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Jumat, 16 Desember 2011

Selasa, 13 Desember 2011

Make Birdseed Cakes

Today’s fabulous how-to is by Emily from yarn miracle. Her beautiful shop specializes in companion animal placement, including the most luxurious cashmere bears and bunnies. Thanks, Emily, for this great & very summery tutorial!

How to make birdseed cakes

It’s nearly summer and there are birds everywhere. When Ellie and I woke up last Saturday, Birdseed Cakes just seemed like a great idea.

Neat right? To make your own, you’ll need

From the pantry:
• 3/4 c. flour
• 1/2 c. water
• 3 T. corn syrup
• 4 c. birdseed, or a mix of birdseed, raw nuts, dried fruit and other seeds
You can create combinations that are suitable for the native birds in your area, or just pick pretty ingredients if you want to use these as gifts or party favors!

From the kitchen:
• a sheet pan – line it with parchment or wax paper if you don’t want to scrub the sheet pan later.
• a rolling pin is helpful but optional
• another piece of parchment or waxed paper if you don’t want to scrub the rolling pin later.
• every cookie cutter you own
• jute or twine to create hangers

Pour the flower, water and corn syrup into a bowl and whisk it all together until it is well combined. Add the birdseed and stir everything until all the seed is coated and sticky. The mixture will be loose and messy and you’ll think you made a Terrible Mistake.

Dump the mixture on the lined sheet pan, cover with the extra sheet of parchment and use a rolling pan or your hands to compress the mess tightly to about 1/2″ thick. The more tightly you can pack it, the better it will hold together when it dries. Toddlers love this.

Once you are satisfied with the depth and density, press the cookie cutters into the “dough” and leave them in! No matter how tightly you’ve pressed, don’t take out the cookie cutters or it will still fall apart! Just fit as many cookie cutters into the dough as you can.

(Yes, those are her pajamas. I *did* mention it was Saturday morning.)

Now let them dry just like that for about 6 hours. When you are able to handle them without disaster, you can remove them from the cutters, flip them over and leave them to dry for another six hours. Plain shapes hold up better (hearts, flowers, leaves, some rabbits), things with arms and sticky out bits (gingerbread men) tend to loose their fragile arms and sticky out bits. I’m convinced that the cat’s tail survived because Ellie loves cats and the Universe didn’t want to break her heart. If you run out of cookie cutters, grease your hands and shape the remaining dough in to donuts/wreaths (these may need to dry a little longer). The scraps can be dried the rest of the way and then placed in a basket or scattered on your back porch. No sense in wasting them.

Once the cakes are completely dry, wind them with twine to create simple, rustic hangers. And now they are ready for the birds to enjoy!

Speaking of birds, here’s a beautiful little lemon yellow knit bird from yarn miracle (and organic to boot!)


Senin, 12 Desember 2011

Stained Glass Accents

* Stained glass accents add bountiful color to ponds and gardens
* Simply stake decoration to personalize your pond landscape
* Durable pond d├ęcor features long-lasting metal construction

Introduce the timeless elegance of stained glass art to your garden, patio or pond. Ancient Graffiti Stained Glass Accents are gorgeous, handcrafted yard decorations that keep this inspired tradition alive. Artistic pieces add visual interest and make charming focal points sure to welcome visitors to your pond or garden. Each metal sculpture features tear-drop shaped pieces of brightly-colored stained glass sure to add instant cheer. Powder-coated metal sculptures weather the elements beautifully for season after season of enjoyment. Convenient screw-in stake lets you place accent anywhere in your pond landscape.

Dragonfly 25" x 18-1/2" x 47" high
Butterfly 18-1/2" x 15" x 47" high

Construction Details
The Ancient Graffiti collection of nature-inspired gifts and accessories for the home and garden is created using natural materials and eco-friendly principles. This collection of truly unique gifts and garden accessories is designed by Ancient Graffiti in partnership with global and local artisans, with a shared purpose of making our selection of nature-inspired products unlike any other. Each piece is individually handcrafted to create an item that is handsome, built to last, and of good value. These items are made using materials such as wood, clay, iron, copper, stone, and brass.

