Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tucuman Parrot. Sandhill Cranes. Hummingbird Rain Trick. Baby Penguins. "War to End All Wars". PT 109.

For “Winged Wednesday”:

But first this commercial break!:

“Jessica gives the second update for the You Can Do this Campaign. As of July 30, 2012 we are 1/2 way to our goal! Visit - to donate and help shelter animals.         It only takes one minute.
The Animal Rescue Site, Petfinder Foundation and What You Can Do Present - The You Can Do This Campaign to raise $50,000 in 50 days $5 at a time.   And while you're there - remember to click! .     Facebook - .”


Tucuman Parrot

Tucuman Parrots by Luis Rivera

“The Tucuman Amazon (often called Tucuman Parrot) is a mid-sized, mainly green parrot, with feathers strongly edged in black giving the bird a scaly appearance on its head and body. This Polly does not need a cracker, just a safe place to feed and nest.

The biggest threats to this species are habitat loss and capture for the pet trade. In the 1980s, thousands were captured and exported from Bolivia and Argentina before protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) greatly reduced international trade.

Despite these protections, nest-raiding for the local pet trade within Bolivia and Argentina continues on a smaller scale. Habitat loss and degradation due to logging, and clearing for agriculture and grazing also remain significant problems. Parrot trappers contribute to the loss of habitat by felling old trees with nesting cavities to reach the nest and young.

Recently, Asociación Armonía, ABC’s partner in Bolivia, announced some good news for this species: the establishment of the 44-acre Tucuman Parrot Reserve in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which now protects the largest Podocarpus conifer trees in the area as crucial nesting sites. The new reserve is adjacent to the Quirusillas Municipal Reserve, effectively extending the area under protection. For more details on this victory, please see ABC’s recent press release.

Birders interested in seeing the Tucuman Parrot could combine a visit to the new reserve with a stay at the Red-fronted Macaw Reserve. Please see for more information.”

Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!       Photo by Luis Rivera; Range Map, NatureServe


Sandhill Cranes Migration: 

Three Sandhill Cranes flying over in blue sky

Nebraska Sandhill Cranes Migration
-- with a stopover on the Platte River near Grand Island, Nebraska.  Three Sandhill Cranes Flying over against a blue sky & white clouds

“Near Grand Island and west along the Platte River to Kearney, NE in south central Nebraska, the Sandhill Crane Migration is a very popular annual attraction for the hundreds of thousands of Migrating Cranes and also their many viewers who come from all over the world to watch the event.
An estimated 500,000 Sandhill Cranes pass thru the Nebraska Platte River valley heading north every year during the Annual Spring Migration and headed south during the Fall Sandhill Crane Migration. They migrate through an 80 mile wide "Flyway" stretch along the Platte River from near Grand Island to west of Kearney, NE. It is estimated that about 80% of the world's population of Sandhill Cranes do an annual migration layover in this area of the Platte River. The Platte Valley area has great habitat for many types of birds - even bald eagles.

Sandhill Cranes feeding in a cornfield near the Platt River in Nebraska

Sandhill Cranes feeding in the cornfields near the Platte River in Nebraska

This is wasted corn left from the harvest - and actually benefits the farmers since it would otherwise be "volunteer" come growing season. - It is estimated the Sandhill Cranes eat up to 1,600 tons of waste corn during their 3 to 4 week stay in Nebraska on the Platte River. 

They spend about 3 - 4 weeks in the cornfields along the Platte building up fat reserves to help them sustain the flight and nesting period in their destination up north in Canada, Alaska, and for a few, Siberia. The Cranes usually add up to two pounds to their approximately 12 pound body weight during their "refueling" stay in the Platte River Valley in Nebraska.”  More at:  and:


Hummingbird Rain Trick: New Study Shows Tiny Birds Alter Posture In Storms (VIDEO)

Hummingbird Rain

“Hummingbirds are the acrobats of the avian family—flapping their wings more than 45 times a second, they hover forward, backward, and even upside down. But their mid-air moves are energy exhaustive, and they must feast on nectar at least once a day, even in severe weather, or they will perish. So when a storm rolls in, how does this tiny bird fare when being pummeled by heavy rain drops that can collectively feel like 38% of its body weight? Quite well, according to a study published online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Similar to experiments conducted on mosquitoes earlier this summer, researchers subjected five male Anna's hummingbirds (Calypte anna) to light, moderate, and heavy rain conditions in the lab, and then analyzed their flight responses with high-speed video (seen above).

They found that the birds were barely affected by light and moderate rain, but that they had to take on a completely different body posture to maintain aerial control under heavy rain, shifting their bodies and tails horizontally, beating their wings faster, and reducing their wings' angle of motion. The researchers found the position change paradoxical at first because each bird exposed more of its back to the incoming rain. But further investigation revealed that this position may reduce the amount of drops hitting the bird's wings, which helps keep it more stable in the air. The researchers also found that the hummingbird's water-resistant feathers absorbed 50% of the impact from the heavy falling drops, helping the animal stay light in flight, and in control no matter the weather.”   More and video at: By Nicholas St. Fleur


Baby penguin meets a man for the first time. Could have lost an eye!

