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?