A Handsome Fellow

Here is the fellow

I met yesterday,

I don’t know his name,

He didn’t say.

But he was so handsome,

So elegant was he,

I quietly admired him,

Or was he a she?

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Can somebody tell me – is he a partridge?  And is he a he or a she?

Such a beauty 😀

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bird, birds, animals, wild animals, wildlife, garden, garden birds, poem, poetry

Plant trees, Save the beavers and Prevent flooding! PETITION

beaver

THE PETITION STATES:

Britain has been struck by a succession of Atlantic storms accompanied by very heavy rain. In early December Storm Desmond saw 5,000 people flooded out of their homes in Carlisle in spite of £38 million of flood defences recently installed by the Environment Agency. More recently, Storm Frank has caused similar havoc in the Southwest, Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Scottish borders and Northern Ireland.

We demand that a major national tree planting effort is implemented, to build our national resilience to future flood events, and that the shooting of beavers is halted immediately!

The key to reducing the risk of more floods is to realise that conventional ‘flood defence’ can never provide security against the ever more extreme weather events that global warming will bring. The storm waters must be held back into the moors, bogs, fields and headwaters, so that they are given the chance to replenish soils and aquifers, and are released only slowly into the main streams and rivers.

We need more trees: it’s no secret that just having trees in the landscape helps rainwater to infiltrate into soils.

Sign the petition for tree planting to prevent floods!

Next, beavers: trees are food for beavers, and beavers use them to build their dams. And that’s absolutely key to restoring landscapes and making them water retentive. We should select water–loving tree species that are palatable to beavers — like poplars, willows, sallows and alders — and establish them along watercourses, ditches, streams, ponds and eroded upland gullies.

Sign the petition for beaver–friendly tree planting, to encourage the return of beavers across the UK!

Unfortunately, beavers are actually being shot in Scotland. Scotland needs its beavers as much as England does – and for exactly the same reasons.

Sign the petition to stop beavers being killed in Scotland!

By:  Oliver Tickell

Editor of The Ecologist

To:  DEFRA

R is for Rat

Rr

Rat    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:   1. large mouselike rodent.  2. colloquial unpleasant or treacherous person.  verb  1. hunt or kill rats. 2. colloquial inform on.

Our definition:

  • Rats take care of injured and sick rats in their group.
  • Without companionship rats tend to become lonely and depressed.
  • Rats have excellent memories. Once they learn a navigation route, they won’t forget it.
  • When happy, rats have been observed to chatter or grind their teeth. This is often accompanied by vibrating eyes.
  • Rats make happy “laughter” sounds when they play.
  • Rats succumb to peer-pressure, just like humans. Brown rats are prone to disregard personal experiences in order to copy the behaviour of their peers. The urge to conform is so strong that they will even choose to eat unpalatable food if they are in the company of other rats who are eating it.
  • Although very curious animals, rats are also shy, and prefer to run away than confront a potential threat.
  • Rats are extremely clean animals, spending several hours every day grooming themselves and their group members. They are less likely than cats or dogs to catch and transmit parasites and viruses.
  • A rat can go longer than a camel without having a drink of water.
  • Rats’ tails help them to balance, communicate and regulate their body temperature.

Click here for the rest of the Rr page, click here, or go to the sidebar on the right, for the whole dictionary 😀

Goose

rescued goose

Written by Cheryl Bernstein (Gauteng, South Africa)

It was a hot summer Sunday and my husband and I decided to take our two grandchildren with their bicycles for a ride around our local lake.  Of course, a visit to the lake wouldn’t be the same without taking brown bread and feeding the multitude of ducks and geese that inhabit the lake and its island. There are probably around 200 geese and ducks at the lake. They are all hungry, surviving only on the grass that surrounds the lake.

My two grandchildren, armed with their packets of bread, began feeding the geese and were soon overwhelmed as the birds left the water and surrounded them, squaking and grabbing bread out their hands. Then, in the midst of all the noise, feathers, ducks and geese swimming about, swam a tiny, yellow gosling.

