The Invaluable Ant Moat
Ants just love sugary, sticky, sweet nectar! Whether it’s Hummingbird, Oriole or butterfly nectar, if they can get to it…you bet they will find it! But the good thing, and saving grace for those who feed nectar, is that ants can’t swim. They are virtually unable to cross a small body of water. Enter the invaluable ant moat.
These little gadgets make the difference between great birding experiences vs. pesky, miserable ones filled with unwelcome guests. Simple by adding an ant moat to your hummingbird feeder, or other nectar feeders, you will stop ants dead in their tracks.
The ant moat shown here is a little nicer than the standard model, but they all do the same thing…stop ants from getting at nectar. In the heat of summer, a drop of salad oil may be added to the water to slow the evaporation process. Remember, the ant moats will not work unless they are kept filled with water.
Simple Nesting Material for Your Birds
Entice and encourage birds to nest in your yard with simple materials found around your home. Although there are all kinds of cool nesting material kits out there, you can do this one yourself… easily!
Start with a suet cage or even a mesh produce bag, like the kind apples come in at the grocery store. Next time you empty the lint basket in your clothes dryer, nix that soft, fluffy material as it’s just not natural.
Got a cat or dog? Pet hair is keeper. If you brush your pet, save the hair that accumulates in their brush. But steer clear if Fido or Fluffy has been treated with flea & tick meds. If you happen to have a horse… even better! The nesting material shown here is horse hair. Mostly from the mane and tail, it makes for great stuff to help bind the birds’ gatherings into a nest.
Ever work with silk or dried flowers? The decorative moss, especially Spanish or sphagnum moss is wonderful. Stuff a little moss into the nesting ball too, but keep strands short. They even like bits of raffia and especially feathers. Hang your nest ball from a branch in a visible spot for birds to easily see it. Somewhere in the proximity of existing bird feeders or birdhouses is best. Don’t pack the materials too tightly as a generous air flow dries them quicker after rain.
Simple materials from around your home, that are usually discarded, make for great nesting materials to help birds thrive and flourish in your backyard. You can entice birds to stick around, without adding more feeders and houses, but by offering valuable nesting material for them to help raise their families. Don’t forget the shallow fresh water too!
What’s Wrong with This Picture?Salazar Lambasted for Choice of Industry-Cozy Bureaucrat to Reorganize MMS
Bob Abbey’s “Dismal” Leadership at BLM
Bodes Poorly for Reform at Drilling AgencyWashington, DC (May 28, 2010) – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s pick to bring “reform” to the much-criticized Minerals and Mining Service, Bob Abbey, has for the last 18 months earned a reputation for business as usual and coziness with industry in managing public lands as head of the Bureau of Land Management, In Defense of Animals charged today.
“Abbey’s appointment is a slap in the face to the victims in the Gulf Coast and all Americans concerned about proper and unbiased management of our public lands,” said IDA Research Director Eric Kleiman.
“In the wake of the catastrophic Gulf Oil spill, Abbey’s appointment is another man-made disaster,” continued Kleiman. “Based on his record at the BLM of mismanaging our public resources for the interests of private industry, Bob Abbey should be fired, not promoted.”
Kleiman called Abbey’s 18-month tenure of leading the BLM under Secretary Salazar a “textbook example” of coziness with industry – exactly the same problems at MMS that must be reformed. He said that the Department of Interior regularly issues industry-biased Environmental Assessments that result in the removal of thousands of wild horses.
Kleiman charged that Salazar and Abbey have blatantly mismanaged the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, continuing Bush Administration policies that have cost tens of millions of tax dollars annually by removing tens of thousands of iconic wild horses from public lands for the benefit of private livestock ranchers and other exploitive commercial industries. Today, there are more wild horses warehoused in costly long-term holding facilities than remain in the wild.
And one of Wyoming’s last desert wildlands, Adobe Town — 200,000 acres of canyons, badlands and wilderness-quality lands — is just one of the latest targets of the Abbey-managed BLM for destructive oil and gas development.
“If President Obama wants to break extractive commercial interests’ stranglehold on the use of our public resources, he needs to clean house at the Department of Interior, starting with Secretary Salazar,” concluded Kleiman. “We call on President Obama to replace Ken Salazar and Bob Abbey to achieve the so-far unfulfilled promise of true reform and accountability at the Department of Interior.”