Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk
Berkeley, California, USA
Member of the Hawks, Kites, and Eagles Family
§A Lease of Hawks§

~true bird facts~ Life is hard for the Cooper's Hawk. They engage in an acrobatic type of flight-hunting that leads to numerous injuries and broken bones, males have to be worried about their partners eating them, and they kill their prey by crushing them with their talons (not with their beaks, like most birds of prey). Phew, what a day.

Has strong opinions and feels no need to back them up with 'research' or 'facts', things he views dismissively
Worries about the dark ways the world is changing
Has a predilection for making hawk puns
Really takes care of the people he loves

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Birds dot gif: Seagulls Sip

Gulls. Graceful, straightforward, with just a little bit of melancholy to them. Wonderful birds. And yet your amateurnithologist begins to feel a sense of dread whenever he tries to blog about them. They are, simply put, ridiculously difficult to ID correctly. For me, at least. Using this absurd flowchart (from a website published in the year 2000!) and google image search, I have come to the conclusion that today's Gulls are Western Gulls, which I've already written about, all the way back in blog post 3.

But what's this? It seems I identified that previous gull as a Pacific Gull. Pacific, Western.. synonymous really. Except one of them lives in Australia. Oops. Add to this embarrassment that the blog in question was already about how I had probably misidentified an earlier Gull and you have the makings of a real debacle (debirdcle?)

Call today's blog post a new beginning. I still don't feel like someone who can actually identify gulls, but that isn't going to stop me from posting them. Let's catch up with our old friend, The Western Gull, and see how he's doing.

Hard times have fallen on Western Gull's extended family and he recently has had a brother, his mother, and his brothers kids move in with him, making for a cramped and tense living situation. Somehow Western Gull is coping with the chaos. He likes the busy atmosphere and finds it harder to fall into a negative cycle with so many people around.

Oh.. and if you want to see the full video:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Black Phoebe

Black Phoebe
Roseville, California, USA
Member of the Flycatcher Family
§An Outfield of Flycatchers§

~true bird fact~  Males of the species will select a variety of nesting sites and show them to his paired female by hovering over them momentarily, one by one. She chooses the site and builds the nest, a bowl-shaped affair made of mud.

Spends a lot of time gazing wistfully out over water
Makes decisions that seem rash or sudden to friends, but he has thought it all through ahead of time
Has a poet's heart, but never writes anything down

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

White Ibis

White Ibis aka. American White Ibis
Lake Worth, Florida, USA
Member of the Ibis Family
§A Colony of Ibises§

~true bird fact~ According to Native American folklore, the Ibis is a symbol of both bravery and danger. He is the last bird to flee from a hurricane and the first to reappear after one.

~fascinating environmentalist digression~ An environmental toxin called methylmercury in increasingly building up in The Everglades, a traditional haven for White Ibises. Male ibises that ingest a large amount of this chemical display decreased interest in wooing females and tend to build nests with other male birds instead. Although actual survival rates of the bird don't seem to be impacted, this leads to obvious problems in population growth rates. That's sure a thing, huh?

Had many adventures in his life, but you'd never know if by looking at him
Appreciates quiet, mild pastimes
Loves his coffee. Actually a bit of a connoisseur in this one area
Is concerned about his legacy

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Common Raven

Common Raven
Mill Valley, California, USA
Member of the Crows and Jays Family
§An Unkindness of Ravens§

~true bird fact~ I've already gone on for quite some time on the intelligence of birds in the family Corvidae (crows and jays, as well as our raven friend here). Crows are considered to be some of the most intelligent and do things like recognize cause and effect, and engage in recreational play using sticks as 'toys'.

Extremely symbolic/ominous/portentous (further reading)
Will challenge you to games of logic and wit, which you will certainly lose
Enjoys serious pursuits. Doesn't understand frivolity
The messenger of the bird gods
Not so good at socializing with other birds