For “Winged Wednesday”:
“The Wandering Tattler is a stocky, medium-sized wading bird, with unpatterned, grayish wings and back, and a barred breast and underside. It is solitary for most of the year, occurring alone or in groups of two or three.
As the name implies, this species is a true wanderer, with a widespread winter range around the entire Pacific basin. Some individuals migrate west across the Pacific all the way to Australia, a journey of 8,000 miles across open ocean. "Tattler" refers to the bird’s voice, a rapid trill of accelerating, descending notes given at the approach of any perceived danger.
The Wandering Tattler feeds on marine invertebrates, aquatic insects, and small fish. This bird forages actively, constantly bobbing its tail and rear end up and down as it walks.
The Wandering Tattler is one of North America's least numerous shorebird species. It is listed by the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan as a Species of Moderate Concern, primarily due to the small number of individuals. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data suggest significant long-term declines, but it is not well surveyed by the BBS, so population trends need further investigation.”
Listen to a two-minute broadcast about this bird!
Photo: Michael Walther; Range Map, ABC
"Operation Owl" - How Organic Pest Control Could Aid Middle East Peace.
KFAR KAMA - “Bent down in his field in this lower Galilee town, Amjad Shami points out the countless underground tunnels dug by voles. Three years ago, he says, these rodents destroyed his entire harvest.
Shami says he continues to try to fight them with pesticides, which do little more than poison his land, infect his water and decimate the local fauna. So when this veteran Muslim cultivator in Kfar Kama heard about a different way to fight the problem, he wanted to know more.
He would end up speaking to Alexandre Roulin, a professor at Lausanne University, who had discovered a unique pest control weapon: the barn owl. Amjad Shami would hear about the bird's exceptional hunting skills, flying quietly it kills three or four rodents a day. Since these birds live in families that can include up to ten members, the math is done. The presence of one couple of owls and their offspring is likely to make a thousand rodents disappear every month -- and cause no pollution at all.” More at: http://www.worldcrunch.com/culture-society/-quot-operation-owl-quot-how-organic-pest-control-could-aid-middle-east-peace/israel-west-bank-politics-science-rodents/c3s10856/
Potential Whooping Crane Deaths Demand EIS for North Dakota Wind Project
Whooping Cranes by Laura Erickson
“Seventy-six groups led by American Bird Conservancy (ABC), one of the nation’s leading bird conservation organizations, have called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to fully analyze the environmental consequences of a proposed North Dakota wind farm to the endangered Whooping Crane. FWS is considering issuing the first-ever Incidental Take Permit (ITP) to a wind farm for the killing of endangered Whooping Cranes and threatened Piping Plovers.
“Because there are fewer than 400 individual Whooping Cranes left in the wild, a decision to potentially authorize the killing of any of these birds is of great public concern,” said Kelly Fuller, Wind Campaign Coordinator for ABC. “This is also a precedent-setting decision that the agency should take the time to make sure is done right.”” More at: http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/130208.html
Common Merganser with a fish
“The toothed bill of this male Common Merganser helps it handle a small fish, a Three-spined Stickleback.
See other photos of Common Merganser.” By Gregg Thompson
Some Birds, Like People, Have Awareness Of Mates' Feelings
A eurasian jay gives its mate a food gift.
“British scientists have discovered something remarkable: Like some of us humans, Eurasian Jays — who share a family with blue jays and ravens — seem to have the ability to recognize and ascertain the "internal life" or psychological states of others.
