Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pale-headed Brush Finch. Poison-Makers. Red-tailed Hawk Live Cam. Claim Marker Deaths. Satchmo. "Black Blizzard".

 For "Winged Wednesday":

Pale-headed Brush Finch

Pale-headed Brush Finch by Dusan Brinkhuizen

"This large finch is notable for its creamy white coloration and extreme rarity. Once considered extinct, the Pale-headed Brush Finch was recently downlisted from Critically Endangered to Endangered after more than a decade of sustained conservation action Fundación Jocotoco, American Bird Conservancy and other partners. The bird now occupies almost all the available habitat at the 370-acre Yunguilla Reserve, its stronghold site. It is listed as an Alliance for Zero Extinction species due to its highly threatened status and the fact that it can be found at only one site on Earth.

Watch a video of the Pale-headed Brush Finch!

Several ongoing threats to this species require continuous vigilance, including nest parasitism by Shiny Cowbirds and habitat-destroying fires. Discussions are underway to create a second reserve for this brush-finch and translocate several breeding pairs to establish a separate population, which would provide some buffer against these threats."  Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!

Help Stop Poison-Makers from Harming Children, Pets and Wildlife!

Help Stop Poison-Makers from Harming Children, Pets and Wildlife!
Pale Male by Jeremy Seto
Red-tailed Hawk, Pale Male by Jeremy Seto

"Three companies have refused to comply with a government order to stop selling certain super-toxic rat poisons in formulations that can harm children, birds, other wildlife, dogs, and cats. The recalcitrant companies include the world’s largest producer of household cleaning products, Reckitt Benckiser, and the pet-care products manufacturer, Spectrum Brands.

These rodenticides can cause fatal hemorrhaging in owls, Bald Eagles and other wildlife. Will you help us tell these companies that their behavior is not acceptable?

Join ABC in urging these companies to end their dangerous and irresponsible practices. Please click below to take action now! Can't click the link? Copy and paste this URL: 

Red-tailed Hawks Live Cam:

Watch live at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website, where you can learn more about Red-tailed Hawks and the background of this nest. See you there!

Bird Deaths From PVC Mining Claim Marker Pipes Widespread

Table full of dead birds, Nevada Department of Wildlife

(Washington, D.C. April 25, 2012) The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S.D.A. Forest Service (FS), and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) have begun identifying and implementing solutions to solve a widespread and potentially enormous bird mortality threat that is associated with 3.4 million mining claims on public lands, mainly in the West. Official state birds from at least nine western states have so far been killed by deadly mining claim markers (Cactus Wren (AZ), Mountain Bluebird (ID), Western Meadowlark (KS, MT, NE, ND, OR, WY), Mountain Bluebird (NV)).

Small birds apparently see the opening of PVC pipes used to mark mining claims as a hollow suitable for roosting or nesting or possibly gathering to pool body heat during migration. The birds may enter the holes, only to become trapped because the walls are too smooth to allow them to grapple their way up the sides and the pipes are too narrow for the birds to extend their wings and fly out. Death from dehydration or starvation follows." More at: 

On This Day:

An unlikely challenger ends the Beatles' reign atop the U.S. pop charts, May 9, 1964:

"Of course it wasn't Louis Armstrong the young revolutionary, but Louis Armstrong the late-career light entertainer who knocked the Beatles from the top of the pops. By the early 1960s, Armstrong's most important and influential work was already behind him, yet his famous charisma and ebullient personality were still enough to lift a show tune like "Hello Dolly" to the #1 spot on the pop charts—and over the Beatles--on this day in 1964.
The recordings Armstrong ("Satchmo") made with his Hot Five and Hot Seven combos between 1925 and 1927 are widely credited with creating much of the foundation for the future of jazz and blues performance and, by extension, of rock and roll. Armstrong's own statement that "if it hadn't been for jazz, there wouldn't be no rock and roll," was effectively endorsed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Armstrong as an "early influencer" in 1990."
"Black Blizzard"
"On May 9, 1934, a storm was so ferocious it created its own weather patterns, packing 100-mph winds and 100-degree temperatures. Its enormous cloud of dirt looked biblical.

After, Eastern cities were filthy, and those who stayed put had to contend with plagues of grasshoppers and jackrabbits. Not surprisingly, hopeless farmers turned to charlatans promising rain.

People talk about eating brined tumbleweed. There was no Social Security, food stamps or any safety net. There was just trying to force rain from a dry sky and to coax crops from arid land. Hundreds of millions of tons of soil blew off the prairie.

The unusually wet period, which encouraged increased settlement and cultivation in the Great Plains, ended in 1930. This was the year in which an extended and severe drought began which caused crops to fail, leaving the plowed fields exposed to wind erosion. The fine soil of the Great Plains was easily eroded and carried east by strong continental winds.

On November 11, 1933, a very strong dust storm stripped topsoil from desiccated South Dakota farmlands in just one of a series of bad dust storms that year. Then, beginning on May 9, 1934, a strong, two-day dust storm removed massive amounts of Great Plains topsoil in one of the worst such storms of the Dust Bowl. The dust clouds blew all the way to Chicago, where they deposited 12 million pounds of dust.[9] Two days later, the same storm reached cities in the east, such as Buffalo, Boston, Cleveland, New York City, and Washington, D.C.[10] That winter (1934–1935), red snow fell on New England."



Misty and I went to get Jay. He asked me to take some dog food down there for Maddie's breakfast as he didn't believe that she had eaten dog food while she was here.  I put some in her dish, and she ate it, Jay was amazed. 
Back here, I had some breakable old family treasures that I wanted to display on a shadow box, before they got broken. But before we could mount it on the wall, we had to turn a large mirror sideways, so that it would match up on the other end of the wall. As the mirror and the shadow box were both heavy, that would take some wooden mounting strips screwed across two studs.  I had a broken patio table umbrella which had some very hard finished lumber as the spokes, so we took that apart, and used them.  Jay took the water repellent umbrella fabric as a cover for his 3-wheeler.  Measuring and marking the wall so that the mirror wouldn't interfere with a light switch, and putting new mounting wire on the back of the mirror took quite a while, so that was it for the day.

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