For "Winged Wednesday":
"The Black Rosy-Finch is a medium- to large-sized finch with long wings and tail. Adults are blackish washed with pale rose on the belly, rump, upper- and under-tail coverts, and wings, with a band of gray extending from the eye across the back of the head.
This species forages for insects and seeds on the ground; in winter, they may show up at feeders in large flocks. At night, these finches form communal roosts in caves, mine shafts, or abandoned buildings. Black Rosy-Finches nest on the ground, in cracks or holes in cliffs, on small cliff ledges under overhanging rocks, or under rock piles.
The Black Rosy-Finch nests at some of the highest altitudes of any species in North America. Although its breeding habitat is protected by this remoteness and inaccessibility, it also makes it difficult for researchers to study its habits and monitor its population. This attractive finch’s most serious threat is climate change, which is predicted to reduce alpine habitat."
Help Improve the Lives of Laying Hens
"New legislation would give egg laying hens currently relegated to tiny battery cages more space. It would also create a labeling system that would empower the consumer to make more informed choices."
"Congress is now considering legislation (H.R. 3798) that would improve the lives of hundreds of millions of egg-laying hens in our country—and you can help! The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 would phase-in significantly more space plus environmental enrichments for these birds to enable them to express natural behaviors like nesting and perching, as well as ban starvation molting and give consumers more information about production methods right on the egg carton (e.g., labeling “eggs from caged hens” and “eggs from cage-free hens”).
Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative, urging co-sponsorship of the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012, (H.R. 3798). Then, make a brief, polite call to your two U.S. senators to support this legislation as well. Look up your legislators' phone numbers here.
Please also use the form below to send a follow-up note to your federal legislators urging support for H.R. 3798. We encourage you to add your own thoughts or comments about this legislation in the editable portion, so your federal legislators know how important this issue is to you personally."
Join the Great Backyard Bird Count Feb 17-20
"Warmer temperatures and lack of snow in parts of North America are setting the stage for what could be a most intriguing 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, coming up February 17-20.
Bird watchers across the U.S. and Canada are getting ready to tally millions of birds in the annual count coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada."
GBBC Video: Watch the video to learn more about the Great Backyard Bird Count and how you can take part! You can also download a PowerPoint presentation about the GBBC with an accompanying script.
"Learn how you can take part in the next Great Backyard Bird Count. It's fun and it's free! Visit www.Birdcount.org for further details." More at: http://www.audubon.org/newsroom/press-releases/2012/join-great-backyard-bird-count-feb-17-20
Enjoy hundreds of beautiful bird images at: http://birds.audubon.org/species
"Here are all your answers to your top questions about how and what to feed your bird neighbors in the winter."
Top Comment: "Why not feed the squirrels as well? Why is one animal more important then the other. I feed the birds, squirrels and the deer."
$4.5 Million Fine for Scotts Highlights Need for Monitoring Bird Seed Safety. MEDIA RELEASE
American Goldfinches at feeder by Gary Smyle
(Washington, D.C., February 7, 2012) "The recent decision by Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. to plead guilty to charges of distributing insecticide-tainted bird seed highlights the need for continued monitoring of the safety of the nation's bird seed supply, says American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation's leading bird conservation organization. ABC is the only organization to have carried out independent, nationwide bird seed tests.
The study analyzed samples taken from four different supply sources across the country: Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, and Target. Bird seed was randomly purchased from the stores and then shipped to the California Food Safety Laboratory at the University of California, Davis, where the detailed analyses were conducted. The studies specifically looked for harmful pesticides, such as organophosphate and carbamate insecticides." Complete Article at: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=380488798633858&id=1080903168#!/
On This Day:
Mary Queen of Scots beheaded, Feb 8, 1587:
"After 19 years of imprisonment, Mary Queen of Scots is beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England for her complicity in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I.
In 1542, while just six days old, Mary ascended to the Scottish throne upon the death of her father, King James V. Her mother sent her to be raised in the French court, and in 1558 she married the French dauphin, who became King Francis II of France in 1559 but died the following year. After Francis' death, Mary returned to Scotland to assume her designated role as the country's monarch.
In 1565, she married her English cousin Lord Darnley in order to reinforce her claim of succession to the English throne after Elizabeth's death. In 1567, Darnley was mysteriously killed in an explosion at Kirk o' Field, and Mary's lover, the Earl of Bothwell, was the key suspect. Although Bothwell was acquitted of the charge, his marriage to Mary in the same year enraged the nobility. Mary brought an army against the nobles, but was defeated and imprisoned at Lochleven, Scotland, and forced to abdicate in favor of her son by Darnley, James.
