Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Jays Are Here Again!

Blue Jay

By our very nature, we can't help but prefer blue states.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hey! Obama's letting me sit on his head!

Baby Blue Jay

So THERE, Clint Eastwood!!

I'm Scintillating!!

Scintillant Hummingbird

AOU, Gimme Back My Hyphen!!!

Green Violetear

I have violet feathers covering my ears. I do not have viole tears. Please return my name to Green Violet-ear. If it would violate one of the rules of nomenclature to have "ear" as the root noun in a hyphenated name, make me a Green Violet-eared Hummingbird. Or something--you guys are supposed to be the smart ones, so I'm sure you can think of something. Admit it—"Violetear" is a stupid word.

Friday, August 31, 2012

We Built That? Let's Get Real!

Kirtland's Warbler

No man, or bird, is an island. We ALL built this world, we ALL have been dependent on the kindness of strangers, and we're ALL part of a country on a planet in a universe far, far bigger than ourselves. Working together is how people built a civilization, wrote a Constitution, fought for independence, and saved my species. And that's the way it is.

We Built That!

Eastern Bluebird

No, the nice folks at the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail built it. Thanks!

We Built That!

Great Horned Owl nest

Actually, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks built it, but we took it over all by ourselves!

We Built That!

Rocky Rococo: The Robin's Choice!!

Well, Mommy and Daddy built the nest, but Rocky Rococo (who Laura Erickson says makes the best pizza in the universe) built the letter C.

Rocky Rococo: The Robin's Choice!!

We Built That!

Grand Canyon at sunrise


We Built That!

Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins

(Just kidding!)

We Built That!

Great Blue Heron nest colony or heronry

Well, our parents and grandparents built some of those nests before we were hatched, and yeah, it was on Minnesota state land that is protected thanks to taxpayers, and yeah, the federal and Minnesota state governments do a lot to ensure that we have clean water and lots of fish to raise our young there. But OTHERWISE, we really did build that!

We Built That!


Well, with a little help from the power company, who had a little bit of an incentive because of public pressure and government regulations. Thanks, everyone!

We Built That!

Common Loon

My mate and I built our two chicks from scratch. Well, sure, it was on a nest platform some nice landowners built using plans approved by the Wisconsin DNR. And sure, we get our fish from a clean lake thanks to rules enforced by the Wisconsin DNR. And sure, we're happy that coal-fired power plants have been regulated so we aren't suffering from mercury poisoning.

We Built That!

Tree Swallow

Well, we built the nest inside. For the birdhouse, we're beholden to the kindness of strangers. For all the quality nesting materials and the rich supply of aerial insects that support us and ensure our young will grow up strong, we're beholden to government regulations regarding pesticides and water and air quality.

We Built That! (Well, my mom and dad did)

Bald Eagle nest

My parents built this nest all by themselves. Well, they had a little help. They wouldn't even be here if not for the Endangered Species Act. (Thank you, federal government!) The nice old trees here, the shoreline habitat, and the clean water where my folks catch fish were made possible by shoreline development rules enforced by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

We Built That!

Black-capped Chickadee nest

All we needed was some quality habitat protected by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

We Built That!

Great Blue Heron

All it took was a bit of high-quality habitat, furnished courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Say it ain't so, Zen Birdfeeder!!!

Blue Jay

The Zen Birdfeeder just published a MORTIFYING photo montage showing some of my friends molting! I'm sure none of these birds were aware they were being photographed naked as jaybirds!! I mean, look--here we adult jays are, exhausted after a busy summer of raising our perfect youngsters, and eager to look our best again, so we rush ahead through the utterly depleting business of molt, dropping virtually all the feathers on our capital tract at once, hoping to sneak through summer's end without anyone noticing that for a few weeks we look less than perfect, and there she goes, publishing a National Enquirer-level "story" without even explaining how draining the molt process is. This kind of gotcha "journalism" sucks.

I mean, if you're going to show an UGLY head molt, choose an ugly species, like those stupid cardinals. Worst of all, she posted this during National Blue Jay Awareness Month. Have some respect!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Finally! A book I can sink my beak into!

Common Raven

I don't do much reading--really, not much is written for us birds. But The Mincing Mockingbird's Guide to Troubled Birds is great. As it says on the title page, it's "an authoritative illustrated compendium to be consulted in the event of an infant or small child being torn apart by a murder of crows." And at only 64 pages, it's easy for me to carry from tree to tree. Of course, my chickadee friends would have some trouble picking it up, but they're not into dark humor anyway.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We'll clean up your messes...

...but we'd prefer that you drove at the slowest speed that is safe, courteous, and convenient.

Turkey and Black Vultures enjoying lunch

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

That's not funny

Snowy Owl

No, I'm not laughing—I'm panting. Of course, we birds know that. It's people who don't understand basic body language.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some people like fast food.

We prefer it slow--at least, too slow to cross a road successfully.

Turkey and Black Vultures enjoying lunch

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Who was that masked duck?

The Lone Ranger of the Wetlands.

Masked Duck

Monday, January 2, 2012

This year I resolve to eat a vegan diet.


Of all the food items I eat, goldfinches are by far the tastiest, so I'm going to focus on eating just them. And since goldfinches are true vegans, eating nothing but seeds, that puts me on a true vegan diet!