Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Handfeeding Hummingbirds. Olive-sided Flycatcher. Protecting Birds and Frogs. Wildfire Evacuation.

A hand fed Hummingbird video that is amazing.

"Feed them yourselves!
A hand fed Hummingbird video that is amazing. Taming the Alaskan hummingbird. These hummingbirds were filmed at our lodge in Alaska, no feeder required!
Our lodge in Alaska has TONS of these little birds in the summer. Did you know their hearbeat can be as high as 1200 beats per minute! Mother nature is amazing!

These adorable hummingbirds eat right out of our hands here at the lodge. While setting up the cameras for some more handfeeding, these two little hummingbirds gave us "the shot". Though I love the hummingbirds in Alaska, The majority only arrive after migrating from Mexico, looking for feeders along the way. Sometimes I wish we lived somewhere where we could watch baby hummingbirds in their nests. Some of those videos are amazing!
NOTE: We don't use red dye anymore.
We use 4:1 Water to sugar only, all it takes is a red container"

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher by Peter LaTourrette

"This large flycatcher gives a lively, whistled call that sounds like: “Quick, three beers!”  It has the longest migration of any North American flycatcher; birds nesting in Alaska may winter as far south as Bolivia.
The Olive-sided Flycatcher responds favorably to managed logging and fires that leave sufficient snags and residual trees to provide foraging and singing perches. This species feeds almost entirely on flying insects, especially bees, wasps, and ants.
Breeding Bird Survey data show serious, ongoing declines in Olive-sided Flycatcher populations (up to 72% from 1966-2002). These declines may be due to fire suppression, pesticides, loss of forest to insects and acid rain, and, perhaps most significantly, habitat loss on their primary wintering grounds, where 85% of the forests have been altered."
Click here to find out more about how to help save this wintering habitat, which is vital to the Olive-sided Flycatcher’s continued survival!

"Over one year after the start of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, ABC announced it will launch a five-state, Gulf Coast conservation effort to identify and implement protective measures for vulnerable beach-nesting birds such as the Least Tern, Black Skimmer, Sandwich Tern, and Royal Tern.
Funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the project will reduce impacts on key beach-nesting bird colonies, which are currently vulnerable to accidental disturbance by
beachgoers, dogs, and ATVs."

New Reserve in Peru Protects Birds, New Plant and Frog Species

Powerful Woodpecker by Kevin Heffernan
Powerful Woodpecker, Kevin Heffernan
(Washington, D.C., August 15, 2011) "A new nature reserve in central Peru has been established through the efforts of American Bird Conservancy  - the leading U.S. bird conservation organization  -  and Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) - a leading Peruvian conservation group. The new San Marcos Private Conservation Area (PCA) covers more than 2,400 acres, protecting important high-altitude cloud forests.

Five new plant species and two new frog species have been discovered within the new reserve, which also supports birds like the Fire-throated Metaltail, Powerful Woodpecker and Brown-flanked Tanager.  Only thirty percent of the forest has been surveyed, however, and it is possible that the endemic and endangered Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager may also occur here. The new reserve protects watersheds important to San Marcos, as well as to the city of Huánuco and 11,800-acre Tingo Maria National Park further downstream.

The new reserve will help “safeguard and maintain water supplies to assure its use for irrigation and domestic consumption” said René Calderón, advisor to the Regional President of Huánuco.  “It is incredible to witness how much the local community supports this reserve and the level of local media coverage it has attracted in Huánuco” said ECOAN President, Constantino Aucca.
The San Marcos PCA is located on land owned by 125 families from San Marcos and will be managed by the local community. With support from ABC and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, ECOAN worked with the local residents of the San Marcos community to design the reserve, earning final approval from the Peruvian government in June 2011.

