Daily Archives: April 27, 2013

Funky Nests addition

Check out this video trailer for the Funky Nests contest and embed it in your own website!http://celebrateurbanbirds.org/community/challenges/funky-nests-2013/

A Few Funky Facts About Nests:

Most common backyard birds lay two to eight eggs. Hatching usually begins about two weeks after the last egg is laid and it takes another two weeks before the young are ready to leave the nest.

Even if a nest has been built in a somewhat inconvenient place (for you), be patient! In a few weeks the birds will be gone. Meanwhile, you get a front-row seat to a wonder of nature.

Baby birds have brightly colored beaks that help parents hit the bull’s-eye with food!

For their first three days of life, nestling pigeons depend solely on “pigeon milk,” a liquid loaded with protein and fat that is produced by both the mother and father!

Most Wanted: Find a Funky Nest

Whether you find a robin’s nest on a statue or a hummingbird’s nest on wind chimes, your picture of a bird nest in a funky place can win big in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Funky Nests in Funky Places contest. With nesting season underway, this contest challenges everyone to get outside and watch nature in even the most unexpected places.

“Just start looking,” says Karen Purcell, who created the contest several years ago as part of the Cornell Lab’s Celebrate Urban Birds citizen-science project. “Past experience has shown us you can find bird nests in the most surprising places. We’ve seen them in helmets, old boots, stoplights, store signs, car tires, clotheslines, mailboxes, potted plants, and even a stuffed moose head!”

The Funky Nests contest begins May 1 and lasts until June 15. Entries may be photos, videos, artwork, poems, or stories. You don’t have to be a bird expert or an expert photographer. People of all ages are welcome to participate as individuals or with a class, community center, or afterschool program. Prizes include binoculars, bird feeders, cameras, an iPad, and more.

Entry deadline is June 15.

Find more information about how to find nests, approach nests without disturbing the birds, and enter the contest at www.FunkyNests.org

Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round project that focuses on the arts, creating green spaces for birds, and learning how birds use urban spaces.

Table Tips for White Bass

It’s the white bass time of the year, and Kansas waters are loaded with them. When the fish make spawning runs up rivers and creeks feeding into lakes, they can be caught in abundance.

White bass are fighters at the end of a line, especially light line. They will take a variety of live baits, minnows in particular, and an assortment of lures – small crank baits, spinners, jigs.

But some people turn up their noses at eating white bass.

“They taste fishy.” “Too strong.” “Not good to eat.” “Trash fish.”

And other anglers just smile and prepare white bass for the evening meal or to go into a freezer.

According to fishermen, the common way to deal with white bass for cooking is to fillet them then use the tip of a sharp knife to cut out the strip of red or dark flesh. It is not difficult, and this strip is also common in the white bass cousins – striped bass and hybrid bass. It is what gives the “strong” taste.

With this strip of red gone, prepare the fillets as you would most any other freshwater fish.

A second treatment method is more involved.

Put the fillets, red streak and all, in a pan and cover it with buttermilk Let the pan sit in a refrigerator for a couple of hours then remove, discard the buttermilk and cover the fillets with a half and half mixture of white vinegar and water. Let this sit for an hour or so then pour off the liquid and rinse the fish then pat dry with paper towels.

With either treatment, the white bass fillets will be ready for your choice of cooking routes.

Illinois Resident Pleads Guilty to Poaching

by Daniel Xu

Outdoor Hub Reporters

Illinois resident Christopher Kiernan, 46, made headlines when he bagged a behemoth 36-point whitetail non-typical that scored 261 5/8 from measurers. His 2009 bow-and-arrow catch easily won the state record, but that was when the trouble started. Along with Larry Smith of Ontario and Garrett Armstrong of New York, Keirnan faced charges following an intensive 11-month investigation by multiple agencies.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the three poached an estimated 24 deer in Illinois and Canada over a 10-year period. Charges filed against the men included hunting without permission of landowners, invalid permits, unlawfully taking deer, falsifying harvest records, and not reporting taken deer.

“Conservation Police officers take seriously incidents of poaching and violations of the Wildlife Code and related offenses in the state, and these convictions made clear that we will bring violators to justice,” said DNR Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez. “Our officers are in the field every day protecting our natural resources and protecting the rights of those who legally enjoy hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits.”

Kiernan’s case was the last of the three to be settled when he pled guilty earlier this month in court. For unlawfully taking a 36-, 16- and 11-point deer he was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the DNR, suspension of hunting privileges, and forfeiture of his hunting equipment and trophies in addition to other penalties. The 36-point state record rack was appraised at upwards of $35,000.