April 3, 2008
Volume V, No. 20
IMPORTANT: Veterinary Workforce Grant Program at Risk
Please read the following letter from Dr. Gregory Hammer, AVMA President and help preserve this important component of the federal Farm Bill.
Large Animal Survey
Many veterinarians recently received a survey and letter from Jacob Pruemer, a 3rd Year student at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois. Jacob is trying to gather information on the veterinary profession as it relates to Ag Safety and Health.
If you have received a copy of the survey, your participation would be greatly appreciated. The results of the survey will be shared with ISVMA members.
ISVMA Spring Seminar Series - Register Now!
You should have received (or will receive soon) a mailing from ISVMA with information and a registration form for the 2008 ISVMA Spring Seminar Series. Please give serious consideration to participating in this program. With support from IDEXX Laboratories, we have hired two outstanding speakers to provide updated and critical information on the following topics:
The 2008 ISVMA Spring Seminar Series will be offered in the following locations:
*The 2008 ISVMA Spring Seminar Series is generously sponsored by:
Dr. Shelly Rubin on Today's Oprah Show
Dr. Shelly Rubin, ISVMA President-Elect, will be on the Oprah Show this afternoon. The show will report on puppy mills and Dr. Rubin's contribution to the show is the discussion of the benefits of spay/neutering. There will be a short segment in which Dr. Rubin follows his client through the procedure from beginning to end.
Set your DVRs!
About the Photo
Spring is coming!
The Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) is a local harbinger of spring. It is (as of now) considered a member of the wood warbler family. However, its species placement is not definitely resolved. It has for a long time been considered the largest of the wood-warblers; genetic data suggest that it is not a warbler at all. It is the only member of the genus Icteria.
Adult chats have a bright yellow throat and breast, olive-greenback, white eye rings and white whisker stripes. The bill is stout, large, curved and usually solid black. The lores (the area between the bill and the eye) are black in males and gray in females; otherwise, the sexes are similar in appearance.
The Yellow-breasted Chat ranges from southern Canada and British Columbia east to southern New Hampshire and south to northern Florida, the Gulf Coast and Baja, California. The species winters from southern Texas and central Mexico south through the Yucatan to western Panama. Yellow-breasted Chats are declining in eastern North America due to habitat loss, which is caused primarily from deforestation and urban development. This species is particularly vulnerable to brood parasitism from Brown-headed Cowbirds that have taken advantage of the fragmentation of Eastern forests to expand their range in the last century. It is a summer resident (breeder) in Southern Illinois and its status is decreasing northward in state.
The breeding habitats of this species are dense, brushy areas and hedgerows. The nests of Yellow-breasted Chats are cup-shaped, and are placed in thick shrubs. They eat insects and berries, and will forage in dense vegetation, occasionally gripping food with their feet.
The song of this bird is an odd, variable mixture of cackles, clucks, whistles and hoots. Their calls are harsh chack's. Unlike most warblers, this species has been known to mimic the calls of other birds. This bird is somewhat secretive, but will usually sing from exposed locations.
Despite its bright yellow chest, loud song, and conspicuous display flights, the Yellow-breasted Chat is easily overlooked because of its skulking nature and the denseness of its brushy haunts.
I photographed this Yellow-breasted Chat in east-central Illinois in the summer of 2005.
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