“Private Conservation Areas are an increasingly effective means of preserving lands in Peru and serve as strong examples of the solid conservation results that can be achieved when local communities, government agencies and private non-profit groups work together,” said ABC Conservation Biologist, Dr. Daniel Lebbin.
ABC and ECOAN have also established seven community-owned and operated Private Conservation Areas in the Cordillera Vilcanota of southern Peru to protect Polylepis forests. Polylepis trees are characterized by gnarled trunks covered with flaky reddish bark and small leaves, and often grow at higher elevations than where other trees can survive.  The woodlands act like sponges, slowly releasing moisture during dry seasons and thereby reducing water scarcity for local peoples. These Polylepis forests support several threatened bird species, including the Royal Cinclodes, White-browed Tit-Spinetail, and Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant."


My daughter had called me the night before, as she heard that people were getting evacuated from Montgomery County, due to the terrible fires.  Fortunately, for me and my critters, it was in another area.  My heart goes out to the people who have lost their homes to fire.  BTDT.

Ray had to go to Houston, so I was just going to get some more jobs jobbed around the house, when Jay's neighbor called.  He said he turned on his clothes dryer, and it just went "Burrzt", and wouldn't start.   As he can't carry it in his car, he asked me to take it to Mark's.  The back of the van had to be re-organized to make room, as I already had the cargo trailer wheel, and a big gas can in a tray.  It is carried in a tray in case it slops.

Misty and I went down there in the van to get the dryer, so she could have her walk-about, and she had a surprise. 
When she went on to Claudia's covered porch to say Hi to Maddie, the little Yorkie, there was another dog there, too.

Claudia's daughter, Jay's sister, was evacuated from her new home in the Magnolia area, one of 8,000 people, due to the wildfires.  She had to spend the night at Claudia's, so they were watching Pepper while she went to work.  Misty barked and wagged her tail at the strange dog on "Maddie's porch".  Doesn't take much to amuse a blind dog.

test4Texas Wildfires
Texas Wildfires
"A large plume of smoke from a 1,600-acre wild fire is seen behind a home near FM 1486 on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011 in Magnolia, Texas."

test4Texas Wildfires

After he helped load the dryer in the van, Jay wanted to go to Conroe with me, so we dropped Misty off at my house, and headed out.

On the way to Marks, we left the cargo trailer wheel to get the flat fixed, exchanged some cans of cat food that my kittens just wouldn't eat, and we stopped at a couple of thrift shops.  Didn't buy anything, then we dropped off the dryer.

By this time Jay was hungry as he hadn't eaten breakfast, and for once, he didn't want to eat fast food.  So we went out of our way to the south end of town stopping at the Salvation Army Thrift shop on the way.  Jay bought another motor cycle helmet and a shirt.  The sheet that I wanted didn't have a price on it, so they wouldn't let me buy it until it had gone through their pricing area again.  Bummer, it was just the color fabric I needed for a project.

Our lunch destination was China Buffet, and we each bought a take-out box of buffet food at $3.50 a lb.  I chose mostly seafood salad, 3-bean salad, un-breaded shrimp, veggies, and something similar to Seafood Egg Fu Yung.  The weather was unusually mild, so we parked in the shade of a tree to eat our delicious lunch.

A quick stop at Walmart, going in the back auto dept. door so we could find a parking space, as I just wanted two things.  Packing tape and a certain sweetener that Kroger's quit carrying.  Now, our Walmart doesn't carry it either.  I searched for a recall, there wasn't one, but it is listed on their site as available.  Now what? 

Discount Tire didn't charge me for the flat, the ticket just said "Loose", so it won't be mounted until we are sure it isn't going to go down again.

It is dangerous to carry gas, so even though I gassed up the van in Conroe, I waited until we were nearly home to fill up the big gas can at the convenience store around the corner.

Now I can put gas in the 'not-street-legal' Puddle Jumper before I drive it around the subdivision today.

1 comment:

Dizzy-Dick said...

I feel so bad about all the people who were evacuted and especially the ones who lost everything. It seems that since the beginning of this year that most of Texas has burned up. Started in the west and is now in the east.