Hummingbirds – Why can’t they get along? Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 July 2010 10:54

For a bird that is not much bigger than a large bug, hummingbirds are sure a feisty lot. As most people who attract hummers to their yard with a flower garden or just a nectar feeder have seen, these little guys are pretty territorial. The male bird that finds your food source first and claims it for himself will not tolerate intruders. Any other male hummingbird that ventures too close will quickly learn that he is not wanted there.

If you have a hummingbird feeder you have probably been entertained by this ongoing struggle by the dominant male to keep the nectar for himself. It seems as if the time, energy and calories burned chasing intruders away from the feeder cannot be worth the effort, since there is enough nectar to feed 100 hummers. But that’s the way they are.

Bird News Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 May 2014 15:06

Higher prices for sunflower seeds this year
Sunflower seed production in 2013 was down by 27% from the previous year, which means that sunflower seeds for bird feeding will be even more expensive this year. Sunflower seed prices have risen in recent years as more and more of them are being used to make sunflower oil for cooking.

Western drought denies birds artificial wetlands
California rice farmers flood their fields in the winter to help decompose the rice straw, and also create an artificial wetland for migrating waterfowl. This year, the drought has prevented the flooding, robbing the waterfowl and shorebirds of foraging grounds for food as well as protection from predators.

Birdbaths need to be cleaned regularly
A birdbath in the yard will attract a wider variety of birds than will a seed feeder. Not all birds eat seeds (robins, for example) but they all need water for drinking as well as for bathing. The birds will entertain you as they splash around in the water, but the birdbath needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, every 2-3 days. Mosquitoes will lay eggs in the standing water and the eggs will hatch and form larvae and eventually new mosquitoes. In addition, warm weather and sunlight will cause algae to grow in the bath, making it a less pleasant experience for the birds. A scrub brush will loosen any algae. Pour off the water, rinse with a hose and refill it and you are back in business.

Spaying and Neutering: It’s Not Just About Birth Control Print E-mail
By now most people are aware of the need to spay or neuter their pets in order to prevent unplanned litters that add to the pet overpopulation in so many places. But there are a number of reasons besides birth control that make it important that these procedures be performed, including, among other things, the health of the pet and the sanity of the owner.

At first the organs to be removed produce hormones that help puppies and kittens turn into adult dogs and cats. After that they only produce problems. Aside from the obvious benefit of preventing unwanted pregnancies, the reasons given for spaying and neutering fall into two categories – medical and behavioral. The medical problems come later, but the behavior problems usually start fairly soon.

Vets Need To Warn Dog Owners About Bloat Print E-mail

Every week we are contacted by people whose dogs have come down with bloat. Last week was no exception. Three e-mails came the same day from people whose dogs had come down with the problem. They had been looking online for information about the subject, and had found the article on our website. For two of them, it was too late; their dogs had died. The third person had come home from work to find the dog acting strangely. The dog was swollen and seemed to be trying to vomit but without success. Since her vet was closed, she went online looking for information. After reading the article on bloat she rushed her dog to the emergency clinic, where x-rays showed that the stomach was twisted. Immediate surgery saved the dog’s life. If she had waited until morning to see her regular vet, the dog would have died.

We received lengthy e-mail from each of the three people telling us the circumstances of their cases, and containing the same complaint—none of them had ever heard of bloat until it happened to their dogs. They are not alone. Since then we have spoken to dozens of people with dogs that fit the high risk profile for bloat, and most had never heard of it, or had no real understanding of how serious a threat it is to their dogs. Not one had been counseled about bloat by their vet or any member of the staff at the clinic.

New e-mail address Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 01:18

  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We have a new e-mail address that replaces the one found on dozens of pages on the website. Please use this for any e-mail you send us. We will get the address changed on all the pages on the website as soon as possible. We are sorry about the inconvenience and confusion this will cause.


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