Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Sunday, December 22, 2013
What pulls Santa's sleigh?
reindeer or caribou ??
most of you know, reindeer and caribou are the very same animal, with the same
scientific name. As to what pulled Santa’s sleigh, remember that the Christmas
tradition developed mainly in Europe.
deerlike animals live north of the tree-line in sub-arctic regions. The “reindeer”
in northern Europe and Greenland are slightly smaller than the animals called
“caribou” in North America, probably having developed that way over thousands
of years when different populations of the same species were separated over
long periods of time. During that time they had different diets. Both, of
course, are fast runners and are able to live largely on lichens during the
arctic winters. None, as far as science has observed, have a red nose; except in peoples' imagination.
of us live in a “suburbia” of some sort, so I’ll relay a study published
inthe Journal of Ornithology that sheds
new light on a situation relevant to suburbia and birdwatching.
study focused on 3 suburban sites, all near a major U.S. city.It found that predation accounted for 79% of
bird deaths. Not disease, not starvation, not bad weather---but an otherwise-healthy
songbird being fatally attacked. 47 percent of predation events was by domestic
your viewpoint on this issue, the need to reach some sort of agreement is
clear. Letting domestic cats roam freely outdoors is no good for any creature.
Cats that roam freely live only half as long as indoor cats, and tend to bring
all kinds of germs and dirt into the house. Cats rarely kill birds because
they’re hungry; it’s simply in their nature as hunters.
if you have a housecat, like me, be kind and keep it safe and indoors.