Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Western Scrub-Jay. Golden Cheeked Warbler. Yellow-billed Cotingas. Indoor Cats.Patches Adopted!.

Western Scrub-Jay
Western Scrub-Jay. By: Daniel Lebbin
Banner stats and range map 

"The Western Scrub-Jay, with its bold blue color, long tail, and boisterous behavior is a regular sight in much of the lowlands of the coastal and southwestern United States into Mexico.  It occurs in open, dry, deciduous and pine forests with mixed shrub understories, and residential areas with exotic tree and shrub plantings.  Western Scrub-Jays favor oak savannahs and woodlands, which is why it is one of the target species in ABC’s Quercus and Aves Program for conservation of oak bird species and their associated habitats. Commonly seen with an acorn in their bills, they possess remarkable skills in caching and relocating acorns.  Like all corvids, Western Scrub-Jays are considered to be smart and highly adaptable, and are expanding their range both north and east in the Pacific Northwest.
To help ABC's Conservation Efforts on the Western Scrub-Jay, click here."

Golden Cheeked Warbler by Greg Lavaty

Golden Cheeked Warbler by Greg Lavaty
Oak Habitat Conservation for Priority Birds
The Challenge
"As a result of the decline in quality and quantity of oak habitats, there are a number of oak-associated birds with significantly declining population trends in the Pacific Northwest and in Latin America. In the United States, loss and degradation of oak habitats has accelerated in recent years, in part due to rapid development and pressures of agricultural, urban, and residential development. In Latin America, oak and oak-pine habitats are among the highest priorities for conservation, as they are threatened by potentially unsustainable resource extraction and land clearing for development and farming. Because land ownership of oak habitats is predominantly private, ecosystem-level conservation is problematic."

Yellow-billed Continga
Yellow-billed Continga male. By: Karen Leavelle
Banner stats and range map
"The Yellow-billed Cotinga is unique to Costa Rica and Panama. It is about the size of a pigeon; males are bright white with yellow bills and perform swooping flight displays to attract the duller-plumaged females. The species requires mature, upland primary rainforest for feeding, mangroves for roosting and nesting, and access to mature fruit-producing rainforest trees for feeding. Unfortunately, both mangroves and tropical forests have been extensively cleared for shrimp farms and agriculture within the species’ range, which has nearly caused its disappearance from Panama. Its remaining stronghold appears to be in the mangroves of the Río Sierpe and Golfo Dulce estuaries on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. American Bird Conservancy has been working with Friends of the Osa to further understanding this little-known species and its conservation needs since 2007.  This month, as part of a project funded by the Mohammed Bin Zayed Foundation, Yellow-billed Cotingas were caught for the first time ever and fitted with radio transmitters (view photo). It is hoped that important information on the seasonal movements and habitat use will be obtained from this study.
Learn more about ABC’s and Friends of the Osa’s efforts to help this species here and about the radio transmitter project here."

Rare Bird Captured for First Time, Fitted With Tracking Device and Released

Yellow-billed Cotinga By: Karen Leavelle

"American Bird Conservancy and a leading Costa Rican environmental organization – the Friends of the OSA - reported that three endangered Yellow-billed Cotingas (a female and two males) were, for the first time ever, captured using mist nets, fitted with tracking devices, and released unharmed near the Costa Rican town of Rincon."


Bird Deaths from Wind Farms to Continue Under New Federal Voluntary Industry Guidelines

Golden Eagle. Photo:

"Draft voluntary federal guidelines issued by the Interior Department that focus on the wildlife impacts of wind energy will result in continued increases in bird deaths and habitat loss from wind farms across the country. Members of the public will have 90 days to provide comments on the proposed guidelines to the Secretary of the Interior prior to a final version being concluded."

News from:


Please keep your cats indoors, or on a harness when you are camping:

Cat eating a bird by Gaetan Priour
Cat eating a bird by Gaëtan Priour
The Challenge
"There is no question that birds are better off when cats stay indoors. Exact numbers are unknown, but scientists estimate that every year in the United States alone, cats kill hundreds of millions of birds, and more than a billion small mammals, including rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks. Feline predators include both domestic cats that spend time outdoors and stray cats that live in the wild, sometimes as part of a colony.
Life for outdoor cats is risky. They can get hit by cars; attacked by dogs, other cats, coyotes or wildlife; contract fatal diseases, such as rabies, feline distemper, or feline immunodeficiency virus; get lost, stolen, or poisoned; or suffer during severe weather conditions. Outdoor cats lead considerably shorter lives on average than cats kept exclusively indoors."

(4) Today, I am taking my foster cat Patches to meet some prospective new parents, a mother and her 15 year old son.  Patches is terrified of men, also she is so shy and timid around strangers, so I don't think she will show well.  I hope they will understand and see her potential, as she is a loving cat once she gets to know people.

I tried to put a harness on her for the first time, so that she couldn't go hide in the room where we let the animals meet new 'parents',  but she wasn't having any of that. I have written out a letter about her, and what she eats and when, for them to read.

I should have prepared her for this day.


The prospective parents have taken Patches for the two week probation period. 
They chose her over the other foster mom's cat, "Troubles".
It wasn't a mother and son, it was a couple, and the husband is a big burly man who just loved her.
Poor little Patches, she must be terrified.   I pray that this is her forever home.
Prime is all over me, she wants to know why Patches disappeared today!


Gypsy said...

I worry about the birds that are lost to wind farms. But all other sources of energy erxtraction have a downside as well, whether it be drilling for oil, mining, nuclear, hydroelectric (which changes the natural course of rivers and affects all wildlife reliant on the river).

David Sussman said...

My cats will be indoors for sure.I love cats but hate when they attack birds.I have a mesh net that goes into the ground for when the cats go out.It is called a cat condo.They work great!Great post Penny.

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

Nice of them to give Patches a trial. Perhaps she will like it at the new home, but then I'm not sure anyone could replace the care you give all the animals!

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comments, Gypsy, Dave and Rod.

If it isn't the blinding mirror buildings killing the birds, it is something else.

I used to let Bobcat and my late white cat, Honky, out for a while first thing in the morning, then they would come back in for their breakfast.

Honky clawed his way back home with his front paws with busted pelvis, so he had to be PTS. Then Bobcat came home with a broken arm, so that is when I built the screen porch, and they were never loose again.
Our SPCA will not let people adopt our cats if they are going to let them outside.

The folks who are trying out Patches seem very patient, and knowingly took her as a "Special Needs Cat". I don't miss her so much, more being very worried about the poor little thing. I hope, no I have been praying, that she is not too scared, and will settle down.