Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Birds: Smith's Longspur. Reward for Bird Killer. All Fired Up. Birds Deaths Reduced. Baby Parrots Rescued. Common Poorwill. BirdNote. First Circus. iPhone.


For “Winged Wednesday”:

Smith's Longspur

Smith's Longspur by Tom Johnson

“Longspurs are sparrow-like ground birds of open fields and tundra; the Smith’s is a particularly uncommon and secretive species. Breeding males have bold black and white markings on the head, with a rich, rusty-tan throat, breast, and nape. Females are duller overall, with light streaking on the breast and sides.

Most breed in areas uninhabited or sparsely inhabited by humans. Their cup-shaped nests are built in shallow depressions on the tundra or in grassy tussocks. They forage on the ground, mainly feeding on seeds, plus insects in summer.

Smith’s Longspur has a breeding system highly unusual for a songbird: each bird copulates with two or three others, which results in broods of mixed paternity. Two or more males may help the females feed nestlings.

This species may be vulnerable to changes in land use that would eliminate large open areas, and also to contaminants in these areas. These and other factors influencing survival during winter need further study.”

Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!   Photo: Tom Johnson; Range Map, NatureServe


92 protected birds killed by car on WA beach

A flock of dunlin stand on a Washington state beach in 1990. Darrell Gulin / Corbis file

LONG BEACH, Wash. -- “PETA is offering a $5,000 for help in catching whoever drove into a flock of shore birds Thursday on the beach in southwest Washington and killed 92 of them.

The Sandpiper-type shorebirds called "Dunlin" were found on the sand north of the Cranberry beach approach on Long Beach. Wildlife Center of the North Coast said the trauma that the birds had inflicted on them is consistent with a collision with a motor vehicle.  Seabirds and shorebirds are protected under state law.  It is illegal to harm or kill them.

92 protected birds killed by car on Washington beach"This senseless attack on these gentle birds isn't just vicious and cruel, it's also against state and federal wildlife protection and anti-cruelty laws," said PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch.

A $500 reward is also being offered by Wildlife Center of the North Coast.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PETA at 757-622-7382 or Sgt. Dan Chadwick of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife at 360-581-3337.

More at:


All Fired Up about Birds - With Nathan Goldberg

“How does somebody get hooked?  16-year old Nathan Goldberg is all fired up about birds. What starts such an interest and where can it lead? Here's Nathan: "One day at the Brookfield Zoo, I saw a Wood Duck, and I said to myself, 'When I get older, I'm going to see that bird, but in the wild!' When I started birding I thought, 'Cool, there's a ton of species out there and I'd love to see them all.' Now I'm meeting people that have kept a life list of every bird they've ever seen in their life, and I said to myself, 'This is awesome! This is not just being out in the wild, but you also get to list!' I thought of it as just another great way to get out into nature, and it turns out to have been much more."”   More at:


Actions by Feds Cut Annual Bird Deaths in Oil and Gas Fields by Half, Saving Over One Million Birds From Grisly Death

Northern Pintail by Owen Deutsch

Northern Pintail by Owen Deutsch

“According to a recently released policy document from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), migratory bird deaths at oil and gas operation waste pits have been reduced by 50 -75 percent in the last 15 years, saving an estimated one to one and a half million birds from grisly deaths caused by their landing in chemical-laden waste water pits associated with oil and gas operations. The policy document says that bird mortality has been reduced from about two million per year in 1997 to between five hundred thousand and one million per year today.

“Seeing this downward trend in bird mortality is great news. Enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by dedicated staff of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and implementation of Best Management Practices by BLM is obviously making a difference. And the willingness of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute offenses clearly provides the needed incentive to make sure that the industry shows diligence in following the law,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy.”  More at:


Police In Paraguay Arrest 4 Smugglers, Rescue 211 Parrots

211 Smuggled Parrots

“Police in Paraguay have arrested four smugglers and rescued 211 parrots. The young parrots had apparently been taken directly from their nests in remote forests throughout Paraguay.

Many of the rescued birds, identified as Blue-fronted Amazon parrots, were very young and unable to fly. According to Veterinarian Carlos Britos, of Paraguay’s environmental ministry, the 211 parrots will remain in a national park until they are prepared to return to the wild. Government biologists will be caring for the parrots and working toward their eventual release. According to Britos, they should all be fine once they are old enough to fly and care for themselves.”  More at:


Common Poorwill, Cool Facts

    Common Poorwill Photo

    Tom Johnson

    “A small nightjar of the arid West, the Common Poorwill is the smallest member of its family in North America. It is one of the few birds known to hibernate during the winter.

    The Common Poorwill can slow its metabolic rate and drop its body temperature, going into a hibernation-like state known as "torpor." In periods of cold weather, a poorwill may stay in torpor for several weeks. Although probably not true hibernation, topor allows the bird to go long periods of time without food and can help it survive cold spells when its insect prey would not be active.  Common Poorwills in the laboratory readily enter torpor when deprived of food. “  More at:



    BirdNote Weekly Preview: Gannets, Goshawks, and Lame Ducks ...

