Friday, May 26, 2017

7 Music Video Bird .gifs to Brighten your Day

Since the dawn of time they have inspired art. Birds, the land-animals of the sky. Paintings, poetry, literature, even great film. But you know, there are also a lot of songs out there about birds, and some of those songs even have music videos, and some of those music videos even have birds. In fact, birds are so great, that some music videos just have birds in them for seemingly no reason. So obviously I had to make some .gifs.

Aaliyah, Are You That Somebody (1998)

Bird Type: Hawk (hard to tell from the shots what type, my guess is Red-tailed)
Bird Justification: Aaliyah wants the "Boy" of the song to know that she is "watching (him) like a hawk in the sky". Not a tremendous justification given that the hawk is in kind of a lot of the video.
Use this .gif: When you want him not to speak (you know that would be weak)

Prince, When Doves Cry (1984)
Bird Type: Release Dove (a white domestic subspecies of the common Rock Dove aka. Pigeon)
Bird Justification: The song is called "When Doves Cry", but honestly it's not really clear what that means. There are only a scant few dove moments in the video, but they're all very good.
Use this .gif: As inspiration for your extremely obscure 80's music video-themed costume party

Drake, Take Care (2012)
Bird Type: Blue Jay
Bird Justification: The video uses a variety of animals in motion in ways that are reminiscent of the ways the human animals in the video move. Furthermore, the Blue Jay is the mascot of Drake's home town of Toronto's MLB team.
Use this .gif: with the hashtag #relationshipgoals

KMD, Peachfuzz (1991)
Bird Type: Rock Dove aka. Pigeon
Bird Justification: Lev Love X declares in the opening verse of the song that you should "..use your imagination, just a smidgen/if I was a bird I'd be a pigeon", at which point the music video does a fade out to a really tight shot of a pigeon. As a bonus, he moments later declares that he likes to "eat fresh fish like a pelican". In the larger context of the song, he seems to be trying to convince some fly girls that he's old enough to date despite his young appearance.
Use this .gif: to demonstrate a high level of maturity

Nelly Furtado, I'm Like a Bird (2000)
Bird Type: Digital, generic (although earlier in the video she appears to hand feed what really appears to be a white-headed black bulbul, which is so insane that I don't even know what to think)
Bird Context: Whole song
Use this .gif: moments of triumph, elation

Kylie Minogue, All the Lovers (2010)
Bird Type: That dang Release Dove again, clearly the most popular music video bird
Bird Context: virtually none. They appear throughout the song as some kind of visual theme
Use this .gif: Ok, I might be totally off base here, but based on the music video, I feel like this dove is kind of an orgasm metaphor (sorry to be blue, this is usually a family blog)

Katy Perry, Roar (2013)
Bird Type: Blue and Gold Macaw
Bird Context: The music video's concept is that Katy is going to find her inner strength to tame a tiger in this jungle. During this time she sings at many animals, one of which is this lovely Macaw.
Use this .gif: When you've got a friend crush and they're not as enthusiastic as you to hang out and stuff, but you're sure you'll wear them down with your persistence

Thursday, May 18, 2017

White-cheeked Pintail

White-cheeked Pintail aka. Bahama Pintail aka. Bahama Duck aka. Summer Duck 
Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, The Bahamas
April 2017
Member of the Duck, Goose, and Swan Family
§A Brace of Ducks§

~true bird fact~ Something about these ducks must make them especially suited to the island lifestyle, since in addition to being spread throughout the Caribbean, they are also native to the Galapagos Islands. They are the only native duck there.

Soft-spoken to the point where it's a little weird. Is it an affectation?
Prefers an unconventional work schedule
Will take a sip of your drink without even thinking about it
Can party, sure, but prefers to have some alone time

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Recently the staff of Amateurnithologist was walking in the desert, like you do, hoping for the unlikely Sage Grouse or Roadrunner siting, but really just going for a hike. We had reached the trail entrance, having completed the loop, and we heard a harsh and very threatening buzzing noise coming from right beside us. It's a noise I don't hear often, but it's unmistakable, both in its source and its message. It was a rattlesnake, and it was telling us to get out, which we did (but not before I snapped a picture). An experience that was a bit scary and a bit cool, but not much more, at the time.