Dragonfly, GS-74036

Butterfly, GS-74037

Sunflower Forever Feeder

* Catch the eye of passing birds with this feeder's red acrylic top and bottom
* Stainless steel mesh cylinder has a seed diverter and bottom drain for fresher seed
* Six durable perches round out the base of this feeder to invite multiple birds

Offer black oil sunflower seed in this eye-catching feeder, and finches, nuthatches, and chickadees are likely to return again and again. Bright red acrylic top and bottom shine like jewels to catch the eye of passing birds, and once they find this feeder they will enjoy plenty of feeding surface. For mesh-clingers like nuthatches and woodpeckers, the stainless steel mesh cylinder works perfect. For perching birds, the ripple-shaped base and six durable perches fit the bill.

In addition to black sunflower seeds, you can also offer shelled peanuts or safflower seed; try mixing all three to attract more variety. Center seed diverter and bottom drain holes keep seed fresher. Roof features a locking clip to prevent squirrel invasions, and feeder includes steel hanging wire with loop. Holds 3 qts. Measures 12" overall dia x 12" high; 5" tube diameter.

Add a squirrel baffle above your hanging bird feeder for added squirrel protection.

Install in a suitable location that offers you easy viewing of the feeder without disturbing the activity of the attracted birds. Use the included top hanger to suspend the feeder on a bracket, pole, hook, etc. (not included). To fill the feeding tube, simply remove the top and fill with your chosen seed or seed mixture. Then replace the top.

TIP: For optimal year-round viewing, suspend the feeder near a water source, such as a birdbath or pond. The availability of both food and water in close proximity to each other will help attract greater bird activity than having feed and/or water alone in your backyard.

Cleaning Instructions: Clean thoroughly throughout the year with water and a mild soap. Rinse well and allow feeder to thoroughly air dry before seed is refilled.

12" overall dia x 12" high, GS-72749

Habita Flora Ceramic Oriole Feeder

* Attract orioles with a beautiful, orange-glazed ceramic feeder
* Holds a 32 oz of nectar and includes a decorative metal frame
* Nectar feeder has hand-painted feeding ports with perches
* Top-feeding style means no drips & lift-off decanter offers easy fills

Attract orioles and lend homespun elegance to gardens and feeding stations with the Habita Flora Ceramic Oriole Feeder. Beautiful, basin-style nectar feeder features antique-orange glaze, applied over bas-relief floral designs. Top-feeding style eliminates dripping, and removable decanter-style top ensures easy refills and cleaning. Hand-painted feeding ports have rough perches so orioles can rest while feeding. Glaze drips and irregularities add to the artisan character of the feeder and make each one unique. Lead and cadmium free. Holds 32 oz of nectar. 10" dia x 10" high (including hanging frame).

Cleaning Instructions
To prevent growth of mold and bacteria, clean your feeder every three days. Simply remove the decanter-style top and remove the old nectar solution and throw it out. Wash the feeder in hot water. Use a small brush, if needed, to remove sticky debris. The Perfect Little Birdfeeder Brush (#28460) is a great solution. Rinse with clean water, refill, and re-hang.

Nectar Solution
Combine 1 part white sugar to 4-6 parts water. Bring to slow boil for 2 minutes. Excess may be stored in refrigerator. Using more sugar than this can dehydrate birds. Cane sugar contains the same kind of sugar birds get from flower nectar, so it is the only sweetener recommended. Never use honey or artificial sweeteners. We do not recommend using dyes to color the solution. Do not allow solution to freeze inside feeder.

10" dia x 10" high, GS-75217

HummZinger Jewel Box Window Feeder

* Window-mount or deck-mount this versatile hummingbird feeder
* Clear polycarbonate construction gives an easy view of nectar levels
* Feeder is backed by the HummZinger lifetime guarantee

Mount this attractive hummingbird feeder on your favorite picture window or your deck for feeding variety. Polycarbonate construction is easy to clean and fill and is leak-proof and drip resistant. Holds 8 ounces of nectar and features three feeding ports and a bar-style perch to allow hummingbirds to rest while eating. Ant moat deters insect invasions. All HummZinger feeders include a lifetime guarantee. Includes suction cups and wood screws. Feeder measures 7-1/2" x 5-1/2" x 2" high.

