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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Three rat poison marketers ignore STOP order

Three companies have refused to comply with a government order to stop selling or modify certain super-toxic rat poisons that can harm children, birds, pets and so on.  Most companies have acted responsibly and paid attention to the safety ruling from 2008.

Lola (rt.) killed by rat poison
This indiscriminate poison has killed many, many birds - primarily those that hunt rodents. A similar rat poison killed Lola, the mate of New York's famous Pale Male, a Red-tailed Hawk.

The three companies, pointed out by the American Bird Conservancy, are Spectrum Brands (makers of HotShot & Spectracide), Reckitt Benckisser (makes d-Con, also makes Lysol, French's Mustard & Woolite), and Liphatech (makes Generation).

Red Admiral

I don't know about you, but I'm seeing a lot of these Red Admirals in my north Texas yard.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A variety of food = a variety of birds

Platform feeder
Birds, especially migrating birds, will eat a wide variety of foods. Sure, they have favorites, like you and me, but you shouldn't hesitate to put out "unconventional" food if you're in a pinch.  Birds are likely to consume it if their favorite isn't conveniently available.

For instance, Woodpeckers' favorites are suet and nuts; but they will experiment with berries. Tufted Titmice will try nut pieces. Wrens often experiment with suet. Robins will try millet.

If you put a variety of foods out in your landscape, there's no telling what birds will stop by, but you are likely to have something for everyone.

The smallest bird in the world? The Bee Hummingbird lives in the Sierra Maestra Mountains of Cuba. It actually is about the size of a bee. This same forest is said to be home to a close cousin of the elusive Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which was re-discovered living in an Arkansas wetlands.