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Bay Area Bird Blog » 2010» January

Archive for January, 2010

30th 2010
Antioch burrowing owls…cease and desist order on construction!

Posted under activism & government

Scott Artis, who has done a remarkable job monitoring and advocating for burrowing owls that are being evicted for a house construction project, reports today that California Department of Fish and Game is issuing a “cease and desist order” for the project. The developers are required to remove all of the “one-way doors” that had been installed on the owl burrows so that owls could leave but not return. This is fantastic news! I assume — Scott didn’t say in his email — that this action is prompted by the fact that fumigation to kill ground squirrels was, illegally, taking place even though burrowing owls are still on the site. If that’s the case then the developer will work quickly to come up with a new approach, but at least this buys some time for legal action. At this point it’s probably too late to stop the development, but at the least the developers should have to provide mitigation for removing burrowing owl habitat.

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24th 2010
Oscar and Olive Osprey: A family takes flight. By Janie Suss

Posted under Uncategorized

A couple of months ago, I got an email from a marketer asking if I would like a copy of the book whose title is given in this post’s title. I said Sure, but (1) I don’t post much to this blog anymore, and (2) I wouldn’t guarantee to review the book and (2b) even if I did review it, I might not like it!

Well, here I am…I finally read the book, and it’s pretty good. I think it’s intended to be read to a child by his/her parents, or to be read by a child maybe in the 8-11 range. It’s about 100 pages, with a couple of dozen photos and with a fairly large font and double-spaced. 26 chapters in 100 pages…just takes a few minutes to get through each one, for an adult reader.

The book chronicles a season in the life of some osprey parents and their kids. Chapters are “About ospreys”, “Finding a place to call home”, “Finding a mate,” and so on. A sample of the writing: “All Olive could do was watch over the eggs and wait. Her babies had to hatch themselves with no help, and she knew they would come out of their shells when they were ready. It was a warm summer day when the first egg hatched. When the babies hatch, they weigh only two ounces and are one or two inches long. That is about the size of your mom’s thumb. That is very tiny for a bird that will grow so big.”

I don’t have kids and I’m not the intended audience, so it’s a bit hard for me to judge whether this book will interest most children. At least I think it would be good for children who have any interest in ospreys or who get to see them regularly. If you live someplace you can see osprey regularly (or, indeed, any other bird of prey) your kids might really like this. But for what I think of as the average soccer-playing, TV-watching, Wii-playing youngster, I dunno…I don’t think this will necessarily engage their imagination or interest. Still, for that niche market of kids-who-watch-raptors, I think this is a good choice.

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