This post was supposed to be on bat houses because October is supposed to be about bats. Maybe because birds are ignoring feeders and eating the bountiful harvests (in most parts of the country anyway). Texas, I feel for your wildlife and ranch animals too… so so sad. No hay, no water, nothing but parched land.
So, October and bats and Halloween… they’re always portrayed as some scary winged creatures, when in fact they’re pretty harmless. Vampire bats who suck blood exist only in very few places in the whole world. Bats are very beneficial to have around your place, just a small colony can eat tens of thousands of mosquitoes and pests in a night. If you happen to live around a lake or pond you’ve got an advantage for attracting them. Bat Houses offer roosting spots for just a few fellas, all the way up to whole colonies, which are usually around 100 to 300 bats in residential areas.
No, these aren’t Sparrows, but American Goldfinches in their drab winter plumage. A customer contacted me yesterday to see what could be done about the problematic House Sparrows in her yard. She said there were so many of them that the Goldfinches couldn’t even get near her finch bird feeder if they tried!
Although I’m not sure why, some folks admire and encourage House Sparrows… maybe it’s because that’s the only birds they can attract to their habitat? A non-native species (they should round them up and deport them back to Europe) along with Starlings, they wreak havoc on our native song birds. Bluebirds have no chance with sparrows around, and tree swallows too will lose out to sparrows for nesting cavities. Whole colonies of Purple Martins are chased away by sparrow invasion. I know there are no “mean birds” but sparrows instinct for survival is brutal with actual maiming and killing of nestlings and adults for use of the nest box.
So if you’re unlucky enough to have them in your yard… how do you get rid of them? First start by taking away the “welcome mat”. Try to remove the things that are attracting them, at least temporarily. Birdbaths should be emptied, and feeders taken down. I know this is a difficult task, but food in the wild is plentiful this fall (in most parts of the country) and it’s only for a short time, encouraging the sparrows to move on to other digs. Use quality birdseed too, it does make a difference. A mix that has a lot of corn or millet in it will also attract more “undesirable” birds.
Another option if you’re looking to attract Goldfinches only, is an upside down finch bird feeder. These are one of very few birds who will actually eat while perched upside down. And it’s not a bad thing… just being more selective about the beaked buddies you’re attracting to your yard!
Explosive campaign on Change.org calls on Petland USA to end the sale of pets in its stores; more than fifty bloggers join campaign.
WASHINGTON, DC – Thousands of people and more than fifty pet bloggers have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on Petland to stop selling commercially bred pets and support pet adoption instead.
Mary Haight, who owns the Dancing Dog Blog, launched the campaign on Change.org following an announcement from Petland Canada that it planned to end pet sales across its Canadian stores. When she tried to contact Petland’s U.S. headquarters in Ohio to find out their response to the announcement, she never received a call back.
“This is an opportunity for Petland to be a corporate leader,” said petition creator Mary Haight. “They claim to care about animals, but their actions don’t match that claim when the foundation of Petland’s business is based on buying from commercial puppy mills.”
“Petland can break with past cruelties, be welcomed in communities, and build a strong base for the future by embracing the adoption model,” Haight continued. “Now that Petland Canada has announced their plan to fire puppy mills and employ the adoption model, Petland USA needs to stand up and be counted. Millions of animals are waiting for their help.”
Earlier this month, more than fifty pet bloggers joined a blog action day hosted by Be the Change for Animals in support of Mary’s campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change. News of the online campaign is likely to increase pressure on Petland, which has long been under fire for its connections to commercial breeding facilities referred to as “puppy mills.”
“What the pet blogging community has accomplished in just a few days is remarkable,” said Change.org Director of Organizing, Stephanie Feldstein. “Mary has managed to recruit thousands of supporters across the U.S. in her call for Petland USA to follow Canada’s lead in ending pet sales. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch Mary’s campaign take off.”
Live signature totals from Mary Haight’s campaign:
Bird traffic in your yard may seem a bit slow right now, but resident songbirds will be back soon… and with a vengeance! Thistle Feeders and other bird feeders should be kept clean and full in anticipation of songbirds’ return. Jays, Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, Nuthatches, Warblers and even Bluebirds (in some areas) will over-winter if habitat is suitable. Traffic is slow because food in the wild is plentiful this fall and there’s an abundance of growth in certain parts of the country. Fruit and berry-producing trees and shrubs are filled with treats, and fields are grassy, with seeds, weeds, and coneflowers.
