Thursday, May 24, 2018

BIRD WATCHING - A Hobby with A Cause

Birders at Caerlaverock, watching Britain's fi...
Birders at Caerlaverock, watching Britain's fifth White-tailed Lapwing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bird watching as a hobby has long been contested by the birders, saying that the two are not in any way the same. While birdwatchers do such as part of an activity during recreation, birders are into it with intense dedication. 

The Birders
May it is in the UK or in the United States, birders say that what they are doing is far from just a pastime or a relaxation thing. For them, they do such to study not only the species of birds but also their patterns. They don't base their analogies on mere observation and they invest in the latest optical equipment to strengthen their claims. 

Instead of going where the birdwatchers usually go, the birders are always on the lookout for new and unexplored sites, hoping to find more information. They would even allow a budget for travel, however far it will take them, just to expand their knowledge and to discern a lot more about the subject that they are most interested in, birds.

The Birdwatchers
These people go about bird watching by only observing with their eyes. They may also opt for binoculars but aren't really focusing on the technology. They wouldn't care if their apparels are not the latest in the market, they can even go about without those gadgets. What's important is that they get a sense of fulfilment from what they are doing, they get to relax, see the birds and enjoy the sights.

The birdwatchers couldn't care less where they do their stuff. They would even do it in their own backyards or just go to nature reserves nearest to them. If they happen to be on vacation, they can do it wherever they are, whenever they please to do it. These people have the love for the birds but don't really want to take that feeling further by going the scientific route, because by doing so, they might miss out the fun that they intend to have.

The Right Time
Bird watching on regions that have temperate weather are most active in the spring and fall migrations. During such time, the widest array of birds could be seen as these birds relocate northbound or southbound in trying to find nesting sites.

For the hobbyists and professionals, it is advisable to do the act in the early morning where the birds are looking for food. This way, observation can be done at a lengthier time and you can see them easily while they are onto their task.

This type of bird watching is for people who would go near coastal areas to find watchpoints like the headland to be able to see the birds flying over to the sea. The birds that can be observed from such are called the pelagic kinds. The pelagic species of birds can also be observed when one is aboard a seagoing vessel.

Proper Etiquette
Whether you're a birder or a birdwatcher, you should always look out for the well-being of the birds and also have some positive notes on what you are doing. You can lead the way to promote cleanliness of the environment so that the natural habitat of this kind wouldn't be harmed. Also, you should be vigilant about the latest technology when you use them as part of the activity, that it won't affect the birds in a negative manner.

Bird watching may just be a hobby but one that must be done with passion and concern for the birds and their welfare.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Chestnut-mandibled (Swainsons) TOUCAN

Swainsons Toucan

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pampering Your PET

English: Wragby Market place and car park Pets...
Wragby Marketplace and car park Pets pampering, Food or Chips you can get them all here.
(Photo credit: 
There are 69 million households in the United States that call a pet part of the family, according to a 2006 survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA). These pet owners know how hard it can be to find the perfect accessories and gifts for their special friends. 

Whether you are looking for a practical dog house, pet-proof seat covers for your car or a Halloween costume for your cat, shopping online is the best way to score unique pet products at reasonable prices. With just a few clicks, the Internet will help you find everything you need to care for your pets and, in the process, you'll discover a community of people who are as passionate about their pets as you.

APPMA estimates that in 2006, $38.4 billion will be spent in the U.S. on pet products. The following tips will help you hone in on pet gifts that can be fun for your pet, while also providing you value:

Identify Your Pet's Needs

Everyone has seen a dog chase after his own tail, going round and round in circles until he gives up. You can avoid a similar chase of your own by taking the time to consider what products your pet will actually use, as well as what would make your life easier as a pet owner. With Yahoo! Shopping's ( integrated ratings and reviews, you'll be able to see what other pet owners thought about a particular product or merchant. This will help you make smart decisions about all the must-haves for your pet, whether it is a puppy, a parrot or a Komodo dragon.

Broaden Your Horizons

The Internet has opened up a whole world of pet products you never even imagined existed, from designer pet umbrellas, specialized spa treatments, unique detergent for washing pet clothes, pet first aid kits and even a nest for your pet rock. Visit the Yahoo! Shoposphere from Yahoo! Shopping, where merchandise is sorted into lists by members of an online community and discussed in a blog-like fashion, giving you insight into how the self-replenishing food bowl or the cat hammock came in handy for other pet owners.