In 1568, Mary escaped from captivity and raised a substantial army but was defeated and fled to England. Queen Elizabeth initially welcomed Mary but was soon forced to put her friend under house arrest after Mary became the focus of various English Catholic and Spanish plots to overthrow Elizabeth. Nineteen years later, in 1586, a major plot to murder Elizabeth was reported, and Mary was brought to trial. She was convicted for complicity and sentenced to death.
On February 8, 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded for treason. Her son, King James VI of Scotland, calmly accepted his mother's execution, and upon Queen Elizabeth's death in 1603 he became king of England, Scotland, and Ireland."
Cleveland signs the Dawes Severalty Act, Feb 8, 1887:,
"In a well-meaning but ultimately flawed attempt to assimilate Native Americans, President Grover Cleveland signs an act to end tribal control of reservations and divide their land into individual holdings.
Named for its chief author, Senator Henry Laurens Dawes from Massachusetts, the Dawes Severalty Act reversed the long-standing American policy of allowing Indian tribes to maintain their traditional practice of communal use and control of their lands. Instead, the Dawes Act gave the president the power to divide Indian reservations into individual, privately owned plots. The act dictated that men with families would receive 160 acres, single adult men were given 80 acres, and boys received 40 acres. Women received no land.
The most important motivation for the Dawes Act was Anglo-American hunger for Indian lands. The act provided that after the government had doled out land allotments to the Indians, the sizeable remainder of the reservation properties would be opened for sale to whites. Consequently, Indians eventually lost 86 million acres of land, or 62 percent of their total pre-1887 holdings.
Still, the Dawes Act was not solely a product of greed. Many religious and humanitarian "friends of the Indian" supported the act as a necessary step toward fully assimilating the Indians into American culture. Reformers believed that Indians would never bridge the chasm between "barbarism and civilization" if they maintained their tribal cohesion and traditional ways. J.D.C. Atkins, commissioner of Indian affairs, argued that the Dawes Act was the first step toward transforming, "Idleness, improvidence, ignorance, and superstition... into industry, thrift, intelligence, and Christianity."
In reality, the Dawes Severalty Act proved a very effective tool for taking lands from Indians and giving it to Anglos, but the promised benefits to the Indians never materialized. Racism, bureaucratic bungling, and inherent weaknesses in the law deprived the Indians of the strengths of tribal ownership, while severely limiting the economic viability of individual ownership. Many tribes also deeply resented and resisted the government's heavy-handed attempt to destroy their traditional cultures.
Despite these flaws, the Dawes Severalty Act remained in force for more than four decades. In 1934, the Wheeler-Howard Act repudiated the policy and attempted to revive the centrality of tribal control and cultural autonomy on the reservations. The Wheeler-Howard Act ended further transfer of Indian lands to Anglos and provided for a return to voluntary communal Indian ownership, but considerable damage had already been done."
Ray, and his son, and Jay were taking Claudia's air conditioners out to clean them ready for the summer.
Misty and Prime had an appointment at the vet on the east side of Conroe. My SPCA boss wanted them to have their rabies shots there so that all the SPCA animal's records would be at the same vet. Misty is considered my "permanent foster", as she is so old, and also blind, so she is unadoptable.
I had been trying to get Misty groomed for a few days, and this morning I really had to do it. I had let her hair grow out for the winter. It took all morning to groom her. I cut her down shorter this time, as the weather is getting warmer.
The new base for my grooming table was a great success, as it doesn't wobble like my old one.
By 12.30 pm, I had Prime and Misty loaded in their carriers strapped in with seat belts. We had to wait a while at the vet, so Prime just watched everything from her carrier, and leashed Misty sat on the bench beside me. I was amazed at how alert she was, as she, and I, had had a busy morning. My SPCA boss was there, too, so we saw the vet together.
Prime was weighed and had her shot first. Cats are given their rabies shot in their left leg now.
Misty was weighed and is 2 oz less than when she was there for her pyometra surgery. I had been trying to keep her weight down. The hair I had cut off her that morning, weighed 3 oz. The vet gave her different medicine for her bad eyes.
The weather was cool so I could leave the animals in the van while I stopped at two thrift shops to donate some of the boxes of yard sale stuff. Then at stop at Kroger's for a couple of things.
On to Petsmart for some more organic canned food for Bobbiecat. This stop, I put Prime in a cart, in her carrier, and Misty on her leash, to go into the store. Neither of them had been in there before. Prime is used to being at Petco for Adoption Days, but Misty had never been in a pet store before, so she was intrigued by all the smells.
When we arrived home, we just wanted our dinners and to crash, as Misty, Prime and I had a busy day.