A welcoming habitat entails rolling out the red carpet for birds! A fresh water source is a must, especially when temps drop below freezing. Adequate roosting places in the form of birdhouses, roosting boxes, and mature trees and shrubs are necessary too. Adding a suet feeder entices many species as it provides the extra calories for energy needed to stay warm through freezing winter weather. Suet is convenient and easy to feed, leaves no waste or ground mess, and it’s enjoyed by many species. If you’ve never fed suet, we strongly advise giving it a try! You’ll find fun suet feeders at The Birdhouse Chick.com …and a free cake or plugs to get started right away!
Thistle, or nyjer is often referred to as “black gold” because of the cost. This non-germinating seed may be found more economically in bulk quantities at your local feed & seed store. Thistle feeders provide Goldfinches, House and Purple Finches a steady source of food through winter. And although their vibrant yellow plumage turns a drab olive-grey, Goldfinches will stick around for the duration.
This hand crafted thistle feeder is made in durable cedar and offers ten perching spots for birds to eat in peace. The groovy wave design is appealing to both humans and birds!
Welcome birds and help them thrive through harsh winters. The sights and sounds will help brighten up the dreariest days!
Take 10% off all thistle feeders through Oct. 31. Enter code MC10 @ checkout!
You can attract more wild birds through harsh winter weather with heated bird baths. The newer de-icers and heaters are safe for all types of baths, so you can keep your existing birdbath in use year-round.
It bothers me to see people’s yards with their baths “put up” for winter… bowls sitting on the ground, and turned upside down! Birds need a fresh water source more than ever when temperatures drop below freezing. Puddles and shallow ponds they depend on freeze and become worthless to them. This high quality, 250 watt bath heater is perfect in pottery, concrete, and even plastic bird baths. It will not overheat the water, and costs just pennies a day to run. It even comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Another type of heater you can add to birdbaths for winter are the mat-type heaters by Allied Precision. Thermostatically controlled, they kick in at 32 degrees and run continuously, down to a temperature of 20 below zero. A mere 95 watts, and 11″ in diameter, this flexible birdbath heater is safe in all types of baths too.
Help resident birds thrive through harsh winters by offering heated bird baths. No need for a new set-up, just add a safe deicer to your existing bath. You’ll likely see some new visitors who don’t even use your feeders. They’ll really appreciate it, and you’ll be rewarded with a great show too!
Explosive campaign on Change.org demands Ohio Governor John Kasich ban sale, ownership, and harboring of exotic animals after dozens of animals escape private zoo.
ATHENS, OH – Thousands of people have joined a breaking campaign on Change.org calling on Ohio Governor John Kasich to ban the sale of exotic animals after over fifty animals escaped from a private Ohio zoo on Wednesday.
Liz Dumler, a concerned Ohio citizen, launched the campaign on Change.org after as many as 56 exotic animals – including tigers, lions, bears, wolves, and leopards – escaped a zoo through gates left open by owner Terry Thompson, who was found dead in his house. As of Wednesday evening, around 50 of the animals had been shot and killed by police, and at least three animals – a grizzly bear, a mountain lion, and a monkey – were still at large.
“As an Ohio native, I was shocked and outraged when I learned of the deaths of the exotic animals that were kept as pets in Zanesville, Ohio,” said petition creator Liz Dumler. “Sadly, the lack of laws and regulation in the state of Ohio concerning the sale and ownership of exotics have allowed this situation to happen. The deaths of these innocent animals shouldn’t be in vain, let’s change the laws in Ohio concerning exotic pets in their memory.”
News of the success of Dumler’s campaign’s is likely to put pressure on Governor Kasich and other Ohio officials to prohibit the sale or ownership of exotic animals. Hundreds of exotic animals are currently kept as pets in Ohio, which is one of fewer than 10 states that do not regulate exotic animal ownership.
“What Liz Dumler has accomplished in a matter of hours is remarkable,” said Change.org Director of Organizing Stephanie Feldstein. “Immediately following the escape of over 50 animals from a zoo in Ohio, Liz launched a campaign on Change.org and managed to recruit thousands of supporters in less than 24 hours. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch Liz’s campaign explode overnight.”
Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland had passed a temporary executive order to ban exotic animals, which Governor Kasich allowed to expire upon taking office.
Live signature totals from Liz Dumler’s campaign:
Backyard feeders may seem a bit slow this time of year… but it isn’t bye-bye birdie just yet! Although hummingbirds and other migratory friends have started their journeys to winter breeding grounds, many of your resident birds who brave harsh winters are still around.
