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ABC's Bird of the Week - Spotted Owl


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Bird of the Week
Spotted Owl

Spotted Owl by Kris Hennings

The Northern subspecies of the Spotted Owl has received much media attention because of the ongoing, controversial logging of the old-growth forest that comprises its favored habitat. Up to 85 percent of its original habitat has been lost, which has led to continuing population declines.

There are four recognized subspecies of this owl; the Northern and Mexican were listed under the Endangered Species Act in the 1990s, and areas of Critical Habitat were designated to help recover populations. Despite these actions, Northern Spotted Owl numbers continue to decline at a rate of 2.9 percent per year.

The biggest threat to the Spotted Owl is the loss and degradation of its habitat due to clear-cutting, fragmentation, and fire suppression. Competition with the more aggressive Barred Owl, which has spread west into Northern Spotted Owl territories, also poses a significant threat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final recovery plan for the Northern Spotted Owl in June 2011, with goals of protecting the best of its remaining habitat, actively managing forests to improve forest health, and reducing competition from Barred Owls.

Check out ABC's Bird News Network for a
new video report on Spotted Owls!

Photo: Spotted Owl by Kris Hennings; Range Map by NatureServe



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BirdLife Community - Forest & Bird wants unique West Coast environment saved


Here are the BirdLife International instant news update for omsstravel.6666@blogger.com

07/07/2011 Forest & Bird wants unique West Coast environment saved

Forest & Bird (BirdLife in New Zealand) announced today its proposal for a reserve on the Denniston and Stockton plateaux to protect the last remaining habitat of several endangered species, outstanding landscapes and unique ecosystems.

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The Latest from Bird Crafts

The Latest from Bird Crafts

Cake it Pretty: Nautical Party - How To Make Edible, Sailboat Cupcake Toppers

Posted: 08 Jul 2011 02:13 AM PDT

As promised when I posted our 2 Nautical Parties here and here, today I'm going to show you how I made the sail boat fondant cupcake toppers, I used for the styled shoots.

They are soooo easy to make, and can really help jazz up a simple cupcake!

There's a always a debate as to whether fondant taste good at all, but as Amy Atlas once suggested; if you use just a small edible topper over your butter cream frosting, it's all good! 

Oh, and you could also substitute the sugar paste fondant with colored Marzipan (almond paste), which taste far more delish!

You'll need:

* Rolling pin
* Sharp knife
* Scraps of cardboard
* Round cookie cutters (or use the sharp rim of a cup?)
* Pastry brush 

How to make your Nautical Fondant Cupcake Toppers:

1. Gather your supplies, and measure how big you want the toppers to be. This will determine the size of the sail boats, and topper base diameter, which will sit on top of your cupcakes.

2. Cut small triangle shape out of cardboard and use the cardboard as templates to cut the sail from blue fondant. I rolled my sugar past fondant to about 2mm thick each time (white, blue and red).

3. Using a round cup or cutter cut a circle out of red sugar paste fondant, then cut the circle in half using a knife. This is the bottom of your sail boat.

4. To stick the pieces of sugar paste fondant together you'll need a bit of edible glue: Just macerate with the back of a spoon, a very small amount of white fondant and a few drops of water until you get a "runny" paste. 

5. Cut your fondant base circle or scalloped circle from white sugar paste, using a cookie cutter or similar. Brush the white piece with a bit of the edible glue.

6. Carefully add the sails, and other pieces of the boat with the help of your knife. Leave to dry on your kitchen counter until the edible glue is no longer shiny.

I made these toppers weeks in advance and stored the dry toppers in a plastic container on my kitchen counter. Once the cupcakes have frosting on, place a fondant topper on each. I also stored the ready assembled cupcakes in the fridge for a few days without a problem.

Hope you enjoyed the tute, and watch out for more DIY tutorials and fun party posts to help you create your own Nautical Party in style! ;)

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Dr. Jungle's Animal Speak

Dr. Jungle's Animal Speak

How to Choose a Classroom Pet

Posted: 07 Jul 2011 08:01 PM PDT

A Classroom Pet

A pet in the classroom has many benefits for students. But, before you get down to learning you have to find the pet that will suit your class's needs.

Usually each class gets to choose the pet that they want in the classroom. The school may have an approved list of pets or leave the decision up to the teacher.

Here are a few ideas to help you and your class make the right decision.

1. Talk to the class – Ask them what types of pets they might want to see in the classroom. If you are working from an approved list, show the students pictures of the pets and tell a little bit about them. Pets that are skittish won't do well in a noisy classroom setting.

2. Seek parental involvement – Send a letter home to parents. Notify them of the intention to bring in a class pet. If you have created a list of possible pets, include it in the letter so parents can discuss it with their children.

3. Know classroom requirements – If you have a small classroom, you won't be able to keep a pet that is going to grow to a large size. This will need to be a pet that stays small even as they grow and won't need much space to live and be comfortable.

4. Know kid's allergies – Some kids may be allergic to certain pet dander. You can ask about medical issues on the form that you send home to parents. In fairness to all kids, a pet that can cause health problems will need to be eliminated from the list of choices.

5. Ask about the funding – If a budget has been set aside for classroom pet programs, find out how much money you are allocated so you know what you can afford. Besides purchasing the pet, you will need food, water and lodging for them for as long as they will be living in the classroom.

6. Decide on holiday care – Weekends may not be a problem, but week long holidays such as spring break or Christmas vacation will necessitate the need for the pet to go home with someone. Kids need permission from parents to participate or the teacher can handle the responsibility their self. Kids who live in apartments may not have the option of pets in the home.

7. Research your pet choices – Once the list has been narrowed down, further research can help determine which pet gets to live in the classroom.

8. Where will the pet live afterwards? – Once the year is over, who will care for the pet? You can make arrangements with a petting zoo or natural science center to take the pet. Also, if a student and their family find that they are willing and able to welcome the pet into their home that can be another option.

There are many small steps that go into choosing just the right pet for your classroom. Each ensures that your kids get just the experience they deserve.

Birds.com Newsletter - July, 2011

Dear omss_bird,


Welcome to the latest edition of the Birds.com newsletter. Check out some of these links and stay up to date with what's happening on Birds.com:


Best Wishes,


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