Attach the suction cups to the window bracket with screws provided. Clean the window surface thoroughly. Position the Jewel Box bracket on a clean window and press firmly into place.

Installing deck mounting bracket
Use the provided longer wood screws and the clear deck mounting spacers to deck mount the bracket.

Install with or without optional ant-moat
The ant-moat creates a barrier to crawling insects attempting to reach the nectar. If you are not experiencing problems with crawling insects, it is not necessary to use the ant-moat.

To install without ant-moat: Fill the Jewel Box with nectar. Line up the slots on the Jewel Box with the tabs in the window bracket and slide into place.

To install with ant-moat: Line up the slots on the ant-moat with the tabs in the window bracket and slide into place. Fill the Jewel Box with nectar and simply drop into place onto the ant-moat. The ant-moat cradles the Jewel Box feeder.

Selecting a Feeder Location
With both window and deck mounting, it is preferable to select a location with trees or bushes nearby. Hummingbirds can be attracted to your backyard with just a little planning. The same four elements that attract most birds - food, water, shelter, and places to raise young will also attract hummingbirds.

Using dish soap and hot water, clean the ports with the Perfect Little Birdfeeder Brush (#28460). Rinse feeder thoroughly. Easy-fill cap removes so you can place feeder in the dishwasher for a thorough sterilization.

7-1/2" x 5-1/2" x 2" high, GS-70050
$24.99 $19.99

Sunflower Style Suet Feeder

* Brightly colored powder-coated suet feeder resembles a sunflower
* Attracts birds and provides a decorative accent to your garden
* Easy, lift-off top lets you load one suet cake

Sunflower-style suet feeder brings a touch of sunshine to your garden. Easy, lift-off top lets you load one suet cake inside the durable mesh cage. Replace top and hang by the included metal hanger and loop. Powder-coated finish resists the elements. Yellow. Measures 9-1/2" dia x 2-1/4" thick.

Many birds, especially cling feeders, enjoy a suet offering. With a suet feeder, you can expect a multitude of visitors, including chickadees, woodpeckers, warblers, titmice, kinglets, nuthatches, jays, wrens, and other birds. Since suet is a coveted item, it is eaten rapidly once birds discover it. You will need to refill often, especially in the winter. In summer, place in a shaded area.

Cleaning Instructions:
Use a mild soap and water solution to clean your sunflower-style feeder. For greasy debris, scrub delicately with a bottle brush. Be sure to rinse and dry the feeder completely before refilling and rehanging.

9-1/2" dia x 2-1/4" thick, GS-28430

Colibri Oriole Feeder

* Sculpted oranges attract orioles, mockingbirds, and other fruit eaters
* Use with instant nectar or create your own fruity concoction
* Gem-cut bottle holds a full pint and a half of liquid

The sculpted metal oranges which adorn the Colibri Oriole Feeder are like a dinner bell for hungry birds. Beautiful 24 oz. "gem-cut" glass reservoir bottle nests within a deep Forest Green decorative wire basket and chain. Screw-in, no-drip base. Three distinctive orange slice feeding ports and wire perches. Built for years of easy-care service. 7" x 14" high. Holds a full pint and a half of nectar.

7" x 14" high, GS-16518

Fat Ball Feeders

* Unique lantern-style suet ball feeder invites clinging wild birds to feed in your backyard
* Rustproof, powder-coat finish withstands the elements year after year of use

Beautiful lantern-style copper feeder presents a decorative way to offer suet balls. Unique design complements the style of many outdoor landscaping lights and looks lovely around a deck or patio. Rustproof, all-metal construction is powder-coated to complement your backyard and withstand years of use. Tight-fitting top prevents suet theft and allows for mess-free filling. Mountable Fat Ball Suet Feeder includes 1" dia x 45" pole and measures 6-1/2" dia x 13-1/2" high and holds four 4 oz Suet Balls.

Cleaning instructions: To clean your Fat Ball Suet Feeder, remove the roof and take out suet balls. Wash by hand in hot, soapy water using a mild detergent, or run the feeder in your dishwasher. Be sure to dry thoroughly before refilling.

