Posts Tagged ‘iloveinnns.com’

 Imagine waking up to Oprah serving you breakfast in Hawaii when she retires! The TV talk show host — whose The Oprah Winfrey Show is in its last season — is renovating a 12-bedroom inn on the island of Maui to become a “low-key, rustic retreat.” Several online tabloids have announced this and unfortunately Oprah hasn’t returned any of my calls so I can not confirm the story. But you can go to this website: http://www.showbizspy.com/article/213445/oprah-winfrey-to-open-bed-and-breakfast.html or maybe you have someone on the inside who will verify the story and can share with us.

 From Showbizspy.com

 OPRAH Winfrey is reportedly planning to build her own bed and breakfast in Hawaii!

 The TV talk show host — whose The Oprah Winfrey Show is in its last season — is renovating a 12-bedroom inn on the island of Maui that will be low-key, rustic retreat.

 “Oprah’s planning on having a high-end bed and breakfast for her friends and wealthy customers who like the quiet of the Mai countryside ,” a source told American tabloid the National Enquirer.

“It will be a place for people to rest and reflect.

 “Oprah plans to personally play hostess on the ranch when she is on the island.”


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Enjoy the original Jellybath at Songbird Prairie: a truly unique spa experience. Jellybath turns water into luxurious encasing comfort providing the ultimate relief for stress and aching muscles. Experience a Jellybath which is a virtual blanket with aroma therapeutic benefits. Jellybath exfoliates with vitamin c, black tea and reduces swelling and pulls out toxins. Enjoy a bath with Jellybath which retains its heat up to four times longer than water! 45 minute bath and 30 minute massage for $125.00 then enjoy a 30 minute relaxation with hot tea, neck wrap in a warm cozy robe. Bath only without massage $99.00 www.songbirdprairie.com

219/759/4274  or 877/766/4273

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Nicknamed “wild canary”, the American Goldfinch is a prized visitor at Songbird Prairie. This little finch is welcome and common at our feeders, where it eats primarily sunflower and nyjer.   At Songbird Prairie, they also cover the salvia along our walkway to the Inn.  They love to drink and bathe in our shallow birdbaths and are attracted to the watercourse that runs through this Indiana Dunes Bed & Breakfast’s woodlands.  The American Goldfinch is a frequent visitor to our feeders and you would be assured to spot these vibrant yellow birds and hear their twittering call on your visit! 

In nature, the goldfinch feeds primarily during the day on seeds of grasses and trees. They may occasionally feed on insects and berries. They frequently visit backyard feeders – particularly those filled with thistle seed.

Size and Color: 
A small bird, the American Goldfinch is generally between 4″-5″. The male is a vibrant yellow in the summer and an olive color during the winter months. The female is a dull yellow-brown shade which brightens only slightly during the summer. The brightly colored plumage of the male is to impress the female during the breeding season and attract a mate.

A long, twittering “per-chic-o-ree” or “po-ta-to chip.” The American Goldfinch is known for singing in flight, which adds to their cheerful, “wave-like” flight pattern.

These are active and acrobatic little finches that cling to weeds and seed socks, and sometimes mill about in large numbers at feeders or on the ground beneath them. Goldfinches fly with a bouncy, undulating pattern and often call in flight, drawing attention to themselves.

The goldfinch’s main natural habitats are weedy fields and floodplains, where plants such as thistles and asters are common. They’re also found in cultivated areas, roadsides, orchards, and backyards. American Goldfinches can be found at feeders any time of year, but most abundantly during winter

Backyard Tips: 
To encourage goldfinches into your yard, plant native thistles and other composite plants, as well as native milkweed. Almost any kind of bird feeder may attract American Goldfinches, including hopper, platform, and hanging feeders, and these birds don’t mind feeders that sway in the wind. You’ll also find American Goldfinches are happy to feed on the ground below feeders, eating spilled seeds.

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How hummingbirds



It’s all in the tail

Patricia Yollin, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, February 8, 2008

Chris Clark and Teresa Feo walk out on the Albany bulb as... How do those hummingbirds make that sound? Chronicle grap... An Anna's hummingbird perches on a bush at the Albany Bul... Teresa Feo (left) and Christopher Clark observe hummingbi...
Christopher Clark went to Strawberry Canyon in Berkeley and got a bad case of poison oak. Then he tried a shoreline park in Albany, where his camera was stolen and sopping-wet dogs covered his field notes with muddy paw prints.
Those were a few of the hurdles that Clark and colleague Teresa Feo overcame to produce a paper, just published in a prestigious British journal, exploring the physics of how birds make sound.


The title of their UC Berkeley study sums it up: “The Anna’s hummingbird chirps with its tail: a new mechanism of sonation in birds.”

