Friday, July 23, 2010
Tricking the Birds. Hedge. Misty.
"More than a billion birds will be in danger in the coming weeks as they continue their normal migratory patterns, flying towards the Gulf of Mexico and the growing oil spill.
They're migrating to the Gulf to mate and nest, unaware that their habitat has been contaminated by the BP accident.
Beau Harghatre coordinates the response for migratory birds in the Gulf, a sort of ambulance dispatcher for birds. He said the Gulf coast is North America's biggest hub for the birds that will pass through here over the next six months.
Flooding the Fields
To protect the birds from the encroaching oil, teams are hard at work to play an elaborate trick on them.
Federal officials are paying farmers to flood fields in five states, hoping to fool the birds into landing in clean water.
If that doesn't work, they are hoping that booms will keep oil out of Gulf marshes."
More at: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/bp-oil-spill-birds-face-danger-migrate-gulf/story?id=11068341
Audubon, says this:
"How will the oil impact migrating birds? How does the timing impact birds and their breeding cycles?
Many of us are concerned about shorebirds that will be migrating back through this area starting in early July. Some will be coming from as far north as the Arctic and heading south to Argentina, where they will stay during winter. As they head south, they will need a lot of food and safe places to rest. And we don’t want them to get stuck in oily slicks or habitat.
With some species, it will be hard to guide them to safe habitat. For example, pelicans need to be on barrier islands to breed. Trying to move them wouldn’t work. However, ducks are more mobile and we can help provide them with healthy habitat as they make their way south.
And with some birds, we are hoping to work with farmers and others to create good habitat away from the coast and the oil. For example, we will work with farmers to flood their harvested rice fields, and birds like long-billed Dowitchers will stop to feed and rest. They will not only eat the rice, but the insects and other creatures that live there, too. This is called short-stopping. We’re tricking the birds to stop before they get to all the oil and gunk along the coast.
What are the best ways to help?
If you live near the coast, you can volunteer to help through Audubon’s volunteer center and help count and monitor bird populations and help to restore habitat. There are also many other ways to help, including restoring habitat no matter where you live—but especially if you live along a major bird migration flyway. It’s also important that all of us look at our own energy use.
Document the birds around you, especially the water fowl that migrate.
More at: http://www.audubon.org/educate/kids/gulf/Kids-MelanieDriscoll.html
Ray and I attacked the privet hedge this morning. We have had quite a lot of rainfall the last few weeks, and it and grown quite high. There is a timed shut-off underground watering system all along the fence, and I had been turning that on, too.
The hedge was too high, as Bobcat couldn't see the road and the traffic out of her window. Laying on that built-in chest under my bathroom window is one of her favourite pastimes.
I found a 4 foot 2"x2" and we screwed a 1"x 1/2" on it to make a "T-post", and that was the gauge for how much to cut off the hedge. It took quite a while, and was hot, thirsty work, as the weeds had grown with the rain, too.
I was weeding the row of privet and the trough of aloe vera, while Ray was cutting with the electric hedge trimmer.
We had it done by 10.45, but had enough for today. Ray said he will mow later this evening.
After lunch, I bathed and groomed Misty. After 3-1/2 years of not being groomed since her 'Dad' died, and before I got her, she really appreciates it, so she is really good, and stays still.
Of course, as soon as she went out, she had to roll off the 'Doggie Cologne'! But she likes to roll in the dirt anyway. I think it is because she was a matted mess for so long, that she likes to feel the grass on her back. It will take a long time for her ears to grow back to their former glory.
But that tired her out, so she is asleep under my bed for the rest of the day!