ScrubJay Festival 2010

January 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

The Scrub Jay Festival 2010, will take place on 20 February, and is an initiative that is hosted by the Lyonia Environmental Center to raise awareness for the plight of the Scrub Jay. It is a bird that is only found in Florida, and nests in habitats where scrub is in abundance. They are currently a threatened species, with encroachment on their habitat being a major threat, and the festival hopes to educate the public on this unique bird. Guided walks, talks to promote conservation, live music performances and activities for children will keep festival goers entertained and amazed throughout the day.

To find out more about the festival and its activities, contact the Lyonia Environmental Center direct, of visit their website at

Date: 20 February 2010
Venue: Lyonia Environmental Center
City: Deltona, Florida
Country: United States of America

Chainat “Hoon Fang” Straw-Bird Festival 2010

January 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

With hay being a by-product cultivated by farmers, forming bird shaped stacks with hay, has become an art form in the Chainat Province. It has led to the annual Chainat “Hoon Fang” Straw-Bird Festival, where villagers transform hay into colorful and detailed bird designs, each trying to win top honors at the festival. Massive birds of all shapes, color and specie are displayed on the lawns of the festival, and the best designers compete in different categories such as village handicraft and young talent. The festival is also accompanied by light shows and lively performances. Another nearby attraction, also visited by festival goers, is the large Chainat Bird Park, where a variety of over 200 bird species can be seen.

To find out more about this festival, filled with birds of a different kind of feather, contact the Thailand Tourism Authority on +66 (0) 3553 6030 or by email at

Date: 16 – 22 February 2010
Venue: Various
City: Chainat
Country: Thailand

Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival 2010

January 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

The Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival 2010, will take place on the 20th and 21st of February 2010. It offers two days of bird related activities and fun, and special events for children have also been included in the festival line-up, making it a fun experience for the entire family. An exclusive feature for the festival, is the Great Northwest Glass Quest, where festival goers will be able to participate in a treasure hunt for dated and signed snowballs made of glass. Other activities such as workshops, tours and guest speakers will also be available.

To register for the event, or for additional information, visit the official Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival 2010 website at

Date: 20 – 21 February 2010
Venue: Four Springs Lake Preserve
City: Camano Island
Country: United States of America

Anting Behavior in Birds

January 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Features

Anting is a form of bird behavior that has yet to be explained by researchers and scientists. Even though hundreds of bird species engage in anting all over the world, no-one has been able to confirm the reason why birds choose to do so.

Anting can take on different forms. Some birds will pick up ants in their beaks and rub the ant over their feathers, after which they eat the ant; while others will open their wings and lie down over an active anthill and allow ants to climb up onto them. But it does seem that one part of anting remains consistent: birds prefer using ants that produce formic acid. Ants use the formic acid their bodies produce as a defense mechanism, which they spray at their attackers, but at the same time provides birds with a certain something that scientists would love to discover.

One theory on anting is that the formic acid could be used as a fungicide, bactericide and as an insect repellent, while others choose to believe that it is the vitamin D content in the acid that birds are after. This leads to another unanswered question: why do birds sometimes use alternative anting tools, such as millipedes and fruit? Some scientists believe that anting is used to preen feathers and helps prevent the drying out of their plumage, but then one again has to ask, that if only some birds include anting in their behavior, could preening really be the answer? Another suggestion that has been made is that anting has an intoxicating effect, as some birds have been known to shake and lose control over their ability to walk. Anting has been documented in a variety of species including crows, babblers, weavers, owls, turkeys, waxbills and pheasants to name but a few. And for all the research done and no lack of theories, it seems the human race will have to be satisfied with the fact that the mystery behind anting might elude us forever, and remain a small secret that nature is not willing to share.