Clark and Feo filmed the birds’ plunges and recorded the sound they made at the end of their roughly 50 mph descent from a height of 100 feet or more. High-speed video, at 500 frames per second, showed that the birds started their dives with their tails shut and suddenly spread them at the bottom, for one-twentieth of a second – quicker than a blinking eye.

“Now we have a greater understanding of what’s actually going on in really sophisticated behavior by one of our residents,” said Robert Dudley, a professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley. “It’s a pretty amazing sort of experiment. It took a lot of initiative, and they put in a huge amount of field time.”

Clark and Feo concluded that the squeaks and beeps made by the dive-bombing birds are not vocal – as some research has asserted – but instead are created by their tail feathers.

“I found it really interesting just because these birds were basically doing mechanical sounds,” said Feo, 22, who played clarinet in the Cal Band for four years. “It sort of speaks to the musician in me.”

Clark, who is finishing his Ph.D. in the department of integrative biology, began the project more than three years ago. He eventually acquired a collaborator in Feo, who graduated in May and is working at Cal’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. They had to obtain an array of permits from agencies ranging from the state Department of Fish & Game to the university’s Animal Care and Use Committee, which ensures that experiments are done ethically.

In the course of the research, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Clark and Feo encountered many visitors to the Albany Bulb, a former dump that is part of Eastshore State Park.

“We had a lot of people ask what we were doing,” said the 28-year-old Clark, who also met up with any number of curious canines.

Before acquiring a car, he and Feo would take a bus to the Albany Bulb, hauling a duffel bag that held a stuffed hummingbird mounted on a stick and a cage they had made from netting and tent poles.

During the November-to-May breeding season, the Cal students devoted up to four hours at a time, two or three days a week, on the male Anna’s hummingbird – a magenta-splashed creature that looks like something you’d see in New Orleans during Mardi Gras or in San Francisco’s Castro district on Halloween.

Clark and Feo, aided over time by a dozen research assistants, lured the birds into traps, banded them and plucked or trimmed one of their tail feathers, which grow back after about five weeks and are not needed for flight. Then they captured their dives with audio and video equipment.

“It’s a great example of aerial acrobatics,” said Dudley, who is Clark’s graduate adviser. “And what’s really interesting is not only the mechanism of the chirp but also the timing. Everything is so beautifully synchronized. The males are using it to advertise to females.”

He said it’s an occasion where sound, color and movement come together.

“Everyone in the Bay Area can see this in our natural areas and parks,” Dudley said. “We see this on campus, remarkably enough.”

Clark said that people have known birds make sounds with their feathers since before the time of Charles Darwin, who wrote about it in his 1871 book, “The Descent of Man.” However, the physics of how non-vocal sounds are created hasn’t received much attention until recently, he said.

“The first year, I got basically no data,” Clark said. “I was figuring out how to do it.”

After he contracted poison oak in the thick brush of Strawberry Canyon, he relocated to the Albany Bulb because the trees and bushes are short, the birds perch at eye level, and they stand out against the blue sky, making them easier to photograph.

“There were other issues with the Bulb,” said Clark, recalling how he fell flat on his face chasing someone who had purloined his camera. It was all recorded.

“You can hear the crash of me hitting the bush,” said the researcher, who succeeded in catching the thief.

Clark and Feo employed dead birds from the Lindsay Museum in Walnut Creek and live caged birds to lure the male Anna’s hummingbird. The work was slowed by wind, rain and avian confusion.

“A big part of the project was sitting and waiting,” Clark said. “There were short moments when it was exciting.”

The researchers relied on several cameras, including a $50,000 model. They produced sounds from the feathers they’d collected by placing them in front of a jet of air or inside a wind tunnel. They decided, after painstakingly analyzing the male bird’s tail feathers – 10 total, five on each side – that the chirping sound comes from the fluttering of part of the inside edge of the outer feathers.

Clark, a bird-watcher since high school, said he likes to work with hummingbirds because they are common and easy to catch.

“If I didn’t study birds, I’d probably study something else that flies,” he said. “Flight fascinates me. I’m jealous – I wish I could fly.”

Local ornithologists and bird-watchers have long debated the source of the sound made by the diving male Anna’s hummingbird.

In the 1940s, a UC Berkeley graduate student stated in a published paper that he could produce sound by attaching one of the creature’s feathers to a strip of bamboo and whipping it through the air. However, a 1979 paper by the curator of birds at the California Academy of Sciences declared that the sound was vocal. Almost 30 years later, Clark and Feo have countered that argument.

“They’re fascinating little creatures,” Clark said. “And even though the landscape at the Albany Bulb seems kind of devastated, there’s interesting research to do in your own backyard.”

