“Data were obtained from a stratified random sample of veterinary practices throughout Great Britain, and questionnaires were sent to owners of dogs with tail injuries and owners of a randomly selected sample of dogs without tail injuries…. Two hundred and eighty-one tail injuries were recorded from a population of 138,212 dogs attending 52 participating practices….. Dogs with a wide angle of wag and dogs kept in kennels were at significantly higher risk of sustaining a tail injury. Dogs with docked tails were significantly less likely to sustain a tail injury.”
See the problem with the logic? One hundred percent of the "Dogs with docked tails...." were injured (ask your dog!); thus, they cannot be "...significantly less likely to sustain a tail injury."
The strange little bird (SLB) is undoubtedly a semi-leucastic house finch. The un-strange little bird is, indeed, a female house finch. The SLB has come to our feeders several times this afternoon. I seem to recall that, a couple of months ago, we had a female (or immature male) house finch that sported white patches on its cheeks. I suspect this is the same bird; but, I've no clue where it's been hiding, lately. I'm anxious to see if the SLB sticks around.
Aside: Evening-before-last, as our family were leaving the house, one female house finch (perhaps, even, the one in the photo?) flew down from the old nesting site near the ceiling of the front porch - into the house. It flew from perch-to-perch in the dining room and living room for about one minute. I turned off all of the interior lights and one of our guests enclosed the finch between her hands while it was perched on a wall sconce. It was happy to fly away, outdoors.
Addition of 1/2/2015:
This bit (below) isn't worth a separate posting; but, I just knew that my blog friends would wish to know. From Slashdot.org:
Posted by samzenpuson Friday January 02, 2015 @05:10AM from the how-dry-I-am dept.
An anonymous reader sends word of researchers getting zebra finches drunk for science. "In the latest example of strange science, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland got some finches drunk and watched what happened. Their main finding? Like drunk humans, boozed-up birds slur their 'speech.' For the study, the researchers gave grape juice to one group of zebra finches and an alcoholic juice cocktail to another group. The cocktail-quaffing finches became somewhat inebriated, with blood alcohol levels of 0.05 percent to 0.08 percent, according to NPR. 'At first we were thinking that they wouldn't drink on their own because, you know, a lot of animals just won't touch the stuff,' Christopher Olson, a researcher at the university, told NPR. 'But they seem to tolerate it pretty well and be somewhat willing to consume it.'"
Every few years, I take a sabbatical from posting. One is due, shortly. This notification is made so that my blog friends won't besiege Bogie with questions as to my health. Hunky Husband and I are in great health!
I failed to report that Hunky Husband spied a pair (male/female) of Eastern bluebirds several days ago. They were checking out our nesting box. I didn't get a photo of them, but here (a few days later) are a Harris' sparrow and Spike, "our" female Northern cardinal.
Starting in the wee hours of yesterday morning, light snow began to fall in our area. Off and on, all day, it fell. At dinner time (6:00pm), Hunky Husband went out to measure the amount of snow on the ground - 7". The official snowfall in Wichita, at Midcontinent Airport (about 10 miles NW of us), was 8.7". It continued to snow, fitfully, until about 10:00pm. With all of the snowfall, it stayed warm; but, then the cold air moved in. Today, our high temperature is supposed to be 8 or 9 degrees above zero, Fahrenheit - well above the below-zero temperatures seen elsewhere - with winds of 16G34. I've always said that, I don't mind the cold as long as I get some snow to go with it - snow for ice cream!
And, ice cream I've been having. Interestingly, each time I made a bowl of ice cream, yesterday, the top layer of snow was a different type. For breakfast: powder. For lunch: corn. For dinner: flat, sparkly. Before much snow had accumulated, I snapped some photos, a few of which are posted below.
The weather bureau has announced that our accumulation of snow is equivalent to approximately 0.54" of rain. Better than none!
Although our family does not celebrate a religious holiday in December (or in any other month!) we do, some years, have occasion to celebrate because out-of-state members of our families are able to take vacation during the Christmas-to-New Year's stretch. This was one of those years; thus, I've been (mostly) away from the keyboard. Here are some photos taken at our house during the past couple of weeks. Regrettably, although person-hours were spent finding the charger for my camera's battery (which is a whole story unto itself), we took nary a photo while everyone was here.
Here are the avian fauna - at the watering hole.
More avian fauna - stuffing their faces.
The one non-avian critter - scavenging under the bird feeders.
And, one human surveying the scene for other fauna.
The embedded video below was mentioned on the front page of The Wichita Eagle this morning. It particularly caught my eye because, for the last few years before I retired, one of the presenters, Paul Klusman, worked for me as an aircraft stress and fatigue engineer.