Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Duncraft Window Feeders

Duncraft, a leader in innovative bird feeding, has created three new window feeders designed to let you see birds closer than ever, the One Way Mirror Window Feeders line.

One-way mirror film is laminated to the back of the feeder. The bird sees only a reflection of itself and doesn’t see inside the house. Get as close to the window as you’d like and observe every tiny movement and detail. The bird dines totally unaware and undisturbed.

Duncraft introduces three One Way Mirror Window Feeders, all easily attached to the outside of a window with heavy duty suction cups:

The Cardinal One Way Window Feeder is a covered platform tray for offering a variety of foods.

The Songbird One Way Window Feeder and a larger version, The Super Songbird One Way Feeder (pictured above) both feature two hoppers for offering different types of seeds which flow into the center tray—right where you’ll get the best view of the bird.

All of Duncraft’s One Way Mirror Window Feeders are handmade of durable, 1/8” clear polypropylene, at the Duncraft factory in Concord, NH.

This fits right in with the current trend of the "Stay-cation." Customers are not traveling as much with the higher fuel costs and looking to be entertained at home. Attracting birds can be a big part of that enjoyment.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Looking For A Way To Add News To Your Site?

The Bird News Network, produced by American Bird Conservancy, provides the latest news and information about birds and bird conservation in the form of articles, press releases, and videocasts. It is broadcast as an “RSS” feed that you can subscribe to by clicking here.

You also have the opportunity to syndicate this feed to add fresh, frequently changing, bird-related content directly to your site. All you need to do is add some simple code to display the feed on any page. Each time ABC sends out a news item, the headline will automatically appear. You don't need to do anything! You can even customize how the feed appears, so it fits with your site’s style. Visitors to your site just click on the headline to read the full article or view the video that is housed on ABC’s site. There is no charge for BNN syndication.

If you would like to add the BNN feed to your site, please email gshire@abcbirds.org and we’ll send you the code to copy and paste onto your page along with simple instructions.

Additionally, we encourage you to link to American Bird Conservancy (www.abcbirds.org) from your Website. With over 1,300 pages of information on every issue affecting birds in the Americas, it is bound to be a useful resource for your readers.

We hope you will consider syndicating BNN and look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Farm Bill News From The Bird Community E-Bulletin


The five-year, nearly $310-billion 2008 Farm Bill has finally been hammered out after months of extensions and negotiations in multiple open and closed meetings, chiefly among farm-state lawmakers.

The mainstream media watched the House and Senate pass the bill in early May, only to have it vetoed by President Bush, and then overridden by Congress. Most of the media’s focus was on the level of subsidies to large farmers, the perception (and reality) of “pork,” a new “permanent disaster” program, and nutrition elements. Conservation elements within the Farm Bill were given little serious attention.

That was unfortunate, since the status of the conservation features of the Farm Bill is particularly important for grassland and wetland birds and other wildlife. At the end of this process, the conservation elements for birds were mixed.

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) proposed acreage will be lowered from the previous Farm Bill's 39.2 million acres to approximately 32 million acres. This loss is not a positive development for grassland bird conservation, but neither is the fact that CRP has to compete for cropland at a disadvantage in the face of remarkably high commodity prices.

Both the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) and the newer Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) were renewed, but with smaller amounts than in the previous Farm Bill.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) focusing on working lands conservation received meaningful increases in funding. Both CSP and EQIP have been beneficial, but not as proficient in delivering direct benefits to birds and wildlife as some of the other Farm Bill conservation programs.

A creative new Chesapeake Bay Program targeting conservation for the Chesapeake Bay was authorized at $372 million.

There was a two-year extension to tax-deduction incentives for conservation easements on private lands.

And a small Open Fields program to help states enroll private land in programs to public access for wildlife-dependent recreation was authorized at $50 million.

The new “permanent disaster” program, costing an estimated $3.8 billion is expected to encourage farmers to plow marginal lands.

Most disappointing, however, in terms of an innovative suggestion that failed to pass unscathed, was the “Sodsaver” proposal. As we’ve described previously in the E-bulletin, Sodsaver was intended to remove taxpayer financed incentives to cultivate crops on virgin native grasslands. The provisions were originally planned to be mandatory nationwide. Changes to the bill altered the language to apply only to parts of five Prairie Pothole states (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota), and the provisions were further weakened in that they are applicable only at the option of those states' individual governors. At least an almost toothless Sodsaver is now on the books, hopefully available for strengthening in future versions of the Farm Bill.

A number of conservation organizations backed final passage of the Farm Bill, sometimes almost grudgingly, while other organizations were neutral, seemingly without a position pro or con. Among the more traditional conservation organizations, the National Wildlife Federation, which had originally supported the bill because it had increased conservation funding, urged its ultimate defeat after seeing changes to grassland and wetland protections that were made behind closed doors, and because of the implications for increased greenhouse gas emissions.