• Bat Houses,  Bats & Butterflies,  Bird Accessories,  Uncategorized

    Recycled or Wooden Bat Houses?

    recycled bat houseThe (not so new anymore) wave of recycled plastics is still a wonderful thing as for as birding accessories. Durable, tough, handsome, and most come with guarantees against splitting, cracking or fading. Bat houses are now available in recycled plastics, and like all other products, guarantee a longer life…in fact…a lifetime of use.

    One of the advantages to this recycled bat house is the rich, dark color. Not only for aesthetic purposes, it retains heat from the sun to keep the chambers warmer on cold nights. It’s large enough to hold hundreds of the beneficial little brown bats, whole colonies if you will. Excellent for natural pest control, bats will consume whole populations of mosquitoes in one night.

    Wooden bat houses are still mainstream, and are available for smaller groupings and large colonies too. Bat House Kits are even available if you’re so inclined to build your own. Most wood bat houses are constructed of red cedar, also durable and very long lasting. If purchasing a bat house, your decision may be based on looks, size, and or price. A wide variety of bat houses are available, the key is proper placement. Approximately 15-20 feet from the ground is best, usually facing a southern or southeast exposure. They may be post or pole mounted with additional hardware, or simply attached to a tree. Some say they can be erected on structures as well, we would not recommend this.

    Help brown bats to thrive flourish in your yard by offering proper shelter and you’ll be rewarded with natural insect control for the season!

  • Uncategorized

    Save Malibu Lagoon Hosts Rally and March Saturday, October 2

    Malibu – September 27, 2010 – Save Malibu Lagoon: and the Wetlands Defense Fund will hold a rally and march from the Malibu Pier to the Malibu Lagoon, Saturday, October 2nd, at 1 pm.  Surfers, birdwatchers, animal lovers, environmentalists, schoolchildren, local residents and others concerned about the plan to dredge and poison the lagoon will be on hand to protest the plan that goes before the California Coastal Commission on October 13th in Oceanside.

    The plan calls for the three charming and well-maintained bridges on the main walk path to be ripped out and trashed. Birdwatchers will be deprived of up-close bird viewing opportunities, nature observers and schoolchildren will be unable to experience intimate environmental education moments and surfers will have to take a longer and less convenient route to the beach and the ocean waves.

    According to Wetlands Defense Fund’s Marcia Hanscom, the badly designed plan calls for bulldozers to arrive at the start of visitor season in June, 2011 to excavate and grade 88,700 cubic yards of mud and wetland habitat – killing or displacing most plants, fish and animals and removing shelter and food sources for those not otherwise harmed.   In addition, contractors will dewater (drain) the entire lagoon west of the creek channel to transform the site from a series of environmentally-friendly marshy islands into an area with a rock-defined, hard-edged channel and more watery area, but less land, which serves as home and food for the animals.

    Hanscom says the engineering firm of Moffat & Nichol drew up the plan after being directed to do so by a technical team which met with little public input.  “A private nonprofit organization called Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation is listed on the Coastal Commission staff report as the ‘agent,’ “ Hanscom says.  “It seems like millions in bond money are available to anyone who has good political connections and hatches an ill-informed scheme, even if it destroys a living ecosystem.”  She says those who are on record supporting the plan include Heal the Bay and the California State Parks Department.

    Wetlands Defense Fund, CLEAN (Coastal Law Enforcement Action Network), Access for All, surfers and residents who are opposed to noise, dust and damage to their animal neighbors are outraged.  Birdwatchers who have recently observed the resurgence of imperiled species are opposed to the plan.  Hanscom added that Glyphosate, a poison named in the proposed plan to kill non-native plants, has been opposed by stakeholders in the Topanga Watershed Council for many years.  For that reason, some of those are opposed to this plan, as well.

    The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to grant a permit for the proposed project at its October 13 hearing in Oceanside.   While under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was prepared, no EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) as required by federal law, was prepared even though a federally endangered species listed on the endangered species list will be harmed.

    “Many people have asked me why the State of California is funding such a massive project when the state budget is in such a disastrous state,” Hanscom says.  “As we understand it, the funds will come from State water and wildlife conservation bonds, and Proposition 50 bond money has been allocated in the amount of more than $1 million to manage, review and design this flawed plan.  A plan that does not conserve wildlife should not qualify for these bonds.”

    Those marching are urged to bring signs supporting the wildlife and the bridges to the beach public access.  For more information, visit www.savemalibulagoon.com, call 310-578-5888, and join Save Malibu Lagoon on Facebook and @saveourlagoon on Twitter.  To make a donation, visit http://ihcenter.org/groups/wdf.

  • Bird Accessories,  Squirrel Baffle,  Uncategorized

    Foiled by the Squirrel Baffle

    disguised squirrelHe’s arch enemy number one to most backyard birders! Raiding bird feeders relentlessly until empty, they continue even to destroy the feeder itself. Squirrels can be an impossible pain in the keester, no matter how you try to solve the problem.

    To the rescue…a quality squirrel baffle placed in the correct position. When installed properly, squirrel baffles make it impossible for these furry critters to get suet feeder protected by squirrel baffleat feeders. Because of their amazing acrobatics, you must always remember it’s not just the height from the ground, but the horizontal distance from any jumping spot. They can leap tall buildings at a single bound, so feeders must be at least eight feet away from where squirrels can get a foot hold and jump across.

    With the investment of a squirrel baffle (and they really aren’t even that expensive) you’ll save money by saving birdseed. You’ll also allow your feathered friends to dine in peace, thus seeing more of the activity you were hoping for.

    If the squirrel baffle is a pole mounted one, be sure the bottom of the baffle is at least five feet from the ground. Squirrels will shimmy on up the pole, but will be foiled every time by the baffle. Knowing that you’ve finally won the battle, it’s a pretty entertaining site too!