Friday, February 26, 2016

Japanese White-eye

Japanese White-eye aka. Mejiro (Japanese)
Koloa, Kauai, Hawai'i, USA
December 2015
Native of: Japan (obvs), much of East Asia
Member of the White-eyes Family
§A Circle of White-eyes§

~true bird fact~ A true study in the unforeseen consequences of introducing non-native species, the Japanese White-eye has been subject to much tampering by humans. A native of Japan, where is has cultural and artistic significance, it was introduced to Hawai'i in 1929 deliberately as a means to combat insects. Within 60 years, it was the most common bird on the Hawaiian islands, and was a major threat to native bird species (via carrying avian parasites) and native plant species (via spreading the seeds of non-native plants). Complicating things further, the White-eye may now be too important for the survival of native plants to ever really get rid of. I'm as happy to see the White-eye as anyone, I think it's a cool bird, but we really out to stop doing this stuff.

Struggles with small talk
Just wants to fit in, be 'one of the guys'
Early adopter of technology
Tends to fixate

Friday, February 19, 2016

Doves of Hawaii

Spotted Dove aka. Mountain Dove aka. Pearl-necked Dove aka. Lace-necked Dove aka. Terkurkur (Malay)
Ha'ena Beach Park, Kapaa, Kauai, Hawai'i, USA
December 2015
Native of: India and Southeast Asia
Member of the Dove and Pigeon Family
§A Bevy of Doves§

~true dove fact~ Doves are really distinct among birds in that they actually produce a kind of 'milk' for their chicks, rather than doing the whole partially-digested-food-regurgitation thing. When mating season arrives, both male and female doves have a special gland in their crop that engorges with it. They can feed their young off of this stuff, rather than having to go hunt or forage with chicks in the nest. This strategy means that doves only lay one or two eggs at a time, rather than a whole mess of em'. Evolutionarily, this seems to have worked out for doves.

Gets in a big huff over minor breaches of etiquette
Professorial. Or, more critically, a mansplainer
Loves whiskey, bacon, and tobacco, but not in a hipster kind of way
Friends with your boss

Zebra Dove aka. Barred Ground Dove
Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i, Hawai'i, USA
December 2015
Native of: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore
Member of the Dove and Pigeon Family
§A Dule of Doves§

~true bird fact~ Quite popular as a captive bird, they are considered to bring good luck to their home in their native Thailand. This may explain how they've spread to so many places, including Hawai'i. They are such a part of the cultural fabric in Thailand, that people bring out their doves for annual cooing competitions.

Scrappy, street-smart
Well prepared for disasters or misfortunes
A natural whiz at figuring out public transportation
Keen observer of human nature. Armchair psychologist

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bespoke Valentine's Day Bird .gifs

On this Valentine's Day, our gift to you, loyal readers, is the perfect way to tell your partner(s) or other loved ones that you care, with these handcrafted .gifs. If there's something that communicates the message of the holiday better than a moving image of a bird on the internet, I certainly don't know what it is, and my wife doesn't either! Just kidding, I got her a real gift. But you can choose to just send one of these, if you want to. I mean, there's certainly no law against it. Without further ado, our Valentine's E-Cards. Don't forget to name-drop my website when you send them, in order to kill the mood entirely.

A sly way to tell someone that you're interested in them, maybe as more than a friend. Consider this bird .gif the modern equivalent of putting one of those mini scooby doo valentines in your crush's lunchbox.

Perfect for the stay-at-home dad or mom. It's a full time job! Also applicable to young college dudes who would never change their bedsheets or do the dishes if it wasn't for their partner.

Assure your partner that there may be plenty of fish in the sea, but that you've found the one you're looking for with this bird .gif. Good if you've had a complicated past.

Great for the couple who is looking to take things to the next level. Imagine this image as a segue into saying those three magic words for the first time (the words are "I love birds")

For your girlfriend who is super awesome, and just hasn't found the right guy yet. Sometimes we all need a pep-talk when we're out there in the dating wastelands. Say it with this bird .gif, which perfectly simulates the online dating experience specifically, and really all dating in general. (If you need this for a male friend, send me an e-mail and I'll make one that say's 'dude, don't settle'. We're all about service here at amateurnithologist)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Saffron Finch

Saffron Finch aka. Yellow Finch aka. Pelzeln's Finch aka. canario de tejado (lit. Roof Canary) aka. canĂ¡rio da terra (lit. Native Canary)
Kahaluu Beach Park, Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i, USA
December 2015
Member of the Tanager Family
§A Trembling of Finches§ (so once again, are they finches or are they tanagers or are they canaries or what? I did my research, and the most recent information seems to suggest they're now categorized as tanagers, although they were once considered to be sparrows, and still often get called canaries or finches. If you think this is confusing, you should try reading these wikipedia pages)

~true, sad bird fact~ One of the all-too-many animals that humans make fight each other for entertainment. Saffron Finches were originally taken as pets for their pleasant song and appearance, but male finches become very territorial during mating season, leading garbage people to put them in a cage together to fight. Way to go, humans.

~another bird fact, to cheer you up~ Saffron Finches are polygamous, with males taking two (and only two) partners during nesting season.

does whatever she wants; she's a grown woman
shows a lot of swagger and self confidence in her physical movement
has lived through many hardships

boundless energy which is spent on a variety of projects and hobbies of varying levels of importance
laughs easily, enjoys life
not a good judge of the safety or sensibility of an idea. Tends to charge in head-first