Food in the wild is plentiful this fall, there’s an abundance resulting from the spring record rains (especially in the east). Fruit producing trees like Crabapples, and berry producing shrubs like Winterberry Holly, are heavily laden with fruit right now.
But you can be sure just as soon as it gets colder, they will return to your hopper bird feeders, suet feeders, and thistle feeders. Insects will disappear, and the berries and seeds of fall will be long-gone. Resident birds like Jays, Woodpeckers, Titmice, Nuthatches and even Bluebirds (in some areas) will over-winter. Keep bird feeders full and fresh… cuz they’ll be back soon!
Fresh water attracts more birds… more so than feeders or birdhouses! A hanging bird bath is perfect for small spaces, decks and porches, and especially if ground predators should be lurking in your yard.
This unique bird bath, features a multi level walk-in design which birds find quite enticing. The rough texture provides perfect footing, while the decorative chain creates lots of perching spots.
In care free rust-proof aluminum, the stunning electric blue hue of this hanging bird bath has some other great features too! It’s innovative design will allow you to create a simple water feature to add moving water to your bath. A Water Wiggler, Birdbath dripper, or leaf mister can easily be used with this cool bath. In addition, a bath heater may be installed for frigid weather.
If fresh water in a bath attracts more birds… imagine what moving water in this hanging bird bath will do for your feathered friends – and a better bird watching experience for you as well!
Thousands join campaign on Change.org demanding investigation into North Carolina’s authorized killing of nine penned deer on Randolph County rehabilitation farm
RALEIGH, NC – Thousands of people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org demanding the North Carolina Wildlife Commission investigate the shooting of nine tame deer on a rehabilitation farm in North Carolina.
Millie Bowling, a concerned North Carolina resident, created the online petition after armed wildlife agents stormed a Randolph County rehabilitation farm on September 20 and shot and killed nine penned dear, including one fawn and a deer blinded in one eye.
“I’m a great supporter of the wildlife commission,” said Bowling, who started the petition on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change. “But they are out of control shooting these animals.”
Locals claim that the commission, game warden, and wildlife agents abused their power in the deer killing incident. While the wildlife agents who stormed the property claimed to have a warrant, residents counter that the warrant did not authorize agents to kill the animals, only to seize them.
“Where were our fourth amendment rights in all this?” asked Jo Henderson, a neighbor who initially raised one of the slain deer before placing it on the rehabilitation farm. “It just breaks my heart. There was no reason to kill those animals, and our rights are being trampled. We’re not going to stand for it.”
Attorney Matthew Altamura is representing rehabilitation farm owner Wayne Kindley. He released a statement saying, “The search warrant obtained by the WRC officers did not authorize any form of killing. The warrant was strictly limited to the seizing and holding of the deer until further order of the court. Acting without court order, the officers simply decided to shoot first and make excuses later.”
News of the campaign’s success is likely to increase pressure on the wildlife commission. Henderson has been collecting petition signatures both online and offline and plans to deliver them at a wildlife commission meeting on Thursday.
“People across the country have been moved by this campaign,” said Corinne Ball, Director of Organizing at Change.org. “This may have happened in a small community in North Carolina, but now folks from all over are paying attention. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to take action on issues that matter to them, and it’s been really incredible watching Millie Bowling’s campaign take off.”
County resident Jo Henderson will deliver more than 6,000 signatures at the North Carolina Wildlife Commission meeting at 9:00AM on Thursday, October 13, in the NCWRC Conference Room at 1751 Varsity Drive.
Live signature totals from Millie Bowling’s campaign:
Associated Press coverage of the campaign:
WGHP coverage of the campaign:
At first glance, the aged, rustic appearance of these bluebird houses might indicate less than stellar quality…. but looks can be deceiving! Hand painted in rich, cool hues, these solid cypress bluebird houses are top notch – and your bluebirds will think so too.
With a 1.5-inch entrance, and proper ventilation in the roof, they’re sized for Eastern Bluebirds with features to keep nests safe and dry. The cypress shingled roof with copper accent is both handsome and functional, deterring water by directing rain run-off. A latched, locking front door allows viewing of nest progress and simple clean-out too. Meant to be post-mounted, these bluebird houses compliment any landscape naturally with style and function.
Although this nesting season is over, one may find bluebirds flitting in and out of nest boxes. Perhaps to scout for winter roosting spots should they decide to stick around and brave winter weather. In North Georgia, bluebirds have over-wintered for several years in our yard. Heated baths and a steady supply of suet and mealworms seem to keep them happy. Three successful broods fledged this past season… and so hoping to see them soon!