• Bird Feeders,  Uncategorized

    2011 Great Backyard Bird Count!

    Great Backyard Bird Count Asks for Your Help
    Count Birds February 18-21

    Black-crested Titmouse. Photo by GBBC participant Gregg Lee, Texas.

    February 8, 2011—The 14th annual Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up February 18–21, 2011. People of all ages and skill levels are needed to count birds in their yards, neighborhoods, or other locations across the United States and Canada. Simply tally birds for at least 15 minutes on any day of the count, then go to www.birdcount.org and enter the highest number of each species seen at any one time.

    Coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Bird Studies Canada, the count provides an instantaneous snapshot of birdlife across the continent for all to see. Anyone can watch as the tallies come in at www.birdcount.org. Organizers hope to receive more than 100,000 checklists during the event, with tallies of more than 600 bird species in all.

    Last year’s participants reported more than 1.8 million American Robins, as well as rarities such as the first Red-billed Tropicbird in the count’s history.

    “Whether people observe birds in backyards, parks, or wilderness areas, the Great Backyard Bird Count is an opportunity to share their results at www.birdcount.org,” said Judy Braus, Audubon’s vice president of Education and Centers. “It’s fun and rewarding for people of all ages and skill levels–and it gets people outside!”

    “When thousands of people all tell us what they’re seeing, we can detect changes in birds’ numbers and locations from year to year,” said Dr. Janis Dickinson, director of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

    “While this is the depths of winter in most of Canada and only the hardiest birds brave the cold, understanding of trends in the distribution and abundance at this time of year is important as well,” said Dr. George Finney, president of Bird Studies Canada.

    A young GBBC participant carefully makes out her checklist. Photo by GBBC participant Christina Phinney, Michigan.

    Data from the Great Backyard Bird Count can provide an early signal of changes in bird populations. Past counts showed a drop in reports of American Crows after outbreaks of West Nile virus in 2003, a finding consistent with studies showing crow populations declined by 50–75% in some states. Maps from the count have also captured the paths of migrating Sandhill Cranes and recorded the dramatic spread Eurasian Collared-Doves. Introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970s, the species was reported in just 8 states during the 1999 GBBC. A decade later, it was reported in 39 states and Canadian provinces.

    “I have joined the Great Backyard Bird Count for the past three years and am really looking forward to doing it again,” said participant Kathy Bucher of Exira, Iowa. I really enjoy nature and bird watching. My mother and I share updates on the birds we see. It’s a fun hobby to share with a loved one!”

    For more information, including bird-ID tips, instructions, and past results, visit www.birdcount.org. The count also includes a photo contest and a prize drawing for participants who enter their bird checklists online.

  • Uncategorized

    …And the Last Lion is Rescued!


    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 8, 2011 – The number of lions being airlifted on the record-breaking Animal Defenders International (ADI) airlift, known as Operation Lion Ark, rose this weekend to 25.  A specialist ADI team flew down to Tarija in southern Bolivia and returned with an elderly lion called Kimba.

    Kimba had been living in a small concrete zoo enclosure for the past 11 years after being dumped there by a travelling circus.  In recent weeks, ADI and the Bolivian authorities have swooped on circuses all over Bolivia and confiscated all of their animals.  Indigenous or domestic animals have been homed in Bolivia, and ADI is taking care of all the lions – now numbering 25.  Bolivia’s DGB had requested ADI take the old lion.

    On Friday, ADI flew down to Tarija in a C130 Hercules that had seen service in the Vietnam War. They took one of the crates that had already been prepared for the Operation Lion Ark airlift later this month.

    At the zoo the ADI team had to break down a wall and cut through metal railings to get to Kimba, but he was soon lured into the travel crate by ADI President Jan Creamer.  He was then driven to the airport, with members of the Tarija public applauding on the roadside, and loaded onto the TAB cargo aircraft.  It was a smooth hour flight back to Santa Cruz, during which Kimba was very relaxed and showed no signs of stress, before a slow drive to the ADI Operation Lion Ark compound.  The ADI team, including a vet, joined Kimba on the flight and were able to monitor him throughout.

