Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh, no. Is someone watching us?

Tree Swallow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
When you mate right on top of your nest box, NO ONE respects your privacy!

I'm walking as fast as I can!

Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Please don't run me down.

Hardly "least"!

Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Okay, so I'm a little smaller than an Eastern Chipmunk, but I'm more handsome with my more pronounced eye stripes. Why would anyone call me a "least chipmunk"?!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Silly goose!

Canada Goose
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I've been watching that silly Laura Erickson lately. We geese get together with family and friends from earlier years during every fall migration and then all winter. It's great fun to catch up with our loved ones!

Well, humans wait a LONG time to do what we geese do annually, and I've been overhearing that foolish woman fretting about her 40-year high school reunion, which is coming up next month. FORTY years! I mean, that is a great cause for rejoicing--those few of us who make it through that many years are happy to be alive, I can tell you!

But she's all concerned that no one will recognize her anymore, because--no shit, Sherlock--she's 40 years older than she was in high school. Now she's right--we geese hide our years much better than you humans do--but she seems to think a person who went through high school as tiny and slender as a gnatcatcher isn't going to be recognizable as a rounder little chickadee. HAHAHA. Don't you guys realize that people, like birds, recognize each other by our vocalizations as well as plumage, and that--and this is another big DUH!!--you guys will be wearing NAME TAGS????? Get with the program. The most important thing we geese and you people look back on over the years is our connections with our friends and family. Anyone petty enough to be thinking more about how someone looks than what someone IS doesn't deserve to be thought of at all, much less to be going on crash diets before seeing again. This is a reunion, not a booking on American Idol.

When I have an itch...

Tree Swallow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I scratch it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stupid, stupid humans

Eastern Bluebird
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Okay, so I'm reading Today's Papers in Slate this morning while munching on breakfast--it's how I keep up with the antics of humans--and I come across this little gem:
As part of a compromise with Republicans, senators agreed to include an amendment to the legislation that would allow visitors to national parks to carry handguns. The House and Senate still have to reconcile their own versions of the bill, but everyone expects that to be done quickly given the current climate of dissatisfaction with the banking industry.
What the holy heck?? After 8 years when Republicans didn't throw a single bone to the Dems, the Dems throw in something wacko like this to appease the craziest element? I have friends in Yellowstone--they do not approve!

We birds don't have a single Senator or Congressman in our pockets--they don't even let us into their offices to lobby. But I notice they don't let ANYONE into their offices who hasn't gone through metal detectors. I say no guns in the National Parks unless they also start allowing people to pack heat when visiting their Congressmen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Apple blossom time is almost over...

Cedar Waxwing
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I'll miss munching on petals. But mmmmm--bugs!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Blue-winged Warbler
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Say it just a few times and you'll never stop--it's addictive!

I am NOT so lazy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Be careful out there!

Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Guys, there are windows out there--evil things you can't see, like some strange force field that you fly toward and suddenly, BAM! And we Ovenbirds are exceptionally vulnerable to them. I'm sick and tired of reading about my friends in the obituaries, and it's especially tragic right as we're making it back home to where we were born and raised families, after a long, arduous migration south, a winter in the tropics (and yes, it IS a jungle out there!) and all the way back and we're almost home and then suddenly, a window steals it all away.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hopelessness is the thing with talons...

That perches on your heart.

I always wanted to star...

Gray Catbird
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson an Agatha Christie mystery called "Murder in the Mews."

The magic of iridescence

Why should I show off my ruby throat for the likes of you?


Barred Owl
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Don't tell anyone I'm hiding here! Nesting season is tricky enough!

Cornell Lab's Migration Celebration

Northern Cardinal
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Hey--if you're in Ithaca this weekend, head out to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Annual Migration Celebration. Yeah, yeah, yeah--I KNOW I'm not a migratory bird, but when people see me out in the open like this, in a spot of sunshine, you'd think I was an Ivory-billed Woodpecker! It's lots of fun seeing how taken with the color red human beings can be, and even if Archimedes, that cursed screech-owl, will be there, at least he'll be safely hooked up to jesses.

Great day!

I love days like this when I can just pick through some debris on a path and find primo nesting material!

Baching it

Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Once our mates get to incubating those eggs, if you can believe this, they lose ALL interest in sex! What the heck! So naturally we lose all interest in them, and go off with our buddies. Just in time for baseball season.

I look down upon humans...

Yellow Warbler
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
...especially photographers.

Avert your eyes!

Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Have you no decency?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I'm the greatest star.

Baltimore Oriole
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I am by far. And everyone knows it. (They better!)

Let's see...

Barn Swallow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Where should I place this plop of mud?

Ah, lovely, sticky, goopy mud!

Barn Swallow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
It's the right building material!

Yes, I'm worried about the economy...

Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
But even when I'm not worried my eyes have that red-rimmed look.

Get out of my life!

Tree Swallow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson

Friday, May 8, 2009

So what if I like French fries and bluebird nest boxes?

House Sparrow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I'm still a handsome devil. And I'm sick of you human landlords discriminating in your housing projects. Those are bird houses, and last I checked, I'm a bird too.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What powers I have!

White-eyed Vireo
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I am having so much fun in Sapsucker Woods. All these birders want to see me, and I've been playing hard to get--sometimes I'll give one person a great look the moment he or she arrives on the scene, and then "disappear" for hours, causing other birders to plumb the depths of despair. If I like you, I might pose for a nice photo. I kept my distance from the photographer who took this one. I mean, why should I stick my neck out? What's she ever done for me?

You don't bring me flowers anymore...

Honey, when you said this snag was the perfect fixer upper, I didn't realize you would only be bringing the sticks and I was going to be stuck doing all the fixing upping.

Please come to my tea party.

Eastern Towhee
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I promise I won't be too bossy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How to identify chickadees

A human (naturally!) asked how to distinguish us Black-capped Chickadees from Carolina Chickadees. Really, we're not much more closely related to each other than you humans are to chimpanzees. Now I know the two of you look a lot alike, but thanks to that unfortunate skin condition most of you humans seem to suffer from, with your poor skin so pathetically bare that you have to wear clothes just to protect yourself from UV light, wind, rain, cold, hot--well, that does make identifying you rather simple. We birds are ever so much more evolved!

We of course never confuse ourselves with Carolina Chickadees, even when we live in the same range, though once in a great while one of our kind decides to make some sort of political statement or something and mates with one of them. They DO have a pretty song, but still--that is, to my way of thinking, as inappropriate and, well, weird, as a human mating with a chimp. Ewww!

So you won't get any sympathy from me if you can't tell us apart,but fortunately for you, some humans who call themselves birders had the same problem, so they put together a whole big spiel on the so-called "All About Birds" website. Talk about presumptuous! As if one website could possibly have everything knowable about birds. But it's worth a look if you want some help telling us Black-caps from those Carolinas.

We chickadees have it WAY over Octomom!

Nine--yep, count 'em! And WE know how to take care of them, too!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Heh heh heh

Eastern Chipmunk
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
So this week I got to give that Laura Erickson a surprise. She was looking at a robin incubating her eggs when I climbed the tree, scared off the robin, and ate every one of the eggs! Yum, yum. Pretty as Easter eggs and MUCH tastier!

Now back to your regularly scheduled bird stuff while I stuff my cheeks.