Mountable, GS-35069
$29.99 $19.99

Red Antique Bottle Hummingbird Feeder

* Beautiful glass hummingbird feeder full of nostalgic charm
* Floral design of decorative feeding ports entice hummingbirds
* Ruby glass feeder features a raised-relief of a hummingbird in flight

Bring cottage charm to your feeding stations while extending hospitality to visiting hummingbirds. The Red Antique Bottle Hummingbird Feeder adds a nostalgic element to the cherished pastime of attracting and feeding hummingbirds. Antique glass bottle feeder features a raised-relief of a hummingbird in flight, sure to delight any hummingbird enthusiast.

Eye-catching red glass feeder welcomes hummingbirds to a delicious meal of fresh nectar. Top side of base boasts handsome, brushed copper construction with a rubbed bronze finish to add sophistication and timeless quality. Underside of base is made from heavy-duty plastic. Base unscrews easily for filling and cleaning. Four metal feeding ports with ornate floral embellishments add a decorative touch.

The Red Antique Bottle Hummingbird Feeder holds 16 ounces nectar and includes metal hanging hardware. Feeder measures 5-1/2" x 10-1/2" high. Hand wash.

Cleaning Instructions
Change the nectar once a week whether the feeder has been emptied or not. Nectar can spoil in as little as two to five days. When left in the feeder longer, it can ferment and cause birds to stop feeding. Clean using hot water and a bottle brush (#818426) to keep it fresh and clean.

Feeder Use and Feeding Suggestions

Filling your Feeder
Fill your feeder with a simple mixture of four parts water and one part white sugar. Boil to completely dissolve sugar. Do not use colored nectar, as the dye can be harmful to hummingbirds.

Feeder Location
Place your feeder near your windows for easy viewing. Shrubs and trees should be nearby for cover. Provide a birdbath or other source of water.

5-1/2" x 10-1/2" high, GS-74219

Enchantment Fly Through Feeder

* Incredibly detailed wild bird feeder adds charm and character to your backyard
* Painted wooden construction resists weather damage
* Oversized backyard accessory attracts a variety of backyard birds

This striking fly-through feeder will be the focus of your backyard garden. Oversized, gazebo-style feeder is roomy enough for a variety of backyard birds to feed at once and features solid wood finial and spindles, and wooden shingle roof. Makes a grand statement nestled in a flower garden or atop an outdoor table. Post mount. Holds 2 quarts of seed and measures 13-1/2" dia x 24" high.

Cleaning Instructions: To clean this feeder, empty out the remaining seed. Use a bottle or tube brush (#818426) to release dried and other organic debris. Wash the tray thoroughly with a mild nontoxic soap and water solution or, when needed, a mild bleach/water solution. Rinse the tray thoroughly with clean water. Best not to submerse the cedar frame; simply scrub dried-on debris and wipe with a damp cloth. Dry all parts thoroughly before refilling with seed.

13-1/2" dia x 24" high, GS-35456
$149.99 $99.99

Sun Wreath Seed Cake

* Intricate, celestial design birdfeeder made with all-natural wild bird seeds
* Completely edible, solid-seed construction
* Great gift idea for all bird lovers

A birdfeeder so intricate it's art. Elaborately detailed, completely edible celestial sun birdfeeder features a 3-dimentional sun face, sure to catch the eye of passers by. Solid-seed sun features a white millet face with red millet rays and black sunflower seed background to entice cardinals, nuthatches, finches, grosbeaks, redpolls, chickadees, jays, and more. Large, heavy-duty feeder will outlast multiple wild bird feeding sessions and inclement weather. Simply hang with included loop for an instant birdfeeder. Measures 9-1/4" x 9-1/4" x 1-1/2" thick; approx 4 lbs.

Ingredients: Red millet, white millet, sunflower seed.

9-1/4" x 9-1/4" x 1-1/2" thick, GS-26825

Botanical Feeder

* Antique-looking bird feeder adds rustic charm to your backyard
* Resin bird feeder looks and feels like real stone
* Copper painted hanging chain included

Enchanting wild bird feeder displays old world charm. Antique-looking holiday feeder is wrapped in a swirl of berry filled evergreens and seasonal foliage and is accented with aged copper painted perches, seed tray, and hanging chain. This heavy-duty feeder makes a lovely gift for the wild bird lover in your life. Durable resin feeder looks and feels like real stone. Holds 1-1/2 quarts of seed and measures 6-1/2" dia x 15" high.