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Cinco de Mayo Special: 05/05 saves you $55!  

Offer Valid:  05/03/2010 – 05/06/2010

Savings: Save $55 on your second night 

We’re playing with the number “5” to give you a $55 saving for Cinco de Mayo – 5th day of the 5th month. Book any guestroom for a two-night stay that includes , Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, May 3-6. Pay regular rate for your first night, and take $55 off your rate for the second night. This represents up to a 35 percent discount on your second night! Stay three nights and apply the $55 discount to your third night, too. You MUST mention this special at the time you make your reservation to be eligible. Cannot be used with any other offer. 877-766-4273 www.songbirdprairie.com

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En route, I listened to some of my favorite songbirds singing passionately to attract mates.  Scarlet tanagers belting out their rough, two-syllable “chip-burr” notes, and rose-breasted grosbeaks singing sweetly like robins that had taken voice lessons.  Black-throated green warblers sang a melodious five-syllable phrase that Beethoven would have copied, had he ever had the fortune to walk in an American forest.  The chorus of yellow warblers, redstarts, towhees, veeries and the incomparably beautiful and flute-like wood thrushes produced the music fitting an entry to a magical setting.  And so I entered chest-deep into my favorite pool as a yellow throat flittered out of the bushes to grab a mayfly.

     I took the shortcut, an overgrown trail now used only by deer.  Along the way, like a royal carpet welcoming me, were star flowers, bluet, gay wings, bird’s-foot violets, jack-in-the-pulpits, azaleas, geraniums and lilies of the valley.  I realized, as I paused to enjoy fully the spectacle of these wild and temporal beauties, that I was no longer in a rush to pass them by as I used to be many years back.

Tags: Best in the Midwest, Indiana Bed and Breakfast, Bed and Breakfast Indiana, Award winning Bed and Breakfast,, , , , , , , , ,
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Purple martins make annual return to Dallas-Fort Worth


06:36 AM CST on Tuesday, March 3, 2009


By BRANDON FORMBY / The Dallas Morning News

Kenny Crawford’s annual guests showed up a few weeks early this year. But, as usual, the Grand Prairie man already had their rooms ready.

“I love the purple martins,” he said. “I love their song. And they’re so purple, they’re black.”

The insect-devouring songbirds – famed and at times controversial – are leaving their winter home in Brazil and returning to North Texas backyards, parks and neighborhoods. They hang out in North Texas for a few months and then gather in roosts before their return to South America in late July. And that is when their massive numbers and the massive amount of their droppings can be a nuisance.

Despite the downside, Lewisville is claiming credit as the home of the largest known purple martin roost in North Texas. City officials say Lewisville deserves the crown and they are wearing it proudly.

A shopping center near Main Street and Civic Circle in the Denton County suburb serves as the roosting area for about 50,000 purple martins each summer. The sight of so many birds, famous for acrobatic flying, draws hundreds of North Texans to the spot each year.

“They are just something amazing to watch,” Lewisville city spokesman James Kunke said. “They swoop and swirl and do the big spirals and the big curves. You’re not going to usually mistake them for other birds.”

On Thursday, city parks and leisure employees erected three purple martin houses near the Fred Herring Recreation Center. Each one contains about a dozen nesting units.

“More and more people are becoming aware of the martins in Lewisville,” city parks and leisure services director Bob Monaghan said. “So we’re trying to do more for the birds. They’re probably the most sought-after bird in America.”

And they’re about to become even more visible in Lewisville.

The city set aside more than $49,000 three years ago for a rebranding campaign to develop a new logo. Kunke said research and parallels between the bird and Lewisville residents led to a logo that prominently features the purple martin.

“A lot of people grow up here, move away and then move back to raise their kids,” he said, likening the cycle to the bird’s migration patterns.

“Lewisville residents like outdoor, environmentally friendly activities,” he added. “There’s so many connections we found with this bird. Gradually, this icon developed as a very positive image.”


Purple martins typically start showing up in North Texas in late February. They stay until about late August before heading back south for the winter.

Colorful creatures: Purple martins are known for their distinctive deep purple and blue feathers. Many people find their singing intoxicating.

Aerial artists: The birds are also famous for their speed and agility in the air. They do almost everything from mate to eat while in flight.

Diet: They’re also loved for their food choices because they feast primarily on insects.

It takes a village: While a mother and father typically raise the young, purple martin families often live in groups or colonies.

Roosts: The birds will gather in large roosts weeks before their migration back to South America. Lewisville officials estimate that a roost there usually includes 50,000 birds, though some estimate past roosts at 100,000 birds.

www.songbirdprairie.com 877-766-4273

indiana bed and breakfast

Chicago Romantic Getaway

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