last month, Audubon members responded in great numbers to an action alert that Joshua Tree National Park was threatened by what would have been the nation’s largest landfill just 2500 yards from the Park’s boundaries. Last November, a federal court rejected a land exchange that would have allowed the landfill plan to proceed. Just a few days ago, thanks to a huge public outcry from thousands of Audubon members and other concerned citizens, the Department of Interior backed away from plans to appeal the court decision, acknowledging the importance of a healthy environment to the communities, businesses, tourists—and birds!—that value a national park over a garbage dump.