Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wisconsin DNR Warns Against Summer Bird Feeding

There is a very unfortunate press release put out by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says some feeders can accidentally kill other wildlife such as raccoons and skunks and even bear cubs.

The agency points to two cases in northwestern Wisconsin where bear cubs got their heads stuck in feeders while searching for food. In one case the cub's mother freed it. In the other, agency workers had to tranquilize the mother and cub and then remove the feeder.

DNR Wildlife Technician Robert Hanson says people shouldn't feed birds or any other animals during the summer. They know how to forage for themselves well enough. He warned that if people insist on feeders, they should be on strong poles at least 8 feet high.

It's interesting that just because of two bear cubs getting stuck, the Wisconsin DNR suddenly finds bird feeders are dangerous to raccoons and skunks as well. Now is the time for bird stores to take a proactive role and promote well made feeders that do not injure wildlife.

While bear information is helpful, it would be nice if the person issuing this statement actually knew a little bit about bird feeding instead of putting out an inaccurate blanket statement. Now is the time for bird stores to take an active role in promoting well made feeders that do not

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wild Bird Centers Takes Over National Bird Feeding Society

Wild Bird Centers of America, Inc. is now the exclusive sponsor of the National Bird Feeding Society.

Started 15 years ago, the NBFS goal has been to promote backyard bird attraction with solid, accurate information and also sponsors National Bird-Feeding Month each February to publicize the hobby. It also supports research about backyard birds.

The new NBFS website is hosted through Millikin University and still hopes to serve as a comprehensive resource for people who feed wild birds and to help them connect to the natural world through backyard bird feeding. The site still informs readers about bird seed and feeder preferences of wild birds and hopes to offer the most current news and developments in backyard bird feeding. It's also includes a store locater so you can find the nearest Wild Bird Center.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sunflower Grower Insurance

From the Associated Press:

The federal government is expanding an insurance program for sunflower farmers — two years after almost killing it — in a move that could help protect growers against fluctuating prices and low crop yields.

The protection could be especially important this year as sunflower seed prices continue to fall, and some farmers contemplate planting fewer flowers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects an 18 percent decrease in the number of sunflower acres planted nationwide.

A small sunflower crop could mean higher prices at the grocery store for cooking oil, snacks and other items made with sunflower seeds.

The program, which guarantees farmers a minimum price for their crop, could encourage some farmers to plant more sunflowers, said John Sandbakken, international marketing director for the Bismarck-based National Sunflower Association.

Sunflower seed prices, like those for other crops, have dropped during the recession. Farmers have lobbied for years to get protection from low prices as well as low yields. This year, the federal Risk Management Agency is expanding a program known as "revenue assurance" to most areas where sunflowers are grown in significant quantities.

U.S. farmers grew about 2.4 million acres of sunflowers worth just under $670 million last year, most in North Dakota, the nation's largest sunflower producer.

While traditional crop insurance protects farmers from production problems, revenue assurance policies also provide coverage for price drops, although profits still vary with production costs.

Revenue assurance allows farmers to lock in the springtime market price and pay extra on their premium to have the option of taking the harvest price if it's higher. If the harvest price is lower, they still get the spring price.

You can read the full article here.

Bear's Head Stuck In Bird Feeder

The big story about bird feeding this week is about a Wisconsin bear cub that got its head stuck in a bird feeder. Authorities had a dickens of a time trying to separate the cub from its protective mother in order to remove the bird feeder from its head. Don't worry, all ends well for the bear cub, you can read the full story here. You can see more photos here.

Now...I wonder which brand of feeder this is?