Make Your Pet Part of the Family

Great pet gifts can be enjoyed by pets and families together. There are several ways to maximize the family fun factor of giving your pet a gift. You can have the present wrapped for a child to open or pick presents that will make for an interactive fun, such as a fetch ball or other pet toy that requires human interaction.

The Internet provides an easy way to gather new ideas, find the best bargains and indulge your beloved pets-all without leaving the comforts of home.

Give your pet a present with help from the Web.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Birds - The American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle fall mating ritual
American Bald Eagle fall mating ritual (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The American Bald Eagle was unofficially chosen as a National Symbol in 1872 when the Constitution of the United States was ratified.  It was not officially nominated as such until 1788.  There was a heated debate, led by the great statesman Benjamin Franklin, about this bird becoming the National Bird.  Mr. Franklin wanted the turkey which he thought better symbolized the clean, honest, and more straightforward ideals of the American people.  His bid was lost, however, in 1789 when George Washington became the first President of the USA, and the Bald Eagle was officially adopted as the "First Bird". 

The American Bald Eagle is the only eagle which is native to North America and it's only on its native continent that one may find it.  Alaska, the 49th State admitted to the Union, is home to about 35,000 of the 70,000 total population.  British Columbia boasts about 20,000, and the rest predominantly inhabit the Pacific coastline, with a few scattered throughout the rest of the United States.  The population is heaviest in the Pacific Northwest due, in part, to the large amount of salmon found there.  Eagles depend greatly on fish as the main part of their diets.  They will eat small animals such as mice, rabbits, muskrats, duck and snakes and they will resort to eating carrion (dead animals), if necessary.  However, they prefer that their food is of a fresh source and they are partial to fish.  

While Bald Eagle is capable of carrying their food in flight, they can actually only lift about half of their body weight.  Although they can dive, catch fish in the water, and swim to shore with them, they have also been known to drown if the fish is too big and they don't let go of it.  

The body length, for both males and females, ranges between 29 and 42 inches (73.66 to 106.68 centimeters).  The male is usually between 7 and 9 pounds (.497 to .639 stone) and has a wingspan which can exceed 6 feet (1.83 meters).  The female is larger and can weigh up to 14 pounds (.99 stone).  She can have a wingspan of up to 8 feet (2.44 meters).  

In level flight, the Bald Eagle has been recorded at speeds up to 44 miles per hour (70.1 kmp).  It can dive (and has been clocked) at speeds of 75 to 100 mph (120.68 to 160.39 kmp).  The eagle is capable of riding the thermal air currents in excess of 10000 feet (3048 meters) and can stay aloft doing this for hours at a time.  

This species of bird mates for life, and will only seek another mate if their "spouse" dies.  They build an "eyrie (also spelled aerie)" in which they incubate their eggs and raise their eaglets until those leave the nest at 12 weeks.  An eyrie, or nest, can be built in the tops of giant trees (quite often aspens) or on a ledge of a mountain.  The eagles habitually add to their nests until they reach up to 10 feet (2.54 meters) in diameter.  The eyries are lined with soft materials such as leaves, feathers, and moss to provide a suitable area for incubating the eggs once the female lays them.   

The eggs are usually laid at the end of April, following a fascinating "courtship dance" in early April, which the Eagles perform in midair.  They dive and climb, and look to be attacking (locking talons, or claws with) each other during this flight sequence.  

After the eggs are laid, the male and the female take turns in hunting, incubating the eggs (34 to 35 days, usually hatching in late May or early June), monitoring the nest, and brooding/feeding the eaglets until they are large enough to fly and leave the nest.  This occurs when the eaglets are about 12 weeks old.  They develop special flight feathers, which make them look larger than their parents, that serve as extra balance (sort of like training wheels on a bicycle) while they learn to fly.  

Hatchlings are light grey when born and turn dark brown before leaving the nest.  Young adults have brown and white mottled feathers beneath their wings until they reach 5 years of age.  At 5 years, the head and tail feathers turn white.  The mature bird is not actually bald.  "Bald", at one time, meant "white".  Thus the name, "bald eagle". Between the fourth and fifth years, the beak and eyes take on the distinctive yellow color.  To see a mature Bald Eagle up close is awe-inspiring.  To see one in flight is an experience to cherish for a lifetime.  