A few days later an extremely large lizard walked right into my house through my open back door. This is something that has never happened before. We regarded each other for a moment, me on the couch, the lizard on the floor, and then he ran under my stove. I've been unable to escort him out of the house, I assume he's around here somewhere.

These experiences, though, got me thinking- why are reptiles so aggro towards me at the moment? And then the light bulb went off- of course! They've jealous that all my animal-related attention has thus far gone to birds. Well no more, reptile friends, you're on the blog now. So no need to, like, attack me any further. Let's kick things off right with a few cool reptos I've seen lately (I call them 'reptos' for short, that's how cool I am with them).

Green Iguana aka. American Iguana 
Esplanade Park, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA
April 2017
Member of the Iguana Family
§A Mess of Iguanas§ (not so sure about this one)

~true repto fact~ Have been used as a common food source in Central or South America for over 7000 years. Nicknamed 'bamboo chicken' or 'chicken of the trees' for their reportedly chicken-like flavor. Actually endangered in some places due to over-hunting.


Northern Curly-tailed Lizard
Fort Fincastle, New Providence, Nassau, The Bahamas
April 2017
Member of the Curly-tailed Lizard Family
The internet presents the venery term for a group of lizards as a 'lounge', but I absolutely refuse. There is §no real name for lizards§

~true repto fact~ Introduced on purpose to South Florida in the 1940's to eat sugarcane pests. They went kinda nuts from there and are now everywhere in South Florida. This explains why I never saw them as a kid, but now see them all over the place when I'm down there.

Appreciates good food

Brown Anole aka. Bahaman Anole aka. De la Sagra's Anole
Ardastra Gardens, New Providence, Nassau, The Bahamas
April 2017
Member of the Bush Anole Family
~true repto fact~ This is one of those lizards that can detach his own tail. When pursued by a predator, he can just drop a big chunk of it at will, and it will continue to move on its own, hopefully distracting the pursuer. The tail, partially, grows back.

 An old-school nerd with truly esoteric hobbies. None of that pop culture stuff

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake aka. Texas Diamond-back
Ballardini Ranch, Reno, Nevada, USA
May 2017
Member of the Viper Family
§A Pit of Snakes§
Responsible for the most snakebites in the USA (bites are 10-20% lethal if untreated, so get that checked out, I guess)

~true repto fact~ There is such a thing as a Rattlesnake Rodeo, which is not at all the fun thing it sounds like. It's primarily people torturing and killing Rattlesnakes they've caught for entertainment. I mean, I know we're all afraid of snakes, but that sucks. Hey, don't do this.

Loves a good campfire

So, there you have it. Did you learn about reptiles? Do you love them now? Do they love me now? Will that lizard (who research indicates is something called an Alligator Lizard) leave my house? Only time can say. Next week we'll be back with some more bird-like blog subjects.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Smooth-billed Ani

Smooth-billed Ani
Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, The Bahamas
April 2017
Member of the Cuckoo Family
§A Silliness of Anis§ (disagreeable)

~true bird fact~ Lives a seriously communal life-style. Several pairs of birds build the nest together and all lay their eggs in it in layers. These nests are crazy multi-layered deals, and up to 35 eggs have been found in one nest. The birds incubate and defend the nest together, and raise the chicks. The chicks themselves, once old enough to do so, begin to care for the younger birds.

~real bird myth~ The meat of the Ani, reportedly gross tasting, is considered to be a cure for lung issues by the Surinamese native people, but only if you don't know that you're eating it.

Lots of strong feelings about whether having a smooth bill or a grooved bill is better. This conflict may originate from a sneetches-like situation.
Does a lot of starring out at the horizon, thinking about unrelated things
Doesn't see why you'd waste money going out to dinner

...Ok look, I don't usually do this, this is a friendly n positive blog, but I gotta say...

This bird looks like a blackbird fell into the ooze from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze
Like if an unflattering caricature of a crow came to life
Bird looks like he's wearing a a big, novelty, Halloween mask of himself
If you asked a kid to draw a "dinosaur versio of a bird", this is what they'd come up with
I'm just saying, he looks like he told you that you wouldn't like him when he's angry, and then you went and made him angry anyway
Smooth-billed Ani looks like a gargoyle you made to ward away trespassers from your tomb. Carved him on a column
Kinda looks more like a lizard than a bird
Typed 'scary bird from a nightmare' into google search and he came up, is all I'm saying