The experiment was quite simple really: Eurasian jays give their mates food gifts, so scientists wanted to test whether they could predict which kinds of gifts their mate preferred In the experiment, researchers would let the monogamous birds watch their mate gorge on one certain type of food — let's say chocolate. Then they would allow the bird to choose and give its mate a "gift" — chocolate or strawberries in human terms — and the birds would inevitably choose the food their mate had not gorged on. In our human example, strawberries. If the bird did not see their mate gorge on a kind of food, it would not know which kind of food their mate wanted.” More at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/04/171093151/study-some-birds-like-people-have-awareness-of-mates-feelings
Wildlife Boom Expected After Eradication of 30,000 Rats on Pacific Island
(Washington, D.C., January 29, 2013) “Wildlife numbers are expected to rebound at Palmyra Atoll, a 580-acre collection of islets located about 1,000 miles south of Hawai'i, that has been given a rat-free bill of health one year after about 30,000 rats were eradicated as part of a major effort to remove these invasive predators.
Non-native black rats were likely introduced to the atoll during World War II, and the population grew to as many as 30,000 rats. The invasive rodents eat eggs and chicks of ground and tree-nesting birds, particularly sooty and white terns. Rats also eat land crabs and the seeds and seedlings of native tree species.” More at: http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/130129.html
On This Day:
An American orbits earth, Feb 20, 1962:
“From Cape Canaveral, Florida, John Hershel Glenn Jr. is successfully launched into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut.
During Glenn's fiery descent back to Earth, the straps holding the retrorockets gave way and flapped violently by his window as a shroud of ions caused by excessive friction enveloped the spacecraft, causing Glenn to lose radio contact with mission control. As mission control anxiously waited for the resumption of radio transmissions that would indicate Glenn's survival, he watched flaming chunks of retrorocket fly by his window. After four minutes of radio silence, Glenn's voice crackled through loudspeakers at mission control, and Friendship 7 splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean. He was picked up by the USS destroyer Noa, and his first words upon stepping out of the capsule and onto the deck of the Noa were, "It was hot in there." He had spent nearly five hours in space.
In early 1998, NASA announced it had approved Glenn to serve as a payload specialist on the space shuttle Discovery. On October 29, 1998, nearly four decades after his famous orbital flight, the 77-year-old Glenn became the oldest human ever to travel in space. During the nine-day mission, he served as part of a NASA study on health problems associated with aging. In 1999, he retired from his U.S. Senate seat after four consecutive terms in office, a record for the state of Ohio.”
Chris picked up Miss Priss, my little bottle-fed orphan foster kitten at 7.00 AM, for her trip to the vet to be spayed.
Ray came over and we carried both cages outside, put them on stands, disinfected them with bleach, hosed them down, and let them dry in the sun. Each cage has a kitty condo, a pet bed, toys, a box and dishes. One is Prissy’s, and the other one Arlo stayed in. Actually they didn’t stay in the cages, they were loose in the Grooming Room and Middle Room. Funny though, they liked to sleep in their cages with the doors open. But if we have to go up to the attic, they’d get locked up, so that they can’t go up the stairs. Jay didn’t lock Miss Priss up one day, and so she ran up the stairs, and toured the attic before we could get her down! He didn’t think Prissy could climb stairs!
Ray and I also put all the things back on the shelves in the workshop, so all that is out from under foot now. Then Ray and I had some fresh juice made with kale, carrot, apple, cucumber and beets. He always likes to have veggie juice.
Everything had to be clean for the little patient. I washed both beds and all the soft toys in the washing machine, washed the boxes and the dishes. We vacuumed and mopped the floors. Miss Priss mustn’t jump up or down on anything for the next few days, so we vacuumed, and disinfected the kitty condos and put them away. She will just have a cozy little pet bed for now. I found a litter box with low sides, so that she won’t hurt her little tummy going in and out. She won’t be able to be loose for a while, as she would jump up on things, and might hurt her stitches.
Miss Priss was brought home at 6.30 PM, and she cried her little “I’m Hungry” meow, so I gave a little bit of food. Too much might make her sick after the anesthetic. But she wouldn’t lie down and relax, she wanted more food. So after a while, I gave her some. She is wondering why she is penned up, as if she hadn’t just had a hysterectomy!
Miss Priss will be waited on hand and foot, and her cage will be her hospital bed for a few days.