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Backyard Feeding


Ask Dr. Bird

The Headlines

Happy Tuesday, Everyone – as spring sets in, it’s time to start thinking about what to plant this year. While looking around for native plants, I came across an amazing Canadian company that specialises in native plants and perennials. It’s wildaboutflowers.ca, and on Backyard Feeding this week I gave the store’s owner Arden a call to talk about what they were up to.

While travelling last week, I made a conscious effort to not drink any bottled water and instead drank out of public fountains.  Tap water tends to get a bad rap, but the reality is, most municipalities test their water regularly, whereas some of the bottled water companies don’t adhere to the same strict guidelines. Not to mention the fact that plastic water bottles are an environmental disaster in the making. Give it a shot – this week’s EnviroMinute challenge is to try using municipal water sources and stay away from plastic water bottles.

Dr. Bird answers a question about discouraging European Starlings from visiting your feeders, and we have some great stories in the headlines. We share a gene with the Zebra Finch that helps us learn languages. By studying how Zebra Finches learn, scientists are hoping to apply that to humans who have difficulties learning languages. New Zealand is always coming up with crazy ideas to raise awareness about their endangered wildlife, and this story is no exception. One intrepid scientist has collected sperm from 128 male Hihis – or Stitchbirds, a lesser known, but still endangered species, and she is measuring how fast each of the males sperm moves. The general public are encouraged to place bets on which male has the fastest sperm. The contest is open to everyone around the globe – visit https://www.hihispermrace.nz for more details. And finally a report from Dr. Bird about Canada’s decision to leave the Peregrine Falcon on the endangered species/special concern list on Birds in Government.

We are also introducing a new photo sharing section to Bromebirdnews.com. This is for anyone who has photos they’d like to share, but don’t want to participate in the Winner’s Circle competition. But please make sure you copyright/watermark your photos so everyone knows who took them.

Enjoy the weather as it gets warmer (soooooooo slowly!)