"This beautiful warbler looks like a bit of spring sunlight with its bright golden-yellow head and breast set off by trim blue-gray wings. The name "Prothonotary" refers to clerks in the Roman Catholic Church, whose robes were bright yellow. Another folk name for this bird is “Golden Swamp Warbler”.
Unlike most warblers, the Prothonotary nests in low tree cavities, and will also use nest boxes. It feeds primarily on aquatic insects, but will also take spiders, seeds, and snails. Its melodious song is a series of loud, ringing “zweet” notes.
Populations of the Prothonotary Warbler fell sharply by the early 1900s due to the wholesale logging of bottomland hardwood forests. Other threats include competition for nest holes by more aggressive species such as the House Wren, brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds, and flooding. Destruction of mangroves on its wintering grounds also poses a significant threat.
Today, populations in remaining habitat seem to be stable and may actually be increasing, due in part to the provision of nest boxes. However, prevention of further destruction of mangrove forest and restoration of forested wetlands are still needed to keep this lovely bird returning each spring."
Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats! Photo: Greg Lavaty; Range Map, NatureServe
Standing water puts bird lovers in hot water
"In an effort to more aggressively curb the spread of West Nile virus, the New York City Health Department has fined birdbath-owning residents for being in violation of the city's standing water rules."
"In an effort to crack down on West Nile virus during mosquito breeding season, the city has taken to issuing summons to property owners in violation of Article 151 of the New York City Health Code (Pest Prevention and Management). Specifically, the issue is over West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes’ preferred egg-laying spot: murky, bacteria-filled stagnant water. Last year, there were 699 summons issued by the health department for standing water; most of them were for issued to owners of poorly maintained swimming pools and at construction sites. But according to a recent New York Times article, four birdbath owners were also slapped with fines for allegedly providing mosquito larvae the opportune place to thrive." More at: http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/blogs/in-nyc-standing-water-puts-bird-lovers-in-hot-water
Effort starts to keep wildlife safe from used fishing lines
"Animal welfare advocates on Thursday placed recycling canisters at the Swimming Hall of Fame marina in Fort Lauderdale and Pelican Harbor marina in Miami. Plans call for 20 new canisters inMiami-Dade County, 20 in Broward, 10 in Palm Beach and 15 in Martin."
Dr. Stefan Harsch assists as veterinary technician Christina Camacho reaches down the throat into the stomach of a pelican to remove hooks and fishing line (Amy Beth Bennett, Sun Sentinel )April 20, 2012
"A renewed push has begun to collect used fishing lines from marinas, piers and other locations in South Florida to prevent the hooks and lines from entangling birds, turtles and other wildlife.
While there are no statistics on the amount of line collected or number of wildlife entanglements reduced, he said the anecdotal evidence indicates the effort has been working."We see fewer injuries at piers," he said. "It used to be we were getting birds hurt every day." More at: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-04-20/news/fl-fishing-birds-20120419_1_fishing-lines-canisters-hooks-and-lines
On This Day:
Loch Ness Monster sighted, May 2, 1933:
"In 1933, a new road was completed along Loch Ness' shore, affording drivers a clear view of the loch. After an April 1933 sighting was reported in the local paper on May 2, interest steadily grew, especially after another couple claimed to have seen the beast on land, crossing the shore road. Several British newspapers sent reporters to Scotland, including London's Daily Mail, which hired big-game hunter Marmaduke Wetherell to capture the beast. After a few days searching the loch, Wetherell reported finding footprints of a large four-legged animal. In response, the Daily Mail carried the dramatic headline: "MONSTER OF LOCH NESS IS NOT LEGEND BUT A FACT." Scores of tourists descended on Loch Ness and sat in boats or decks chairs waiting for an appearance by the beast. Plaster casts of the footprints were sent to the British Natural History Museum, which reported that the tracks were that of a hippopotamus, specifically one hippopotamus foot, probably stuffed. The hoax temporarily deflated Loch Ness Monster mania, but stories of sightings continued."
German troops in Italy surrender to the Allies, while Berlin surrenders to Russia's Zhukov, May 2, 1945:
"On this day in 1945, approximately 1 million German soldiers lay down their arms as the terms of the German unconditional surrender, signed at Caserta on April 29, come into effect. Many Germans surrender to Japanese soldiers—Japanese Americans. Among the American tank crews that entered the northern Italian town of Biella was an all-Nisei (second-generation) infantry battalion, composed of Japanese Americans from Hawaii.
Early that same day, Russian Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov accepts the surrender of the German capital. The Red Army takes 134,000 German soldiers prisoner."
Osama bin Laden killed by U.S. forces, May 2, 2011:
"On this day in 2011, Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, is killed by U.S. forces during a raid on his compound hideout in Pakistan. The notorious, 54-year-old leader of Al Qaeda, the terrorist network of Islamic extremists, had been the target of a nearly decade-long international manhunt."
Misty had her walk when we went to get Jay. But when we got back here to work, I could tell that Jay wasn't really in a working mood. That's when he makes mistakes. Jay decided that we needed to get gas
for the mower and the Puddle Jumper, so I changed my shoes, gathered my purse and we went to the store around the corner. By the time we had done that, it wasn't worth starting on anything, so I took him home.
When I got back, I heard about a puppy who had been left to starve and an autopsy revealed that all he had in his stomach were parts of his chewed up food bowl. How he must have suffered. Poor little thing, how cruel!! I hear about, and have seen, many acts of cruelty to animals, but this one just got to me.
That, and trying for more hours, unsucessfully, to fix my Live Writer/Blogger problem put me in a deep depression. I have never in my many years, felt like that before yesterday.