“This short real life clip of Antarctica gives you a glimpse of the natural beauty of Antarctica. You'll see the raw cold Antarctic islands of Nelson including ancient Glaciers, gigantic Icebergs, and Penguins hanging out on a floating piece of ice.”

More videos at:


On This Day:

First World War erupts, Aug 1, 1914:

“Four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany and Russia declare war against each other, France orders a general mobilization, and the first German army units cross into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France. During the next three days, Russia, France, Belgium, and Great Britain all lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the German army invaded Belgium. The "Great War" that ensued was one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians.

World War I was known as the "war to end all wars" because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict--the Treaty of Versailles of 1919--forced punitive terms on Germany that destabilized Europe and laid the groundwork for World War II.”


PT-109 sinks; Lieutenant Kennedy is instrumental in saving crew, Aug 1, 1943:

"On this day in 1943, a Japanese destroyer rams an American PT (patrol torpedo) boat, No. 109, slicing it in two. The destruction is so massive other American PT boats in the area assume the crew is dead. Two crewmen were, in fact, killed, but 11 survived, including Lt. John F. Kennedy.

Japanese aircraft had been on a PT boat hunt in the Solomon Islands, bombing the PT base at Rendova Island. It was essential to the Japanese that several of their destroyers make it to the southern tip of Kolombangara Island to get war supplies to forces there. But the torpedo capacity of the American PTs was a potential threat. Despite the base bombing at Rendova, PTs set out to intercept those Japanese destroyers. In the midst of battle, Japan's Amaqiri hit PT-109, leaving 11 crewmen floundering in the Pacific.

After five hours of clinging to debris from the decimated PT boat, the crew made it to a coral island. Kennedy decided to swim out to sea again, hoping to flag down a passing American boat. None came. Kennedy began to swim back to shore, but strong currents, and his chronic back condition, made his return difficult. Upon reaching the island again, he fell ill. After he recovered, the PT-109 crew swam to a larger island, what they believed was Nauru Island, but was in fact Cross Island. They met up with two natives from the island, who agreed to take a message south. Kennedy carved the distress message into a coconut shell: "Nauru Is. Native knows posit. He can pilot. 11 alive need small boat."

The message reached Lieutenant Arthur Evans, who was watching the coast of Gomu Island, located next to an island occupied by the Japanese. Kennedy and his crew were paddled to Gomu. A PT boat then took them back to Rendova. Kennedy was ultimately awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, for gallantry in action.   The coconut shell used to deliver his message found a place in history—and in the Oval Office.

PT-109, a film dramatizing this story, starring Clift Robertson as Kennedy, opened in 1963."



It was nice to get up and not hear Mindi's dogs barking and clamouring to go outside.  They must hear my feet touch the floor!  Actually, I think they could feel me walking in my bathroom which is on the other side of the Grooming Room wall.  I doubt if they could hear me, as there is so much insulation between the sections of the house.  It was great to be able to take my time getting dressed, and to feed Misty, Prime and the puppies their breakfasts without being rushed.  

The puppies are as happy, healthy and playful as can be.  They wrestle each other, play with their toys, eat, poop, and then just sack out curled up together in their bed.  I know they must feel better now that they are here in the air conditioning, and don’t have fleas anymore.

Misty and I went to get Jay, so he could finish caulking the board we put up on the crack on the soffit to keep the wasps out.  But first he screwed the front door back on the white cage in the Grooming Room.  I had used it as a bed for Mindi's dogs as they stay loose in my Grooming Room. It also has a top opening.  I needed a cage to put the pups in while I clean their puppy pen, and also to keep track of which ones I have given their de-wormer.  Just three more days of that.

Back 50 years ago when I used to raise puppies, before I knew better, I found out that if the pups get used to the routine of being put in another pen several times a day, they will think of that as their 'poopy area', and keep their living quarters clean.  My pups were just about housebroken when they went to their new homes. Once they are weaned, pups will leave the nest to do their thing when they are in the wild.  They like to have a clean den.

Ray came over to paint the other dog cage, the one that didn't get sold, and we all had a hand at making a new tray for it.  Parts of it's tray were missing.  Jay and I went up in the storeroom attic and found a sheet of thin dull-black plastic. We cut it to size, clamped each of the plastic's edges around a broomstick, and heated them with a heat gun to make them curl up.  It worked, but it isn't marvelous. 

Ray and I tied up some of the lower branches of the Red Maple Tree out front, they were growing over the pathway.  It has grown more outwards than up, this year.  We can’t cut them off as the tree will need them as it gets taller.   Then Jay mowed again.  I think we have mowed, and trimmed the hedge more this year than any year.

Painting the cage used up several partial cans of primer and paint.  Time to buy some more when shopping today.


Dizzy-Dick said...

It does seem like things are growing extra fast this year. Maybe it is because of the drought last year when most stuff didn't grow well.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Rick in IL emailed me:
"Penny, Thanks for placing the story in your Blog about the sinking of PT-109 and it's LT. J F K . I made a copy of it in my word perfect. And placed in a folder. Very Good and Keep Em Coming. Catch Ya Later (Shiloh)-Rick"

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, DD.

I think everything is growing so much faster this year because we have had quite a bit of rain, unlike last year.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny.