Friday, June 29, 2012

Apologies and Retractions: A Cormorant is not an Anhinga

Take a look at this bird. He is a Double-Crested Cormorant, a bird of great quality and uniqueness. He is many things to many people, but one thing that he is not is an Anhinga. The Amateurnithologist incorrectly identified this bird as an Anhinga to some friends while out-and-about and thus brought disgrace upon this entire endeavor and the profession of Amateurnithology as a whole.
The mistake was made by observing the bird's behaviors, which are similar to the aforementioned Anhinga. He swims low in the water and dries his wings in a similar way, to be exact. He is related to the Anhinga, but not closely enough to be in the same family. Anhingas have a much narrower head and beak, as well as an overall lighter, more colorful, and smaller body. Most damningly, however, Anhingas do not live in California, where this sighting was made. The Anhinga is native only to Florida, where the Amateurnithologist hails from. This serves as a (wholly inadequate) explanation as to how this mistake could have been made. We strive for greater quality than this at Bird Blog. You, dear readers, and the birds we catalog, deserve better. May we never speak of this again.
Double-Crested Cormorant
Oakland, California, USA
Cormorant Family
*true bird fact*~ He has exceptional longevity for a bird, living as long as 17 years in the wild (the average is a saddening 6 years).

Comfortable with his body, confidant. A bird to strive to be like
A great dancer, but kind of a show-off
Sometimes pretends he is a fish when he dives underwater

You may be wondering now what an Anhinga looks like, but this birdtographer has not taken a picture of one yet. It is our usual policy to only include original works on Amateurnithologist, but in the interest of improving understanding, we provide this stock photo.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bird Portraiture: American Crow

American Crow
Berkeley, California, USA (eating a raspberry)
Member of the Crows/Jays Family
 *true bird fact*~ Crows are smart. Really smart. Scientists seem to think that crows (and their Jay relatives) have imagination and can form opinions. They're hardly bird brains!

Highly developed sense of morality. Outraged often.
Likes riddles and brain teasers. Can do the Sunday New York Times Crossword.
Her favorite time of day is dusk.
A bit of a gourmet. Especially critical of chain restaurants and fast food

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Birdter Homes & Gardens: Father's Day Edition

Birds can make a home anywhere. Even though people have largely destroyed the planet, birds remain successful. One of the great secret skills of birds is their ability to find a place to live. Often these places are worth photographing and cataloging themselves, doubly so when you can actually see the birds who make them into homes. Thus, a new feature is born- Birdter Homes & Gardens (please let the Amateurnithologist know if that title is just 'too much')
Home Details
Description: A metal pipe, original purpose of which is unknown
Location: Fruitvale Avenue, Oakland, California, above a Peet's Coffee
Occupants: Seem likely to be a family of song sparrows. They are looking pretty big, so perhaps they are getting ready to fly soon.
This adult sparrow would fly back and worth every 2 or 3 minutes, collecting some kind of food and returning to feed it to the chicks. Given today's holiday, we imagine this sparrow as a dutiful dad, going out and working hard to feed his kids (this may actually not be a male sparrow).
We at Amateurnithologist appreciate your many sacrifices and efforts, Dads and Birds, and wish you a happy Father's Day. Look for more posts soon!