Showing posts from July 15, 2012

Some ways to keep our backyard birds healthy

News headlines have described how much of the continental U.S. is either in record high temperatures this summer, or severe drought conditions, or both. Birds, and other wildlife, are being affected by these extreme conditions in many areas. You can help them out by providing clean and fresh water.

Birds like the American Robins in the poster above pant with their beaks open to cool themselves. They have several other strategies to cool off but one that appears most enjoyable, at least to those who are watching, is taking a dip in a bird bath. So be sure to keep fresh water in that bird bath and do keep it clean.

[caption id="attachment_16258" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Photo by Scott Catron--[/caption]

Suet and commercial suet cakes are often very effective at bringing birds in to feed on this high fat food. But there are problems with feeding fat-based food during warm and especially hot weather.
From th…

2012 Am Ornithological Union changes

Bird nerd stuff-Summary of Am Ornithological Union(AOU) changes to birds in North America from Ken Kaufman's blog: Xantus's Murrelet was split into Scripps's Murrelet for those breeding "on islands off the coast of southern California and northwestern Baja" and Guadalupe Murrelet for those that breed "mainly on islands off of western Baja (and wanders north into California waters)" "Gray Hawk: Buteo nitidus becomes Buteo plagiatus. (Split from South American "Gray-lined Hawk," which keeps the name nitidus.) "Purple Gallinule: Porphyrio martinica becomes Porphyrio martinicus" "Chuck-will's-widow: Caprimulgus carolinensis becomes Antrostomus carolinensis. Eastern Whip-poor-will: Caprimulgus vociferus becomes Antrostomus vociferus. Mexican Whip-poor-will: Caprimulgus arizonae becomes Antrostomus arizonae." "Calliope Hummingbird: Stellula calliope becomes Selasphorus calliope." "Sage Sparrow: Amphis…