The ongoing situation with the nuclear power plants in Japan is creating
a new need for shelters for animals removed from the area by their owners.
(SEATTLE, WA –MARCH 2011) –Visitors to The Animal Rescue Site donated
more than $300,000 in March to the current animal rescue efforts in
Japan. The funds were distributed weekly after receipt to the Humane
Society International (HSI) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare
(IFAW) by GreaterGood.org, the nonprofit partner of the popular website.
“Through the Gifts That Give More™ program at The Animal Rescue Site, we
provide online donors with a safe, fast way to give money to the groups
who need it the most in times of disaster,” said Lisa Halstead, board
president of GreaterGood.org. “We disburse emergency funds weekly to give
the first responders the flexibility and the support that they need when
aiding survivors in a crisis.”
GreaterGood.org’s unique Gifts That Give More™ program allows 100%
tax-deductible contributions to be directed to nonprofit causes or
projects selected by the donors. With typical donation levels of $10 to
$100 per Gift, the program has generated millions of dollars for more than
80 charities worldwide since its inception. In particular, the program has
allowed visitors to The Animal Rescue Site and other GreaterGood Network
websites to quickly provide assistance to survivors during such disasters
as the Haitian earthquake, the Gulf Coast oil spill, and others.
After putting out the call to donors on March 11 following the Japanese
earthquake and tsunami, GreaterGood.org was able to send $170,480 to HSI
on March 21, followed by donations of $103,810 to HSI on March 28 and
$30,000 to IFAW on March 28. A total of $304, 290 has been distributed in
less than 18 days after the earthquake struck.
“Gathering supplies and deploying to Japan is no minor expense, and The
Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.org have made possible our swift
mobilization,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society
of the United States, HSI’s parent entity. “We’re working closely with
Japanese partners to provide emergency sheltering, help animals in urgent
need, lay the foundation for permanent enhancements to animal care
capacity in the devastated zone, and set the stage for policy changes to
strengthen animal protection in Japan in the future.”
Both HSI and IFAW are working with local animal rescue groups to provide
temporary shelter for lost or abandoned animals as well as animals owned
by people who have had to evacuate due to the damaged nuclear power plants
(many Japanese shelters cannot allow the animals into the same area as the
people, so the pets are left outside or in people’s cars). They will use
the funding from The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.org to ship
essential supplies to the region (such as food, dog kennels, collars, and
bowls), and help coordinate the efforts of Japanese animal welfare groups
and other international animal welfare organizations that are working to
identify and meet the most urgent and immediate needs of animals affected
by the disaster.
“Watching the devastation in Japan from afar, we knew the impact was going
to be terrible for people, and we knew animals would need help too,” said
IFAW’s Manager of Disaster Relief, Dick Green. “The swift generosity of
The Animal Rescue Site community and GreaterGood.org helped get IFAW here,
on the ground in the impacted area, so we can help the animals of Japan.”
More On The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.org
Each click on the purple “Click Here to Give – it’s FREE” button at The
Animal Rescue Site (www.TheAnimalRescueSite.com) provides food and care
for a rescued animal living in a shelter or sanctuary. Funding for food
and care is paid for by site sponsors and distributed to animals in need
at shelters supported by the Petfinder Foundation, International Fund for
Animal Welfare, the Fund for Animals’ animal sanctuaries, North Shore
Animal League America, Rescue Bank, and other worthy animal care
facilities supported by GreaterGood.org. Additional funding for projects
comes from the sale of items and the Gifts That Give More™ program at The
Animal Rescue Site store.
The independent 501(c)3 GreaterGood.org supports rescue and animal care
projects around the world, including contributions of more than $250,000
to the formation of ARCH and subsequent rabies vaccination campaign of
50,000 animals in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake; multiple grants for
U.S. shelters that vaccinated 114,485 dogs and 80,944 cats in 2010; and
more than $200,000 awarded in the last six months to shelter and rescue
groups impacted by the Gulf Coast oil spill; among other projects. For
more information, see www.greatergood.org.
Even though we feed our squirrels, it’s just never enough food. And let me tell you, our crafty critters have learned how to defy gravity… spinning at the speed of sound on one of our squirrel proof bird feeders. I don’t know how they do it, but hanging on for dear life seems worthy of a few seeds to them?? It never ceases to amaze me that they don’t just fall over flat when the ride’s through. I think the birds really got a kick out of watching them too
They’re constantly trying to outwit every single one of the bird feeders, but always foiled by the ones set up with baffles. Setting up a new feeder on the back deck so I could catch some close-up views from the kitchen and breakfast room window was a great idea in theory.
