Archive for October, 2011

My Bird World Ap For Children

October 31, 2011

I got this from the NRDC and Cornell Ornithology Lab internet site called “”…please read this.

“These are happy birds—and they want to help you learn,” writes one reviewer about “My Bird World,” a collection of four interactive bird games that teach children about 24 species of North American birds. The game was co-produced by Five Ravens, the digital division of Birdcage Press, and the Cornell Lab for use on the Apple iPad. My Bird World is available on iTunes for just $4.99.

“With these intriguing and fun challenges, players learn about North American birds, including their songs, food choices, and habitats. The games are filled with fascinating facts, real bird calls, and great photos,” says Nancy Trautmann, director of education at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Players “earn” birds to place in virtual woodland, marsh, forest, and other habitats by playing Match Facts or Infestation Predation. After winning birds, it’s time to earn their food, whether it’s seeds for an American Goldfinch or fish for the Osprey. To win food, users play one of the nine levels of Memory or one of the three levels of Flight Patterns. Every time players feed a bird, they learn more about it and hear it sing. The games test memory, reading, sound and visual pattern recognition, and bird identification.

“We developed these games to make learning painless and fun,” says Five Ravens co-founder Wenda O’Reilly. “The more interested and engaged the player, the better they retain the information. It’s great for children, but plenty of adults are getting hooked too!”

More than 400 bird facts are included in “My Bird World.” Bird songs and calls come from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library, the world’s largest collection of natural sounds. A portion of the proceeds also supports Cornell Lab research and education programs about birds.


Ennis Lake, An Iconic Bird Area

October 30, 2011

The day started out blustery…We drove down and up th Madison River seeing birds we expected to see…The birds we saw were in clumps of brush avoiding the wind.

It was fall the end of the migration and I wanted to bird Ennis Lake, surrounded by the Gravelly, Tobacco Root, Madison and Hilgard Mountain Ranges and one of my favorite places to bird over a 30 year period.

We ended up at Ennis Lake and glassed a raft of 1000 plus coots to see if other birds were there…there were other bird species seen.

One of our party found a very rare Surf Scoter amongst the coots…To put the scoter in perspective I last saw this species in the surf at Santa Cruz, California in winter; a place where you are likely to see this bird species.

More Iconic Bird Observations

October 28, 2011

I watched at close range a Great Gray Owl watch us (my camping family). At one point the owl roosted on the camper of my Datsun pickup. This was at the Porcupine Guard station in the Crazy Mountains of Southwest Montana in the early nineteen eighties.

In the mid nineteen eighties I had a Hawk Owl follow me closely in Alaska’s Copper River Delta. This lasted for about 30 minutes.

In the mid nineteen seventies I was awaken by a Pygmy Owl 3 feet away hunting a forest vole at my feet. This was in Cub Creek in Wstern, Montana.

I watched 5 male Painted Buntings feed side by side at a staff feeder at Corkscrew Swamp in Southern, Florida.

Last weekend, near Ekalaka, Montana and near North Dakota, I watched 1000 plus Sandhill Cranes land noisily in a field suited for Pronghorn Antelope.

Iconic Bird Moments

October 27, 2011

I have watched birds since 1969 and can remember some moments that crystalised birds for me.

When I was 14 I sat on a smooth boulder in the C and O Canal one spring and I was mezmorised by a bright yellow Prothonatary Warbler, a male. That same spring several male Blackburnian Warblers, bright orange, flitted about in the top of Dutch Elm trees.

Birds At Risk

October 27, 2011

One of the most notorious bird issues in the workd is the dstruction of Canada’s boreal forest…Birds At Risk is a new report that you can get on this topic.

Jeff Wells of the Boreal Forest Initiative writes a good blog on
this topic alwo so check it out.


Substance Coming

October 25, 2011

I am back after 5 days in far Southeastern Montana…I have to catchup on my reading…substance tommorow.

Gone For 5 Days

October 20, 2011

I will be gone for 5 days…see you when I am back.

Is Global Warming Threatoning Polar Bears ?

October 18, 2011

This is still being debated.

By Matthew Daly

A US federal judge has thrown out a key section of an Interior Department rule that declared global warming is threatening the survival of the polar bear.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan has ruled that the Bush administration did not complete a required environmental review when it said the bear’s designation as threatened in 2008 could not be used as a backdoor way to control greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

The Obama administration agreed a year later, saying that activities outside of the bear’s habitat such as emissions from a power plant could not be controlled using the Endangered Species Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group that filed a lawsuit over the 2008 rule, said the decision puts the fate of the polar bear back in the hands of the Obama administration and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

“The Obama administration has the chance to do right by the polar bear,” said Kassie Siegel, an attorney for the group. “They need to decide whether the polar bear gets all the protections that other endangered species get, or whether they want to re-adopt a flawed Bush administration decision that exempts greenhouse gases” and other pollutants from the Endangered Species Act.

Sullivan’s decision directs the Interior Department to respond by November 17 with a timetable for when it will complete the required environmental review. Sullivan left an interim 2008 designation intact while the case continues.

In a related decision, Sullivan upheld a decision by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to ban imports of sport-hunted polar bears as trophies. Safari Club International and other US hunting groups had sought permission to allow bear carcasses to be imported from Canada.

The Humane Society of the United States hailed the ruling, which it said rejected “the Orwellian claim that killing polar bears is somehow good for polar bears”.

Jonathan Lovvorn, the group’s senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation, said that just as the United States does not allow importation of tiger skins and baby seal fur, “American conservation law prevents American hunters from bringing home the heads and hides of imperilled polar bears shot in other countries”.


The Frio Bat Cave In South Texas

October 17, 2011

18 million Mexican Free-tailed bats stream out in flight each night from the Frio cave in southern Texas. Great Horned Owls await them and so do Red-tailed and Swainson’s Hawks.

The hawks fly to the stream of bats and once at the stream flip and put their talons in the stream and grab a bat and fly back to a roost and eat the bat…I watched the raptors do this into the dark.

Some Of The Best Wildlife Is Seen From The Porch

October 15, 2011

I would have to say that porches make some of the best wildlife watching. Here are some examples…

Some of the best songbird watching I have had was while waiting for lunch on the porch of La Selva, a biological station for Duke University in Costa Rica.

After lunch, from the same spot, I watched a river of raptors fly by.

I had simular experiances for wildlife in Eastern Africa, Alaska and the Northwest Territories…When I traveled to see wildlife I never passed a porch up and I can honestly say it was responsable for some of my best wildlife watching.