Cleaning Instructions: To clean your Botanical Feeder, simply remove the lid and any remaining seed. Wash with mild soap and warm water. You may want to use a bottle brush (#818426) to remove any built-on messes. Be sure to rinse and dry the feeder tray before refilling.

6-1/2" dia x 15" high, GS-35467
$35.99 $19.79

Memikat Burung Colibri Tanpa Harus Ditangkap

Bagi Anda penggemar burung colibri tapi tidak ingin mengurung binatang indah itu dalam sangkar, kini ada cara untuk memikat burung tersebut. Burung itu akan tetap liar, bebas, di alamnya, namun tetap dapat kita nikmati kelincahannya di pekarangan rumah kita.

Jumat, 18 November 2011

Kenali dan Hindari Kicauan Kena Doping

Telah menjadi rahasia umum bahwa banyak kicauan yang masuk ke arena lomba dengan didoping terlebih dahulu. Mendoping burung ada yang menggunakan jenis-jenis obat/benda tertentu yang mengandung zat adiktif seperti halnya amfetamin, amobarbital, flunitrazepam, diahepam, bromazepam, fenobarbital, alkohol atau halusinogen. Atau, dulu sebelum jaman sabu-sabu populer, ada yang menggunakan beberapa bentuk meth dan kokain yang dikenal, misalnya, sebagai Crank, Speed, Bennies, Rock, Kristal, dan Crack.

Pada awal 1990-an, satu bentuk metamfetamin dikenal sebagai Kristal Meth atau Ice, dan di Indonesia sebagai sabu-sabu. Sabu-sabu dua sampai tiga kali “lebih manjur” daripada sebagian besar amfetamin lain. Sabu-sabu membangkitkan secara dramatis 'pasaran speed'. Dan inilah salah satu “doping” yang juga merambah dunia kicauan.

Efek dari penggunaan sabu-sabu untuk kicauan memang luar biasa (Btw, soal cara, dosis dan sebagainya, tidak etis dan ilegal kalau dibahas berkelanjutan). AM yang kena sabu misalnya, bisa teler 3-4 jam non stop kalau tidak diturunkan dan digubrak2 oleh majikannya. Hal ini tidak mengherankan karena manusia pengguna sabu-sabu saja mengaku sabu-sabu memberikan mereka lebih banyak tenaga dan kekuatan; membuat mereka tahan tidak tidur selama 24 hingga 48, bahkan 72 jam. Mereka menyatakan juga sabu-sabu membantu mereka berpikir lebih jelas, dan menjadi lebih lihai dan sebagainya dan sebagainya.

Kapan doping diberikan?

1. Burung yang didoping biasanya adalah burung yang akan dilombakan.
Orang Solo, saya tidak perlu menyebut nama dan alamat persis (karena sekarang yang bersangkutan juga sudah menjadi “TO” orang-orang kicauan yang menjadi korban) selalu mendoping burung-burungnya yang akan dilombakan. Awalnya memang hanya sedikit. Tetapi dari yang sedikit-itu, lama-lama dosisnya harus ditambah. Percaya tidak percaya, dia sampai memberikan satu butir pil ekstasi (saya tidak tanya jenis dan nama persisnya) ketika akan melombakan burungnya pada suatu ketika di masa lampau di Piala Kapolri (Semarang).

Kebetulan, burung yang dia doping dan dibawa ke lomba adakan dua AK. Satu AK-nya menyabet juara II dan saat itu laku dijual Rp 125 juta (ingat kan masa-masa keemasan AK?) Dan satu AK-lainnya, mati terkapar dengan paruh mengeluarkan buih sekitar 10 menit setelah dicekoki pil setan. Jenazah AK dengan harga beli Rp 20 juta itu lantas dibuang begitu saja di tempat sampah.