A hopper seed feeder hangs from a deck bracket. In between the two, a motorized squirrel baffle that is weight-sensitive. At first the spinning feeder would cause the squirrels to want “off” this ride. But after a while, they got use to it and learned to hang on, and even manage a seed or two during the wild ride.
Eventually I gave up and moved the feeder away from the deck and hung it on a pole with a baffle. This solved the problem and still allowed for close-ups of feathered friends. Squirrel baffles, when properly placed, will turn any feeders into true squirrel proof bird feeders… once and for all!
No tools required for these fun birdhouse kits… only imagination! Totally Green Birdhouse Kits are made from 100% recycled paper, which is then laminated into a sturdy board. With a 1.25″ entrance, they’ll attract chickadees, nuthatches, wrens and titmice, A spacious weatherproof design makes the bird house biodegradable after the nesting season.
This type of kit is perfect for children of all ages because it’s fun to assemble, requires no tools, and may be painted or decorated any way imaginable. The packaging is even a keeper, providing great info and photos presented in a fun way. Assembled by folding two die-cut pieces of board that fit together ingeniously, these birdhouse kits are even fun for adults too!
Early spring is the optimal time to offer cavity-dwelling birds a place to nest and raise their young. Being a great school or youth group project that promotes stewardship, we’ll even offer bulk quantity discounts on birdhouse kits for any interested parties… our thanks for housing the birds 🙂
With a severe shortage in natural nesting places, bluebirds will appreciate decent diggs to nest and raise their young. With increasing development from strip malls to subdivisions snuffing out habitat, competition from non-native species also plays a huge part in this shortage of nest spots.
You can provide proper housing in high style, with blue bird houses that will never rot, fade or warp with weather and time. More than just wood, materials like vinyl, ceramics and stoneware make for fantastic blue bird houses that are handcrafted to last a lifetime. This Vinyl Cottage Bluebird House happens to be NABS (North American Bluebird Society) approved. Complete with a metal predator guard, it helps protect eggs and nestlings from predators like cats, raccoons, and larger birds.
On a more artistic note, handcrafted stoneware blue bird houses can provide an interesting focal point in the landscape, while providing a proper nest site for blue birds. Stoneware is also inert, meaning it will not rot, is totally insect proof and guarantees to be around for a lifetime.
Help bluebirds thrive and flourish by erecting blue bird houses in your yard. You can entice them with suet and heated birdbaths in winter, and of course their favorite food any time of year… live mealworms! If you’re lucky enough to have more than one successful brood, it’s a real joy and pleasure to watch juveniles from the first brood help raise the new chicks and teach them to hunt.
A serious situation is unfolding at the Edmonton Valley Zoo with Lucy the sick Asian elephant and Bob Barker’s generous offer of $100,000 that would pay to bring in world-renowned elephant experts to properly examine and diagnose Lucy who is dire need of specialist care. Unless the City accepts Bob Barker’s offer to pay for a second opinion for Lucy, she remains a hostage in solitary confinement. The goal is to prolong Lucy’s life providing her with expert specialist care and eventually moving her to an animal sanctuary in the U.S.
Bob Barker has offered the City $100,000 if they allow animal welfare organizations to bring in outside elephant veterinary experts to properly diagnose Lucy’s current condition. This important medical intervention will be able to determine her ultimate fate: obtain a needed second opinion about her condition and fitness to travel or allow her condition to worsen which could lead to her potential demise.
Bob Barker and animal welfare organizations are urging the Mayor of Edmonton to accept the $100,000 grant and agree to a proper second opinion and the very best in veterinary medicine. This is the right thing for Lucy, the City, the world and countless other zoo animals.
Please help publicize Lucy’s plight and be voice for those who can’t speak for themselves, they count on us to help. Unfortunately, Lucy is not the only captive elephant that is suffering without necessary care and treatment.
Television icon Bob Barker is prepared to contribute $100,000.00 to the city of Edmonton to use as the city choose if the city will agree to allow independent elephant experts, selected by Zoocheck Canada and Performing Animal Welfare Society, to come to Edmonton and examine Lucy, an elephant in the Edmonton Valley Zoo, who has lived in chronic physical distress for decades, according to the Zoo’s own medical records secured under the Freedom of Information Act.
“It’s crucial that Lucy’s condition be accurately diagnosed before her health deteriorates further,” said Barker. “It is indefensible that Lucy has been forced to live in misery for all these years.”
A number of animal protection organizations, including Zoocheck Canada, believe that Lucy’s health problems will lead to her death unless her condition is correctly diagnosed and proper remedial treatment is administered immediately.
Barker made the offer upon hearing that Lucy’s “respiratory condition” has still not been diagnosed and that Lucy continues to be in distress 18 months after reports of her ill health began circulating.
