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Bay Area Bird Blog » 2008» November

Archive for November, 2008

17th 2008
Rossmoor is going to kill dozens of woodpeckers

Posted under activism & bird behavior

From the SF Chronicle article

On the outer edges of Rossmoor, the retirement community nestled between Lafayette and Walnut Creek, a war has been waged for seven years pitting man against woodpecker. The woodpeckers are winning.

But now, the battle is about to go to a whole new level. Homeowners in Rossmoor received a yearlong permit in June from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill up to 50 of the pesky birds in an attempt to shoo away the others. Under the terms of the permit, the homeowners must continue to seek nonlethal methods of ridding the homes of the birds, said service spokesman Al Donner.

I hope lots of people object to this..including you, if you are reading this article.  The article mentions some things that the homeowners have tried — some of them are ridiculous, like a fake spider that moves up and down in response to noise — but it doesn’t say that they’ve tried some of the obvious things, like (1) leaving deadwood (dead branches and trees) standing if it is not a threat to fall on someone’s house, and (2) covering the part of the house under the eaves, which the woodpeckers favor, with a piece of tin.  

The Chief Executive’s Office at the Rossmoor retirement community is at 925-988-7712, why not give them a call and ask them to contact the Mount Diablo Audubon Society for help?

Brian Murphy of Audubon has some good ideas; he’s at 925-937-8835.  If you want to get involved in a bigger way than just calling the Rossmoor CEO, give Brian a call. 




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9th 2008
People need nature…really!

Posted under science

BBN News has a story about a recent article in the medical journal “The Lancet.” It says:

When the records of more than 366,000 people who died between 2001 and 2005 were analysed, it revealed that even tiny green spaces in the areas in which they lived made a big difference to their risk of fatal diseases.
Although the effect was greatest for those living surrounded by the most greenery, with the “health gap” roughly halved compared with those with the fewest green spaces around them, there was still a noticeable difference.

So, support your local parks!

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5th 2008
Election 2008: What does this mean for birds and nature?

Posted under government

Iraq, banks, Wall Street, Main Street, Afghanistan, blah blah blah.  What about the really important question: what does this mean for birds and nature?  National Audubon Society President John Flicker (good name!) says: 

Presidential Appointments:

·      President-elect Obama should start by appointing to key environmental positions within his Administration qualified leaders who will defend our clean air and water, protect habitat and endangered species, aggressively address global warming, and steward our great natural heritage for future generations.

 Scientific Integrity:

·      The Department of the Interior should systematically review and reverse decisions made by the past Administration under the Endangered Species Act that were influenced by political considerations and not based on sound science.

·      President-elect Obama should send a clear signal to everyone in his administration to restore and respect scientific integrity in all environmental decisions.


Global Warming and Renewable Energy:

·      President-elect Obama has said that: “We cannot afford more of the same timid politics when the future of our planet is at stake.”  He’s right.  We welcome the opportunity to help him deliver his promised $150 billion plan for clean energy technologies that would protect our environment and stimulate the economy, creating up 5 million new green jobs.

·      The Congress should pass legislation providing significant incentives for development of renewable energy such as a strong Renewables Portfolio Standard and a long-term extension of the Production Tax Credit, and pass significant legislation to address global warming with a comprehensive cap-and-trade program.

·      The new Administration and Congress must lead a transformation in American energy production and use through investments in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. This can minimize the fluctuation of gas prices while protecting our beaches, coastal ecosystems and the Alaskan landscape from the threats of oil and gas drilling.

 Endangered Species Conservation:

·      We’ll work with the Administration to secure reversal of the Bush administration’s weakening of the Endangered Species Act, such as the controversial decision to allow agencies to self-consult regarding the impacts of federally-approved projects on endangered species.

·      Congress should pass new tax incentives to encourage private landowners to work toward recovery of endangered species.

 Bird and Habitat Conservation:

·      The Administration and the Congress should reinvest in the National Wildlife Refuge System and address the unacceptable $3.5 billion maintenance backlog crippling this critical tool for conservation.

·      The Congress should pass legislation to conserve neotropical migratory birds and address the steep declines in America’s common birds that are disappearing from parks, farms, and backyards across the country. 

 Ecosystem Restoration:

·      The Administration and the Congress should fund significant new restoration projects to improve the status of America’s great natural ecosystems: The Mississippi River, the Everglades, Long Island Sound, and the Great Lakes.


The man (Flicker, I mean) talks a good dream, doesn’t he?  Let’s hope some of this happens!

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