Daily Archives: April 8, 2015

Don’t use red dye in hummingbird feeders

It has NO purpose


From The Birding Wire


Most hummingbird feeders you can buy have enough red color on them to attract hummingbirds without the need for red dye in the nectar. If there is no red on your feeder, simply tie a piece of red flagging, rope, or fabric to it.

Red dye is typically petroleum based. The dye in colored nectar is red dye #40. Red dye #40 is now made mostly from petroleum, which is not good for any animal to ingest!

Natural nectar from flowers is clear, not red. Nectar made with water and simple white sugar at a 4-to-1 ratio most closely approximates the nectar found naturally in flowers.

The red dye passes though the hummingbird. The dye stains their excretions red. These indicators mean the red dye is “not metabolized, but passes through the kidneys, where it might cause problems.”

You can make clear nectar more simply and cheaply. Purchasing nectar from stores is expensive. Try making it yourself at home. A 4-to-1 water to white sugar solution will attract hummingbirds.

HUMMINGBIRD NECTAR RECIPE - 1 part sugar to 4 parts water

Boil water

Stir in sugar to dissolve

LET COOL and then fill feeder

Store remainder in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks

To Make

1 cup nectar     2 cups nectar   3 cups nectar   4 cups nectar


1 cup                  2 cups                3 cups                4 cups


1/4 cup              1/2 cup              3/4 cup               1 cup

Old World Bluestems workshop scheduled


Caucasian Bluestem is emerging as possibly the greatest long-term invasive threat to the natural integrity of native prairie rangelands and prairies in Kansas and the central Great Plains. It seems to be spreading from roadsides where it often gets its start on disturbed sites, possibly from contaminated seed mixtures provided by contractors or from mulch. Various observers have suggested that it is spread up and down the roadsides by mowing machinery, and haying of roadside presents the prospect that it may be unknowingly spread major distances to pastures wherever it is fed-maybe even by livestock producers who purchase hay harvested on roadside and have no idea that it includes seed of this highly invasive plant.


If it continues to overtake pastures (as it already has in some whole landscapes in western Oklahoma and the panhandle of Texas), it will be much more difficult to control than Sericea Lespedeza because there are no available selective herbicides effective at eliminating it. Basically, the entire plant community within spots infested by Caucasian Bluestem has to be sprayed with herbicide cocktails, killing most or all of the other plants as well. As it spreads from roadsides, Corps of Engineers dams and levies (as is obvious in and near Manhattan), and other disturbed sites where it is expanding like a cancer, it will require astronomical investments by landowners and managers for herbicide control.


If undertaken soon the cost may only be collectively in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or single digit millions, but if it continues to spread the cost will likely be in the tens of millions of dollars-assuming it can be controlled on a regional basis (as within the Flint Hills or Smoky Hills). The other costs to landowners of expanding invasion will be a substantial reduction in forage value and livestock weight gains from now-productive native  rangelands. In most circumstances cattle do not like to eat it if they have native rangeland or other grass in the pasture as an alternative.


The Old World Bluestem workshop will be held on Friday, April 24 at the Ashland Community Center six miles south of Manhattan, located about a mile north of the Konza headquarters. The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., including morning informational presentations, lunch on site, and a field trip in the immediate vicinity in early afternoon. Registration (including the cost of lunch) is $10. View PDF regarding the details.


The workshop is co-sponsored by Audubon of Kansas, Kansas Wildlife Federation, Kansas Native Plant Society, Protect the Flint Hills, Kansas Land Trust, Grassland Heritage Foundation, Prairie Heritage Inc., and Bird Runner Wildlife Refuge.


For More Information, or to make a Reservation, contact Ron Klataske, Audubon of Kansas at 785-537-4385 or personal cell phone 785-313-1138.

Who owns that deer?

Does proposed Kansas law overturn North American Model of Conservation?


By Tony Hansen

Brow Tines and Backstrap


Who owns the deer that live in the United States?

How about the deer that live in your state?

Let’s narrow it down a bit more. Who owns the deer that live in your county? How about on the land that you own?

To me, the answer is always the same: We own those deer. All of us.

See, I’m a student of the North American Conservation Model, which states that wildlife resources are held in a public trust, meaning wildlife is not “owned” by anyone. It’s a resource that belongs to all of us.

From a macro level, I suspect all who read this would agree. The whitetail population we so cherish in this country is a national resource owned by all Americans.

I suspect we tend to agree at the state level, as well. As a Michigan resident, I’ve heard plenty of talk about “our” deer herd.

But what happens when you talk about the deer on your land? Deer that walk by your trail cameras, that you glass from your treestand?

Does the fact that those deer live on land you own change your view of “ownership?”

I found myself thinking hard about that question while reading a report about a proposed law in Kansas that would require the state to turn over animal parts – including antlers – of animals poached off private land to the landowners.

Currently, any deer poached in Kansas becomes property of the state.

But one Kansas landowner is pushing hard to see that law changed, and he’s getting support from state lawmakers.

In November of 2011, Kansas resident David Kent spotted several deer in the headlights of his truck. He pulled out a 9mm handgun and fired two shots. One of the deer fell. He decapitated the animal, tossed the head in the back of his truck, and then attempted to pass off the buck as a legal kill.

The deer would have been a new state record typical, taping nearly 200 inches as a 7×7.

Kent, according to his statement to Kansas wildlife officers, killed the deer on – or very near – land owned by the mother of Timothy Nedeau.

Nedeau believes that because the deer was allegedly killed on land owned by his mother, he was not only entitled to the $8,000 in state-ordered restitution paid by Kent but also was entitled to the buck’s antlers.

There are all sorts of back-story to this tale, and there is now confusion as to whether the buck was actually killed while standing on land owned by Nadeau’s mother or whether it was on a neighboring parcel.

None of that really matters here. What matters is this: The Kansas House passed a bill that would require the state to turn antlers and other animal parts over to the landowner of the land where the animal was poached. If passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, it would become law.

Which gives me pause.

The antlers of that poached buck likely carry a high level of value. I have no idea what a state record typical rack might be worth, but it’s safe to say it would be worth thousands.

Because a trophy-class animal spends time on a landowner’s property, does that mean the animal now “belongs” to that landowner if it’s killed illegally?

If a law is passed stating that poached bucks killed on their land must be turned over to them, does that not signify those deer are the “property” of the landowner?

There is a model in which landowners own the land and the critters that live on it. It’s called the European model. And it’s all about the privatization of wildlife… about controlling who can hunt and who can’t.

In short, it is everything the North American model is not. And that is something to think about.