He could not have been more than two days old. He was desperate for something to eat and tried to grab a crumb or two of bread from the water, but the adult geese would have none of it. They pecked his tiny head and some even tried to push his head underwater. He tried to get away and climbed out onto a rock. I walked down to the water’s edge and grabbed him. Immediately, he put his tired little head onto my shoulder and closed his baby eyes. He was exhausted.  I felt his crop and it was empty. His tiny body was just skin, bone and fluffy down. This baby was starving.

My husband, the children and I decided to walk around the lake and look for other families of geese who had goslings to which this baby may belong. We walked and searched in the reeds for about an hour, eventually realizing this baby was abandoned and alone. We decided to take him home and raise him.  I made a gruel of finely grated carrots, carrot tops, celery tops, mashed duck pellets, crushed fresh corn and water, but the gosling didn’t recognize this as food and would only eat tiny crumbs of bread. This isn’t a balanced diet for a water bird.

I had done some years of bird rehabilitation in the past and I knew how to tube feed a bird, so I found the bird hand rearing mixture and tubed him. I then put him in a basket with a hot pad, and he fell asleep, cuddled on top of a fluffy toy I had given him for comfort.

The days passed in a blur of feeding, talking to and raising Goose. I sat with him for hours talking to him and pointing out juicy patches of grass to him. Goose grew big and strong, started eating on his own and his fluffy down was soon replaced with magnificent white feathers. His voice grew from a squeak to a squak and I watched with pride, as he developed into a beautiful bird. The intention was always to release him back onto the lake.

He had imprinted on me and would not let me out of his sight. When I was doing chores in the house, there was Goose — often lying down on the carpet and falling asleep until I was finished.

He followed me into the bathroom and when I showered he showered too with the little droplets of water that landed on his feathers.  He discovered TV and watched with his head to the side. When he got bored, he waddled outside to the pond where he declared his total ownership of the water and would not allow the other ducks to use it. He was very grumpy when he couldn’t get into the house and be with me, and would squak loudly and jabber in a grumpy goose voice till I came out again.

He loved his food and when I brought out his dish, he ran up and down the garden, wings out, screaming with delight. He particularly loved watermelon, and he got a quarter every day. At night, he would sleep outside against my glass bedroom door, chipping to me all night, just letting me know he was there. But come morning he would tap at the glass to be let in.

Decision day came about Goose’s future. I visited the lake again and was really sad to see hardly any geese or ducks on the lake. They had almost all been culled. There was a sinking pit in my stomach knowing that Goose could have been killed in that cull too. Releasing him back onto the lake would spell certain death for him in many ways, mainly being that he would likely be caught up in the next year’s cull. Besides, he was used to being fed a good diet regularly, and didn’t live mainly off grass. He wouldn’t be able to find food for himself.

He was a happy bird, strong and lively, and had the run of a very big garden and pond. But something was missing from his life – and that was companionship. So one night my husband brought home a big cardboard box and inside was the answer to our prayers. A big, beautiful grey female goose. At first Goose showed no interest, nipping her and chasing her. But she was persistent and followed him everywhere, and she eventually won him over with her charm.

Today, Goose is a happy and healthy goose, king of the garden and his duck herd which consists of his lady goose and two ducks,  who follow him around. He knows his feeding times and calls me loudly if I am a minute late with his food. He still comes into the house and plods after me, he sleeps as near as he can to me at night, on the step of my glass bedroom door, and chirps to me. He is probably bigger than most geese due to a balanced diet and regular food.

I visited the lake again on the weekend, and there are hardly any geese on the lake. As much as I would have liked to see Goose on a lake with his own kind, he is loved and cared for in my garden — and much more than that, he is safe.

He will live out a long and fulfilled life, with no threat to his life, ever.

rescued goose

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/starving-baby-goose-falls-in-love-with-his-rescuer.html#ixzz2mosrMlJA