      Upcoming Shows:   Northern Gannet

    SUNDAY, A Northern Gannet Meets Superstorm Sandy  by Bob Sundstrom
    LISTEN NOW Goshawk

    MONDAY,  Northern Goshawk - Esteemed Bird of Prey by Bob Sundstrom
    LISTEN NOW and Alexa Freeman

    TUESDAY   In Jared Diamond's Footsteps featuring Ben and Alexandra Freeman

    WEDNESDAY Lame Duck by Ellen Blackstone

    THURSDAY  Migration Routes Evolve by Todd Peterson
    LISTEN NOW's Goldeneye

    FRIDAY Seabirds in Decline by Todd Peterson
    LISTEN NOW Crossbill

    SATURDAY A Crossbill's Beak Does the Job by Frances Wood


    On This Day:

    First modern circus is staged, Jan 9, 1768:

    “On this day, Englishman Philip Astley stages the first modern circus in London.

    Trick riders, acrobats, clowns, trained animals, and other familiar components of the circus have existed throughout recorded history, but it was not until the late 18th century that the modern spectacle of the circus was born. Astley, a former cavalry sergeant major, found that if he galloped in a tight circle, centrifugal force allowed him to perform seemingly impossible feats on a horse's back. He drew up a ring and on January 9, 1768, invited the public to see him wave his sword in the air while he rode with one foot on the saddle and one on the horse's head.

    Astley's trick riding received such a favorable response that he soon hired other equestrians, a clown, and musicians and in 1770 built a roof over his ring and called the structure Astley's Amphitheatre. In 1772, Astley went to Versailles to perform his "daring feats of horsemanship" before King Louis XV, and he found France ripe for a permanent show of its own, which he founded in 1782. Also in 1782, a competitor in London set up shop just down the road from Astley's Amphitheatre, calling his show the "Royal Circus," after the Roman name for the circular theaters where chariot races were held. In the 19th century, the term "circus" was adopted as a generic name for this new form of entertainment. Astley, who lived until 1814, eventually established 18 other circuses in cities across Europe.

    Canada's Cirque du Soleil, which gave an artistic sensibility to its acrobatic acts while shunning the use of animals, was an innovative circus development of the late 20th century.”


    Steve Jobs debuts the iPhone, Jan 9, 2007:

    “On this day in 2007, Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs unveils the iPhone—a touchscreen mobile phone with an iPod, camera and Web-browsing capabilities, among other features—at the Macworld convention in San Francisco. Jobs, dressed in his customary jeans and black mock turtleneck, called the iPhone a "revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone." When it went on sale in the United States six months later, on June 29, amidst huge hype, thousands of customers lined up at Apple stores across the country to be among the first to purchase an iPhone.”



    Something awoke me just before 3.00 AM, and then I could see that the phone was ringing.  I have the ringer turned off on the bedroom phone, but it lights up when it ‘rings’.  It was a drunken Jay, he was on my front porch, beer can in hand, and wanted a ride home.  Apparently he had had a row with his mother, and just started walking.  He said that some cops had already stopped him, told him to go home, and he didn’t want to meet up with them again.   Rather than have him make a scene, I drove him home, sans beer, of course. 

    Then at about 8.00AM he called again, wanting me to pick him up from his house.  He said that he had to get out of there right away.  Misty and I went down there, and his gate, front door and storm door were wide open, radio blaring.  Misty and I walked around her sniffing trails for a while, but he still didn’t come out of his house, so we looked in to see if he was ready.  The place was a shambles, overturned furniture and things strewn all over the floor.  Jay is such a neat-nik when he’s sober.  He had passed out in his recliner, so I closed the storm door and gate as there were someone’s dogs running loose, and Misty and I came home. 

    Jay had done some odd jobs for people in the subdivision the day before.  I know, because he kept on borrowing different drill bits, nails, screws, PVC glue and plumbing parts for the jobs he was doing.  But the more money he makes, the more he drinks, so what good is that? That alcohol can be a terrible thing.

    Claudia, Jay’s mother, was scared to go in his house by herself to see if Jay was alright, but when I told her that I had only closed the storm door and not the front door, she went over there.  She found that he had closed the front door, and saw through the window that he had moved to the couch.  So he was OK, and might not show up at her house again until he is hungry.  

    So why do we put up with him?  Col.3:13-14 says: 13 Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

    I had hoped that Jay would be able help me, as I wanted to put back some of the things that I had removed from the house for the appraisal.  My big comfy office chair was one, it is so bulky and tall that my smaller uncomfortable one looked better.  It, and other things were stored in Pugsy, (the vintage motor home), so I struggled and managed to get some of the things back into the house.

    It is raining again, but I have to go shopping today.

    1 comment:

    Dizzy-Dick said...

    You are a good person to put up with all that. May God bless you.