For several years, Edmonton Valley Zoo management have said they cannot move Lucy because of a mysterious “breathing problem,” but they have been unable to diagnose the source of the problem or to provide any treatment to relieve its symptoms. Meanwhile Lucy’s health and welfare continue to be of concern with her weight remaining excessively high and her foot problems (the leading cause of death in captive elephants) unresolved. On top of that, industry standards state that elephants should never be kept in groups of less than three and Lucy is all alone.
On January 13, 2011 the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) directed Valley Zoo management to diagnose and treat Lucy’s respiratory illness but the zoo and their consultants have made little, if any, progress to date.
“I sincerely hope the City of Edmonton will allow outside experts to help Lucy so that her suffering can be ended. It seems like a win-win-win scenario to me. The zoo wins, concerned citizens win, but most importantly of all, Lucy wins,” said Barker.
COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Tuamotu Kingfisher is a multicolored, tropical bird with bright blue feathers, a dusty orange head, and a bright green back. The entire population of these birds – less than 125 – lives on one tiny island in the south Pacific, and without serious intervention, they will no longer exist. One University of Missouri researcher is trying to stop the birds’ extinction by working with farmers and residents on the island inhabited by the kingfishers.
“If we lose these birds, we lose 50,000 years of uniqueness and evolution,” said Dylan Kesler, assistant professor in fisheries and wildlife at the University of Missouri’s School of Natural Resources in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “Because it has lived in isolation for a very long time, it’s unlike any other bird. There is no other bird like this on the planet.”
Dylan Kesler, assistant professor in fisheries and wildlife at the University of Missouri’s School of Natural Resources in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, is trying to stop the extinction of one bird species by working with farmers and residents on a remote island in the south pacific.
In new studies published in the journal The Auk (published by the American Ornithologists Union) and the Journal of Wildlife Management, Kesler and his team of researchers have uncovered important information to help ensure the birds’ survival and a unique way to attach radio transmitters to the birds to track them.
To survive, the kingfishers need several specific habitat characteristics:
- Hunting Perches about 5 feet off the ground – The birds hunt by “pouncing.” They watch their prey and then fall on them from hunting perches about 5 feet high. Without the perches in broadleaf trees at the appropriate height, the birds have no way to hunt.
- Exposed ground – the birds’ food consists mainly of lizards, which are easier to spot where the ground is clear of vegetation. When coconut farmers conduct intermediate burns on their land – which are hot enough to kill brush, but do not lead to widespread fires or kill the lizards – it exposes more ground and the birds can see the lizards.
- Dead trees for nesting – the birds create nests by flying into dead trees and hollowing cavities. Live trees are too hard and many farmers cut down their dead coconut trees. By encouraging farmers to leave some dead trees, the birds will continue to be able to build nests.
- Lessoning the impact of predators – cats and rats, which were introduced to the island by humans, now hunt the Tuamotu Kingfisher. By wrapping metal bands around the trees, the predators are less likely to get into the nests, but Kesler is still searching for other solutions that might alleviate the pressure on the birds.
In a separate study, Kesler also developed a “weak-link” radio harness for the birds to wear. In previous studies with different birds, scientists have reported unintentional harm to the birds after attaching radio transmitters. That harm included scratching the birds, making the birds act peculiarly and introducing infections. Using this new harness, Kesler was able to track the birds during the study, and the harness was shed within two months.
“Unfortunately, even with all our work to date, the population is still crashing,” Kesler said. “We’re seeing some turnover, but each year when we return, there are more empty territories and the population decreases. At this rate, these birds will be gone within our lifetime.”
For more information, visit: http://picra.net/tk2010/TK2010/Introduction.html
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Here in this southeastern back yard, the Bluebirds never left, they over-wintered as our accommodations provided them well through a frigid winter season. Live mealworms were (and still are) fed daily, and bird baths remained heated throughout winter months. Lots of roosting spots, including several bluebird houses helped them keep warm at night.
Although wood is always good for most bird houses, over time it tends to weather and rot… which is not so good for prospective tenants. On the other hand, vinyl houses (like the kind people live in) pretty much last forever.
There’s a new breed of bluebird houses crafted to do just that… last forever! Architectural Bluebird Houses in white vinyl are an attractive and affordable alternative if replacing old nest boxes. Since they’re hand made (in the USA) there’s always a color choice for the roof too. Exterior grade plywood is covered in a coated aluminum to provide durability beyond compare. Roofs are available in bronze (shown here), verdigris and hammered copper options. With meticulous construction, and inert materials, these vinyl bluebird houses will last a lifetime, hosting many successful broods over the years.
