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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hummingbirds don't target the color RED exclusively.


    They like red things, but not exclusively!  And they're flying here soon -traditionally right after Spring Break. The hummingbird products (feeders etc.) seem to rely on the color red. Hummingbirds are attracted by red, certainly, but no more or less than any other bright color. Yellow, white, neon blue - any color but green. They’ve evolved this way so they can differentiate the brightly-colored flowers (where their food is) from the sea of green leaves.

   Actually, red food coloring has been proven to damage the birds’ DNA. These days also, manufacturers have gotten smart enough to make things like feeders with bright colors, eliminating the need for coloring the nectar – and making it stay safe; no risk of DNA damage. The color has faded on some of my older feeders so I’ve just tied a few feet of bright ribbon to it – works fine!

 

 Whether you see them or not, it's very likely there are owls within your sight, as long as there are trees in sight. They are masters of camouflage, and they sleep motionless for most of the day. So camouflage is a necessity.

A friend sent me the link below, where you see several well-camouflaged owls (maybe you won't see them). Try it!




OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.

 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

At this rate, how soon will Dickcissel's become extinct?





Dickcissels are handsome yellowish songbirds seen in north Texas in warm months. They should be here in just a few weeks. A few years ago, they inundated open fields and meadows throughout north Texas. But their numbers have drastically declined lately.  Now we know the biggest reason why. They’re considered agricultural pests in South America (they really aren't), where they winter.  So these harmless birds are often poisoned or sprayed with pesticides.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wolves alter rivers, and do a whole lot more than we used to believe


Wolves are a very necessary and vital link in a natural ecosystem.

The common belief most of us have is that wild wolves' best and only attribute is killing things. And to a minor extent that is true.  They are, however, good for so much more, including creating bird habitat. It's  shown in this YouTube video shot at Yellowstone Park by Sustainable Man;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50BhXz-Q
... OR (if the video is temporarily unavailable)
search in YouTube using 'wolves Yellowstone sustainable'

 
they’re built to peck wood       Woodpeckers have thick sculls, outside of which is another shell. In between is a light shock-absorbing sponge-like layer of tiny hollow chambers between the outer shell and the skull. So, NO, they don’t get headaches when they peck.
They do NOT damage trees, although it may look like they do. The trees they peck on are already sick and dieing, attracting the bugs that Woodpeckers are after. Woodpeckers are “cavity nesters”, often living in houses or the holes they peck in unhealthy or dead trees, so they have no need for camouflage.
 

 

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation
and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.