    In the ADI compound Kimba saw and heard other lions for the first time. He went straight into his new holding cage and had a meal before calling to the other lions.

    Jan Creamer said: “Kimba seems a lovely, gentle old lion.  He is very thin, blind in one eye, and has not seen or heard anther lion for eleven years.  Once we lured him into the travel crate he settled quickly and remained relaxed throughout the flight and journey to the ADI Lion Ark compound in Santa Cruz.  He’s had a sad lonely life and really deserved a break, so he is the perfect lion to be number 25 – the last lion to be saved during this huge seizure operation.

    “We are now counting down to the Operation Lion Ark airlift next week when we will be taking Kimba and the other 24 lions to their wonderful new life in Colorado.  ADI would like to thank TAB and the ON Group who helped us collect Kimba and who will be working with us on the main Lion Ark airlift when we will have 25 lions on one flight!”

    The lions which have been rescued from circuses after Bolivia banned the use of animals in circuses will be heading for a new life at The Wild Animal Sanctuary near Denver Colorado where ADI is funding the construction of new facilities on 80 acres (over 32 hectares) of land supplied by the sanctuary.

    Jan Creamer said:  “Kimba’s rescue concludes part one of this amazing rescue.  We now have all the lions. Now ADI must work at full speed to get them to paradise at The Wild Animal Sanctuary.  These lions who have suffered so much will be able to run and play at last.  Metal workers all over Santa Cruz are working flat out to prepare all the crates we need and our veterinary team are ensuring the animals are in optimum condition to fly.  We have our biggest challenge next week, flying 25 lions on one aircraft to the USA!”

    This dramatic lion rescue began last November when, in a series of seizures all over Bolivia, ADI working with the Bolivian authorities including the DGB and Santa Cruz Governor’s Office, started to remove the animals from different circuses spread across the country.

    The moves were to enforce Bolivia’s Law 4040 which bans the use of animals in circuses, which came into force after ADI officers went undercover to expose the horrific abuse in circuses across South America. The legislation effectively shut down the country’s animal circus industry at a stroke – the first time such a thing has happened in the world.

    The huge rescue operation – the first time a country’s animal circus industry has been shut down in this way – last week attracted the backing of a number of celebrities including Bob Barker, Jorja Fox, Brian Blessed, Twiggy, Joanna Lumley, Julia McKenzie, and Benjamin Zephaniah, along with Meg Mathews, Wendy Turner Webster and Prunella Scales, who have called on the public to send donations to help the rescue.  For more information visit: www.savethelionsappeal.com, or call (323) 804-9920.

    About Animal Defenders International

    With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogotá, Animal Defenders International campaigns to protect animals in entertainment; replacement of animals in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI also rescues animals in distress worldwide. ADI-gathered evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them.

    ADI’s Mission: To educate, create awareness, and promote the interest of humanity in the cause of justice, and the suppression of all forms of cruelty to animals wherever possible to alleviate suffering, and to conserve and protect animals and the environment.


  • Bird Accessories,  Bird Houses,  birdhouse kits

    totally fun birdhouse kits

    Fun Frog Birdhouse kitMost birdhouse kits are pretty straight-forward, in pine, or possibly cedar, they represent a pretty typical-looking nest box. Plenty of folks show an interest for birdhouse kits with more detail, like windows, porch railings and trim work, but no companies we know of have yet to manufacture something like that.

    I met someone who hand crafts these fun birdhouses and inquired about offering them as kits instead. They would be a hoot to paint, in solid colors, or prints, or even patterns. The Cat Birdhouse Kit could be painted to resemble a person’s cat, while the frog birdhouse kit could be anything the imagination desired. Totally fun and functional, these provide a proper nesting site for feathered friends. Complete with ventilation, drainage and clean-out, they’ll host many successful broods over the years!

    A great youth or family project, fun birdhouse kits like these help to capture a child’s attention, thus an avenue for teaching about wildlife, our environment and the importance of stewardship.Fun Cat birdhouse kit Look for these great birdhouse kits…coming soon!