Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher
Santa Rosa, California, USA
December 2014
Member of the Kingfisher Family
§A Rattle of Kingfishers§

~true bird fact~ Let's talk nests. Kingfisher nests are actually long tunnels dug into the side of stream and riverbeds. They generally go in between one and eight feet deep and slope up slightly. Why? So that rainwater doesn't flood the nest, and so that it is protected in an air pocket in case the river floods. This bird has thought of everything! Furthermore, the nests make convenient homes for swallows, who will sometimes share the tunnel and dig little side rooms for themselves.

Squints into the wind looking serious
On a quest or journey of some kind, perhaps magical in nature, or she has to collect 7 artifacts or crystals
It turns out the journey is about life or growing up, although you wouldn't guess it at first

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk aka. Chickenhawk (join the club)
Tiburon, California, USA
May 2014
Member of the Kites, Eagles, and Hawks Family
§A Boil of Hawks§

~true bird fact~ The Red-tailed Hawk has probably the most recognizable voice of any bird. You'll know it the instant you hear it, and that's because it has such a quality of raptory-ness to it that it's been used as the stand in for the voice of all sorts of other cool birds of prey whose real voices don't live up to their image (esp. Bald Eagle). The sound of a Red-tailed hawk strongly connotes wilderness, so often if a director wants to make an audience really feel the remoteness or honesty or threat of a place, he will play a red-tailed hawk cry over a sweeping pan of the landscape. Pay attention to and you'll start to notice all the time! Here's an interesting Salon article about the phenomenon.

Pleased by her own cleverness. Most so when it results in a victory over someone else
Often feels alone, even when surrounded by friends
Travels for pleasure
Gets all silent and stoic when upset

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bird Relationship Status Update Bulletin

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is in the air for birds. Literally. Because they are birds..
Let's check in on some of our old bird friends and see how their love life is going. Because what else do you want to do on the most romantic day of the year other than e-stalk some birds?

Western Scrub Jay has suffered a bad break-up. He's sleeping little and is turning to food to get him through. He's not looking good. We all feel bad for him, but it's been a long time and he's still experiencing it very intensely. Time to toughen up, Scrub Jay.

Double-Crested Cormorant is young and in love. No one can tell these two what to do and they're on top of the world. We all hope that a tragic car accident or illness doesn't bring all that youthful optimism crashing down around them, but we can't say for sure that it won't happen.

After a long and traditional string of serial monogamy, American Robin is playing the field and taking things as they come. She is going on a lot of dates and just enjoying herself right now. She gets tired of it sometimes, but is also feeling more confident and strong than she ever has before in her life. She figures she'll find what she needs eventually.

Snowy Egret has a boyfriend. He sounds really great.. almost too great. Almost kind of like Snowy Egret is making up a boyfriend to tell her friends about. Why would Snowy Egret do this? Maybe she is tired of questions about her relationship status. Or maybe it's something else. In any case there is some suspicion but no one is willing to ask her about it. Maybe we'll thrown some kind of party that he will have to come to if he's real.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl aka. Tiger Owl aka. Hoot Owl
Point Reyes, California
December 2014
Member of the True Owl Family
§A Bazaar of Owls§

~true bird fact~ Let's talk food. Great Horned Owls have the most diverse diet of any North American bird of prey. They eat rats, rabbits, reptiles, raptors, and other things that don't even start with R. Yeah, you saw right, these things eat ospreys and other birds of prey. They kill using mostly constriction and their talons close with the strength of a much larger bird of prey, like a Golden Eagle. GHO's sometimes kill things that are too big to eat all at once, so they store the body someplace cold to keep the meat good, defrosting it when they need to with their own body heat. Crows hate these guys, mostly because they are death incarnate. You can tell from that picture up there that they desperately want to be able to kill humans.

Believes in superstitious or spiritual things.. 'magic', etc
Judges those who don't read harshly
Tramples enemies under foot [claw] without mercy