One other thing on bluebird houses: as a rule of thumb, houses should be placed in open areas, at least one hundred feet apart, as bluebirds are quite territorial. But if there is competition from swallows or other birds for the same house, placing another nest box about ten to fifteen feet apart will in many cases, make both parties happy!
With the hummingbird migration in full swing, it won’t be long before the tiny sprites are in your neck of the woods. Already spotted in LA, SC, TX and all along the Gulf Coast, its just a few short weeks before they’ll infiltrate up the East Coast and Midwest, ultimately reaching Alaska, British Columbia and Canada.
Aside from your hanging or window hummingbird feeder, you can further entice hummers with moving water such as birdbath fountains and bubblers, and of course, nesting material.
The Hummer Helper nesting material has been tested and proven to increase the numbers and activity of hummingbirds at your feeders. How you might ask? Because if suitable nest sites are found in your yard, juveniles will also visit feeders, including your window hummingbird feeder. If nectar is always kept fresh, and there’s an enticing water feature, you can bet the same hummingbirds will be back next year! They’re known to practice “site fidelity” meaning that attractive diggs will remain their site of choice the following year. Hummer Helper Nesting Material has even been endorsed by The Hummingbird Society for its effectiveness at promoting nesting by hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds aren’t the only ones who will use this nesting material either, American Goldfinches also adore the white fluffy stuff and will use it for their nesting season in late June through July.
Encourage nesting in your yard through wildlife-friendly habitat. Food water and shelter are the keys, whether natural or man-made. Nectar-producing flowers provide food, while shrubs help with predator protection and provide nesting spots, these will attract many species of wild birds. Water is the best way to attract even more feathered friends too. Mature trees, fruit or berry-producing trees, and even brush piles serve many wild birds well. Never throw out or burn garden debris, if space allows, use it to create brush piles in the back of the yard… your wildlife will thank you for this valuable and natural cover!
Now is the time to get your hummingbird feeders out from storage and give them a good cleaning for the upcoming season. Plain hot water works, even if you send them through the dishwater, be sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove any residue. Along the Gulf of Mexico, Ruby Throats have started to claim territories, with other species following close behind.
Hummingbird season is an exciting one for many backyard birders, as these little sprites tend to provide some mesmerizing entertainment. Many folks could just sit and watch hummingbirds’ shenanigans for hours on end. Aside from the sugar water in hummingbird feeders, moving water is a very big attraction for them. Bathing, drinking and playing in birdbath fountains or bubblers comes naturally for hummers – they’re drawn to it like a magnet.
If you’re looking to attract more hummers, but already have enough hummingbird feeders, consider adding moving water to your landscape. Leaf misters for instance, are wildly popular among hummingbirds and butterflies as well. In the scolding heat of summer, the gentle mist is a most welcomed addition for many local wildlife species. Leaf misters may be installed in a variety of fashions. Ours stands upright in the garden twisted around a simple plant stake.
Treat your hummingbirds to a fun water feature this season and you’ll be rewarded by increased numbers and some fascinating activity and behaviors from the little guys!
Oh yeah… maybe this is the season to try making your own nectar too. It’s really quite simple and only takes a few minutes. Here’s the recipe: one part plain table sugar (cane) to four parts water. That’s it! Never use anything other than pure cane sugar (white table sugar) as it’s harmful to hummingbirds. There’s really no need to boil the water, we boil one cup simply to dissolve the sugar quicker and more effectively. If you do boil the water, be sure it has cooled before filling your hummingbird feeders. Store extra nectar in the fridge for up to two weeks. Now wasn’t that easy?
Crocus… the first sign that spring is just around the corner (here in the south anyway) have been popping up along with jonquils. Bluebirds are starting to scout nest boxes in hopes of attracting a mate. Yes, spring is almost here!
With this exciting birding season come the chores of a responsible backyard birder. Now is the time to check birdhouses for old nests, discard them and clean out the house for new visitors. Remove heated bird baths, or unplug and store the cord for the season.
Cleaning bird feeders is a good idea as well, it helps keep local bird populations healthy. This includes cleaning up fallen seed and ground waste. A simple solution of bleach and water (1:10 ratio) will do the trick nicely. A good scrub for both houses and feeders, rinsed thoroughly and set out to dry is a pretty standard seasonal cleaning.
Two of our baths have heaters for winter (the third one is built in). Heaters should be cleaned as well, removing lime and slime build-up before storing. Our heated bird baths will soon be extremely popular as they will offer moving water. Water wigglers and birdbath drippers will take the place of heaters for the next six or seven months. These are wildly popular with resident as well as migratory birds. Bath water stays fresher longer, and with moving water mosquitoes can not lay eggs.
Easily transform heated bird baths for the spring and summer seasons ahead.. your birds are ready for it!