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Backyard Feeding


Ask Dr. Bird

The Headlines

It’s coming up to one of my favourite bird activities of the year, the Great Backyard Bird Count. It runs from the 16th to the 19th of February, and anyone can participate. Head over to Cornell’s website for full details, and while you are there, check out Nestwatch, a website they’ve setup that has an interactive game to help you identify which birds nest where, and what you can do to help. Dr. Bird gives us more info on how birds survive our cold northern winters (while he is enjoying the Baja sun!) EnviroMinute touches on secondary poisoning which is a major problem for raptors, particularly Barn Owls. If you can find a way to not use rodent poison, you’ll be saving a lot of Owls! The stories I found this episode are all encouraging – the Alala, or the Hawaiian Crow is doing really well after being reintroduced into the wild. This bird is so smart, that it is able to complete an ‘orientation’ program showing it where to find food in the wild, and what birds to avoid. The Japanese Crested Ibis and the Seychelles Warbler are two other birds that are doing very well after major conservation efforts. The RSPB in the UK started a program 8 years ago to reclaim old quarries and turn them into natural habitat – the program has been so successful they’ve converted 2200 acres of land two years earlier than planned. It seems like Vladimir Putin is always in the news these days but not usually for stories about birds. He is training Golden Eagles to attack and destroy drones that seem to periodically show up at the Kremlin. This is something that has been tried by a few different countries, but the programs always get dropped because of the cost. Someohow that doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Russian President.

See you in two weeks!