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Birding and Conservation Organizations in Tucson

Birding and Conservation Organizations in Tucson By Jon Friedman Introduction Last month’s newsletter article about the uncertain future facing birds and the three previous serial articles about the demise of the Passenger Pigeon may have led readers to question why I wrote about extinction of species and the loss of important habitat for local birds. These are not easy subjects to consider in light of the fact that birding is usually associated with being a positive, uplifting, and enjoyable way to learn, understand and be involved in the natural world. We live in a world today where, it seems, birding...

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Feathers Part One

Feathers- Part One By Jon Friedman Introduction Of all living organisms on the planet, only birds have feathers. This is an interesting and amazing fact. Feathers have many uses and perform various functions, come in many forms and colors, and are absolutely necessary in order for birds to not only survive, but thrive! Feathers are essential for almost all aspects of bird life. From birth to death, feathers define the bird and allows for a successful life. Feathers are so important in bird life that nearly all species spend a major portion of their daily waking hours engaged in cleaning...

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Feathers Part 2 - The Plume Trade

Feathers: Part Two- The Plume Trade By Jon Friedman Introduction Part one, published in the January 2016 issue of this newsletter, focused primarily on providing scientific information about feathers. What are feathers? What are they made of and how are they constructed? How do birds use them and what features are unique to feathers? What does the fossilized record inform us about the origins of feathers? These were some of the types of topics I focused on in the introductory article. In this article I focus on the historical, social, financial and political aspects of feathers that come together well,...

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Growing a Local Business

Growing a Business Starting Local, Being Local and Remaining Local By Jon Friedman When Shani and I began this business, over 25 years ago, we envisioned a small “mom and pop” retail start-up that could be successful in providing products and services to a growing and enthusiastic birding audience. After all, Tucson and this entire southeastern corner of the state were already well-known as a destination point for birders from throughout the continent. And, as in our case, we were aware that many local birders who enjoyed attracting and feeding birds in their backyards had great difficulty finding the types...

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Notes About Bird Food

Notes about Bird Feed by Jon Friedman IntroductionMany books and articles have been written about attracting and feeding backyard birds. Most of these address their subjects in the generic sense, as if we all live in the same region and share similar habitat and, even, have the same bird species visit all our yards equally. I believe that the “rules” that these books and articles stress should just be considered basic beginning guidelines, at best. I suggest to customers that experimentation is encouraged, once the basics are understood. Every yard can offer different arrangements of habitat, feeders and foods. Even...

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