Preservation Efforts 

In spite of the "National Symbols Act" and the "Bald and Gold Eagle Preservation Act," which were both passed in 1940, the Bald Eagle population declined rapidly because farmers killed them for fear of the harm that they could do to their livestock.  Hunters and poachers killed them as trophies and for profit, and many were killed accidentally.  This seriously alarmed preservationist.  Therefore the American Bald Eagle has officially declared an "Endangered Species" in 1947, under a law which preceded the "Endangered Species Act" of 1973.  Until 1995, they were listed as endangered in 43 of the 48 contiguous United States.  Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington State listed them as "threatened". In 1995, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) upgraded their status to threatened in the other 43 states.  

In February 2006, an announcement was made that the USFWS had issued guidelines on how the species should be protected by landowners and others, once the bird is no longer listed as a threatened species.  Those guidelines include proposals for laws which prohibit disrupting the bird's breeding, sheltering, or feeding practices or disturbing it in any manner which could cause injury, death, or nest abandonment.  Should those proposals be solidified and approved, it could lead to the removal of the Bald Eagle from the "threatened" list.  

It should be noted that even if the new guidelines are approved, the American Bald Eagle is still protected under the "Migratory Bird Treaty Act", the "Bald and Gold Eagle Preservation Act", and the "National Symbols Act".  It is illegal to possess, take, barter, trade, sell, transport, import, or export eagles.  And it is illegal to collect eagles or their body parts, nests, or eggs without a special permit.  Possession of a feather, or other body parts, is a felony which can carry a fine up to $10,000 USD and/or imprisonment and this is very strictly enforced.  However, federally recognized Native Americans are still permitted to possess those emblems which are traditional to their culture.  

One can learn more about these magnificent, beautiful, and majestic birds and how to help with the continuing preservation efforts by visiting the many websites devoted to them.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

How To Breed Championship Caliber PIGEONS

Carrier Pigeon
Carrier Pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first advice I can give you as far as breeding racing pigeons are concerned is that there are no guarantees. You can have two champions produce 5 baby pigeons that won't become champions or won't even be considered competitive. That's why you need to deliberate on many factors in order to become a successful breeder and produce potential champions. 

It's already a given that you need to use quality stock in order to increase the chances of breeding champions. There are three types of breeding: crossbreeding, inbreeding, and line breeding. You can use either of these three depending on the match you think will produce quality stock.

The quality of the breeding bird can be assessed by the racing performance of its offspring. To increase the probability of producing championship caliber chicks, more than one test pairing should be administered. It's also important to keep in mind that a pigeon being a champion doesn't mean that it's a good breeder. There's a probability that a slightly inferior sibling can produce better offspring. Rules are not set in stone so it's important for a fancier to administer more than one test pairing. It's all a matter of achieving the perfect or near-perfect combination of genes.

Here's an important tip. If you are planning on buying pedigreed pigeons, you have to ensure the credibility of the seller. The information tagged to the pigeon must be entirely accurate. A great avenue to verify the accuracy of the information is by looking for race results on the internet. Now that we mention it, using the internet is also an excellent way to look for pedigreed pigeons.

Relying on the quality of the parents alone is not enough to produce championship pigeons. One has to look into three features to ensure a high probability of quality stock. These consist of the physical, physiological, and psychological features. Take account of these three key features in both the male and the female and the probability of producing quality stock should increase.

To help you in the assessment, let's have a breakdown of these three key features:

• The Physical (gait, feather, wing)
• The physiology (fitness parameters).
• Psychology (attitude and competitiveness).

The best fanciers also realize that the race basket is the best determinant of a pigeon's racing qualities. It's more recommended to have pigeons with soft feathers. The pigeons should not be too big as well. You see, big ones are not good on balance. One reliable way to detect a good racing pigeon is when it leans forward while being handled. A strong skeleton is also of great importance. To test the strength of its bones, put some pressure on the breastbone and see if it's going to make a snoring sound. If it does, then that is certainly bad news.

Keep in mind that physical characteristics don't necessarily make a champion. That's why you have to observe on a daily basis the behavioral patterns of your racing pigeons. Recording daily data on each of them will tell you a great deal whether they have the heart of champions.