Archive for January, 2011

Cooper's hawk

Last week a Cooper’s Hawk arrived in the Library of Congress. It was first spotted last Wednesday. This bird of prey may have flown in through a broken window in the dome of the Main Reading Room. The hawk likes to perch in the 160-foot-high dome, but at times swoops through the library, creating a lot of excitement. Attempts have been made to lure her down with live bait and frozen quail. She managed to successfully snatch the quail without being caught. But a week after her arrival, a three-member team from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia captured the hawk, using as bait a caged pair of starlings, named Frick and Frack. The hawk will be restored to health and then released into the wild.

A story like this creates a wonderful opportunity for teaching children about nature. Sharing this story is a great way to teach kids about hawks and other birds of prey. Ask your children, “Did you hear, there was a hawk in the Library of Congress?” The curiosity of childhood will take it from there. All kinds of questions will be asked, and together you can have lots of fun finding the answers. Below are some links that will get you started:

Library of Congress Blog

NPR Story of the Cooper’s


All About Birds

The Raptors

Birds of Prey Facts


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Friday Photo

snow, snow, snow

snow, snow, snow

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Barking Frog Farm would like to give a Shout Out to the Sierra Club and all the other agencies that helped convince the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to veto the water pollution permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers for the 2,300 acre Spruce No. 1 Mine project in West Virginia. This project would have been one of the largest mountaintop removal mines ever proposed in Appalachia.

1: Mountain-top removal mining

To learn more about this process and its environmental impact visit the links below:

What is Mountain Top Removal Mining?

Sierra Club

I love Mountains

Greenhouse Gorilla

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Friday Photo

sledding fast

sledding fast

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Stop littering in the ocean because it looks like a dump.Stop littering in the Pacific OceanPage 84 of the Girl Scout book Wow, World of Water sent quite a wave of alarm through my daughter’s Brownie Troop. On page 84 is a story about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  The story says that the world’s largest dump floats in the Pacific Ocean and contains more than 100 million tons of garbage, mostly plastics. The garbage patch occupies a large, calm region of ocean surrounded by prevailing currents that form the North Pacific Gyre. A gyre is any large system of rotating ocean currents. These circular currents draw in floating debris in the same way a whirlpool created by children swimming in a circle draws leaves and dirt into the center of a swimming pool.

The Brownies were upset by the idea of a floating dump “the size of Texas.” When they read that more than 1 million animals die each year because they become entangled in floating plastic or they mistake plastic for food and eat it, they were moved to action. I heard the question that has started many a movement for change: “What can we do to help?” The girls held an impromptu planning session and decided to make posters about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and ask the principal of their elementary school if they could hang them up in a hall at school. Change starts with a step. Just one small act can make a difference. Three hundred students pass those posters each day. If one child stops to read them and is moved to recycle one plastic bottle or to start using a reusable bottle, then one less bottle makes it into the ocean and perhaps one less animal dies.

stop littering

Let the Brownies and Barking Frog Farm know about the steps you are taking to make the planet a healthier place for all of us.


mother nature network

Definition of Ocean Gyre

Gorilla in the Greenhouse

Stop hurting the animals home.

Don't be a litter bug.Do Not Litter

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Friday Photo

ice and water

water and ice

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Shout Out

Honey bee (Apis mellifera)

Barking Frog Farm would like to give a Shout Out to the European countries that have banned the bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. These pesticides are commonly used to keep insects off corn crops. Dramatic recovery in bee populations have been seen in these countries since the ban took effect. The health and number of honey bees in Italy rebounded the very first year of the ban, according to The European Media Research Centre (EMRC)

Now it’s time for the United States to do the same. The EPA needs to ban these pesticides in our country. To learn more, visit the links below. To sign a petition calling for a US ban on these pesticides visit Avaaaz.org.

U.S. EPA about Pesticides

Institute of Science in Society

Avaaz.org The World in Action

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