Saat itu terjadi dialog antara dia dengan jokinya dalam bahasa Jawa, yang Indonesianya kira-kira begini:
“Wah.... bos, AK-nya mati,” seru si joki.
“He? Yang mana?,” sahut si bos.
“Si... ,” jawab si joki menyebut nama AK itu.
“Wah dosisnya kebanyakan,” komentar si bos yang terdengar tanpa rasa sesal.
“Saya kan sudah bilang, itu tadi kebanyakan bos,” sesak si joki.
“Lha gimana lagi, kalau seperti ukuran lama sudah nggak mau kerja lagi kok,“ si bos membela diri.
“La gimana ini?”
“Ya buang saja. Nanti kalau AK yang satu mau kerja, dijual aja. Soalnya dosisnya juga sudah harus banyak,” kata si bos.
Dari dialog itu jelas-jelas tergambar bahwa AK yang didoping, makin hari harus semakin banyak takaran doping yang harus diberikan agar bisa “kerja” seperti sebelum-sebelumnya.

2. Burung yang akan dijual
Doping juga diberikan untuk burung yang akan dijual dan biar terlihat luar biasa ketika dipantau calon pembeli. Burung yang biasa tampil bagus, kadang-kadang banyak polah karena sedang birahi memuncak. Burung birahi memang bagus disebabkan oleh karena birahinya itulah burung gacor berkicau. Tetapi agar tidak banyak ulah dan langsung tokcer ketika mau dipantau calon pembeli dan akan segera ditransaksikan, ada penjual yang tega mendoping si burung.

Mengenali burung dopingan

1. Burung dopingan terlihat seperti burung sakit ketika pengaruh doping melemah. Bulu mekruk tidak rapi. Dalam kondisi yang belum terlalu sakaw dan masih kuat bunyi, dia biasanya mengeluarkan bunyi ciap, atau krek atau apalah yang sangat monoton tapi keras dan khas dengan interval 1-2 menitan.

Jika tidak “dibantu” oleh doping lagi, kondisinya benar-benar sakit dan benar2 terlihat seperti burung sakit yang megap-megap atau terengah-engah.
Efek pemberian doping untuk burung yang baru sekali-dua kali kena doping biasanya bertahan sampai 3-4 hari. Untuk burung yang terbiasa doping, 1-2 hari. Dan untuk “meningkatkan daya tahan” sampai 3-4 hari atau lebih, takaran doping ditambah.

2. Burung dopingan, meski terlihat sehat dan gacor, terlihat berair di kelopak mata bagian bawah.

3. Burung dopingan, meski terlihat sehat dan gacor, kaki atau sayap sering terlihat bergetar.

4. Burung dopingan, meski terlihat sehat dan gacor, tidak menunjukkan rasa tertarik akan datangnya burung lawan jenis.

Memulihkan burung dopingan

Kalau kebetulan Anda terjerumus dan telanjur membeli burung dopingan (kelihatan sakit tetapi tidak juga cepat mati dan tidak juga sembuh meski sudah diberi obat2an, entah itu antibiotik atau hanya sekadar vitamin/suplemen dsb) maka ya nasib....Mengapa?

Secara umum, burung yang sudah kena doping sulit untuk dipulihkan kembali karena doping sendiri sifatnya adiktif, membuat kecanduan dan membuat ketergantungan. Logikanya, kalau mau menyembuhkan ya diberi lagi doping dengan secara perlahan dikurangi dosisnya. Tetapi, darimana mendapatkannya? Alih-alih kondisi burung bisa pulih, Anda malah sudah ditangkap polisi karena membeli benda terlarang.

Kalau belum sedemikian parah kondisi ketergantungan si burung (mungkin hanya diberi sekali dua kali, meski dampaknya juga juga sudah sangat terlihat ketika tidak diberikan lagi, yakni burung terlihat sakit2-an) maka rawat saja seperti biasa dengan full-EF.

EF apa saja yang didoyani si burung. Kalau suka kroto, ya full kroto. Kalau suka jangkrik, ya full jangkrik. Jika masa itu bisa terlewati sampai masa ngurak dan mabung, maka ada kemungkinan burung Anda sudah terbebas dari ketergantungan obat.

Semoga bermanfaat. (Mohon koreksi atau masukan jika ada pendapat atau pengalaman yang berbeda)

Sumber: dan