October 7 , 2008
Volume VI, No. 12
Early Registration Deadline Extended!
The deadline for taking advantage of the Early-Bird registration discounts has been extended through October 17, 2008. Registrations qualifying for the extended Early-Bird pricing must be received (not postmarked) prior to the new deadline.
The extension of the Early-Bird prices also applies to wet lab registrations received prior to the new deadline. As of today, there are still slots available for all wet labs.
All registrations received after October 17 will be required to pay the late fee (no exceptions).
A full schedule and program description are available in the Convention Prospectus. Additional information (including hotel information) is also available on the ISVMA website. Remember to ask for the ISVMA room block discount when making your reservations!
Review the convention program with your staff and remember to register soon! The ISVMA has a convenient online registration form designed to make your registration quick and simple!
Woman Brings Rabid Bat to School
Great Falls Tribune (Mont.)
(STEVENSVILLE) - A parent brought a dead bat to Stevensville Elementary School earlier this week, and school officials are encouraging any children who touched the bat to get a series of rabies shots. Read more...
Story courtesy of the AVMA.
Kids Want a Hamster? Ask Your Doctor First
Pediatricians Warn About Health Risks from Unusual Pets
CHICAGO - Warning: young children should not keep hedgehogs as pets — or hamsters, baby chicks, lizards and turtles, for that matter — because of risks for disease. Read more...
Convention Proceedings Available Online
If you are a registrant for the 2008 ISVMA Annual Convention you will receive a copy of the Convention Proceedings on CD-ROM in your onsite registration materials. Some members chose to purchase a printed copy with their registration and they will be able to pick them up on-site at the Convention.
If you have broadband Internet access, you can download a copy of the Convention Proceedings from the ISVMA website. It is a 30MB file, so downloading is not recommended for people with dial-up access.
You can read through the Proceedings online and print the pages that you wish. The entire document is 571 pages, so if you wish to have a complete copy, it would likely be more efficient for you to order a printed copy from ISVMA for $30 (plus $11 shipping).
If you wish to access the online copy, you will need a username/password that is only available to convention registrants. If you would like to have the username/password, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Availability of Hotel Sleeping Rooms for ISVMA Annual Convention
If you waited too long, you may have discovered that the block of sleeping rooms reserved at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center Hotel is oversold. The hotel had a limited number of rooms available for an additional $20/night. In case those rooms also sell out, the ISVMA has arranged for discounted room blocks with the following hotels located close to convention:
If you really wish to stay at the Westin, we suggest that you call back a few days before convention to request any rooms that are cancelled and returned to the ISVMA block. There are typically several rooms that become available in the last few days before a big meeting.
About the Photo
The Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla) is a fairly common, medium-sized sparrow. It breeds from northern North Dakota, central Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and central New England south to Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, central Texas, and western Colorado. It spends winters south to the Gulf of Mexico and northeastern Mexico. It prefers abandoned fields and pastures overgrown with weeds, scattered bushes, and small saplings. The species is declining throughout its range.
This sparrow is probably best recognized for its unique song. It consists of a series of clear whistled notes that increase in rate at the end. If you hear the song, its rhythm sounds almost like a ping-pong ball bouncing on a table. The male Field Sparrow starts singing as soon as he gets back in the spring. He sings vigorously until he finds a mate, but after that he sings only occasionally.
Although the plumage of a Field Sparrow is neither remarkable nor especially beautiful, it is distinctive. The bird has a rufous back with dark streaks, and an unstreaked, buffy breast. It has a gray head, rufous cap, and white eye-ring. The bill, legs and feet are pink and its rump is gray-brown.
Field Sparrows forage on the ground or in low shrubbery. They can be seen flying to the top of grass stalks, letting its weight carry the stems to the ground, and then begin removing the seeds to eat. They typically have short flights and alternate rapid wing beats with brief periods of pulling their wings to the sides. When frightened, the Field Sparrow does not usually retreat to the cover of foliage like most birds. Rather, it flies to an exposed position on top of bush or low tree to keep an eye on the source of danger.
If a male Field Sparrow survives the winter, it usually returns to breed in the same territory each year. The female is less likely to return to the same territory, and young sparrows only rarely return the next year to where they were born.
I photographed this Field Sparrow near Rochester, IL in the spring of 2005.
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