Monday, October 28, 2013

Angel Wing Disease

Many adults and children love to feed bread and crackers to waterfowl. They do not know the harm created from adding these ingredients to the diet of ducks and geese. Poor diet results in a disease known as "Angel Wing" (slipped wing).  The last joint of the wing twists causing wing feathers to point out instead of resting against the body. Males develop it more than females.

Because of uneducated human kindness, both wrist joints become retarded in their development. When the wing twists outward, it cannot perform its usual function. In extreme cases, the stripped feathers resemble blue straw protruding from wings.

Incurable in adult birds, the disease leads to an early death. Birds rendered flightless cannot migrate with their flocks.They cannot even fly to protect themselves from predators. In young birds wrapping the wing and binding it against the bird's flank, together with feeding the bird a natural diet, might reverse the damage.Only wild populations fed by man suffer this disability.

We need to educate adults and children that all wildlife suffers from unnatural feeding practices.  Most animals forage to provide for themselves and will do just fine without additives. If you must feed, at least pick grass or bring lettuce.

Cameras and polite observation at parks become the best ways to interact and learn about wildlife.

The Canada geese often let children mingle with their young.  If someone gets too close, the mother will hiss and extend her neck.  Watch out for bitten fingers.

Plea for Wildlife:  If you notice people feeding waterfowl, please share this information.  Ask that they pass it on.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Writers on Autumn

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”   Albert Camus

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ― Lauren DeStefanoWither

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ― George Eliot

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”  Humbert Wolfe

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple...” ― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Autumn abounds in angles and awe.  -Penny Wilkes