Sunday, June 28, 2009

You haven't seen any herons lurking around, have you?


Frog
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson

The Compleat Angler


Happy thought!


Wood Thrush
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Here's a happy thought. Don Kroodsma told Laura Erickson that MY song was his favorite bird song!!! I've been doing my best to elude her camera, but when she told me that this morning, I decided what the heck, and though I kept my distance, I cooperated at least a little.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oh, wow, I have a headache!

Please make your windows easier for us to see BEFORE migration! Dr. Daniel Klem, the hero for many of us birds, has a new paper in The Wilson Bulletin about how humans can reduce window crashes, titled Preventing Bird-Window Collisions. Please read it and help my friends and me to have safe passage. Please..

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Swamp Fox


Swamp Sparrow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox, hiding in the glen.
I fly away to fight again.

Check out my fledging checklist!

Julie O'Connor and Debbie Waters worked out a checklist we Peregrine Falcons must complete before we can leave the nest. Remember--think OUTSIDE the box! Check it out on Sam Cook's blog: http://www.areavoices.com/samcook/?blog=54000

Got baby food?


Red-winged Blackbird
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
This is prime stuff!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Baby food!


American Robin
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Spiders and worms--the right food for growing babies!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My hero


Song Sparrow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
is Margaret Morse Nice. And if you don't know who she is, there's an excellent article about her in Wikipedia.

Definitely three


Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
But might there be four babies? Keep watching!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Please, sir, I want some more.


Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson

I eat a few baby ducks and geese


Snapping Turtle
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
They sweeten my disposition. You'd feel snappish, too, if you had a leech on the back of your neck.

Honey, I know you're mad at your little brother,


Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
but siblicide is common in Great Egrets, not Great Blue Herons. So you're just going to have to get along.

Great blog, or the greatest blog?

When I was a baby, I got very sick and would have died except for Marge Gibson. She is a world-renowned wildlife rehabilitator, and she saved my life. And guess what! She has a blog. And boy is it interesting--she gets the coolest birds in, and shows photos of them and is SO interesting! Check it out! http://raptoreducationgroup.blogspot.com/

Sweet sweet sweet! I'm so sweeeeeeet!


Yellow Warbler
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Well, unless you're a bug.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Did you know that some people don't like geese?


Canada Goose
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
It's interesting learning about the world. But rather scary, too.

Aren't I handsome?


Swamp Sparrow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
It's shocking how many people overlook us Swamp Sparrows.

Little things mean a lot.


Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Yes, I'm still bringing sticks home to my sweetie. It's nice to show our little ones how important it is to share and work together.

So I'm not a bird.


Woodchuck
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Wanna make something of it?

Mommy and Daddy told me...


Virginia Rail chick
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
...to stay out of camera range.

Bye bye, little fishie!


Oops! Dropped my fish!


Caught it again!


Family Portrait


Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Do we have a third or even a fourth chick hiding in here? We're not saying! So you'll just have to keep checking.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I love waking up early!


American Robin
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
And when I say early, I mean it. I've been starting up singing every day about 3:55 a.m., when it's still quite dark. What's the point? I want everyone to know that this is MY territory--that I made it through the night, I'm still here, and I'm not going anywhere.

Couldn't I hold off until a "civilized hour"? Nope. When it starts getting light, it's time for breakfast! There's just a brief window of time between the sun coming up and the worms going down for the day. So I like to sing, loud and vigorously and long, before it's light enough to hunt. That singing will dispel any doubts about how filled with vim and vigor I am--a robin needs the respect of his neighbors more than just about anything!

After I've eaten my fill, I'll start up singing again, until I have babies to feed--they keep me hopping!--but my favorite singing is always long before dawn. Cheerily, cheerily, cheerio!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We cuckoos are killed by windows a lot.


Black-billed Cuckoo
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
People don't like putting window screening or bird netting on the outside of their picture windows, but boy does it help us!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I love...


Pied-billed Grebe
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
that National Velvet's horse was named Pie--for the same reason that I'm a Pied-billed Grebe! And we're both speedy. (Though I'm a far, far better diver, if I do say so myself.)

I love preening my back.


Herring Gull
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
But this isn't some stupid reality show. Please avert your eyes. And that blasted camera!

As a trap, neuter, and release cat myself...

Hi. My name's Kasey and I'm a Trap, Neuter, and Release cat. Except then I found a home. I sometimes miss the olden days when I could rip a little bird like this one to shreds, and I'll never forget the cool sensation when I chomped through their bones. But I also remember the tapeworms and roundworms, the fleas and lice, and the cold and rain and fighting with other cats to get a nice safe sleeping spot. I remember running for my life from foxes and coyotes. I love being an indoor cat, and getting to knock around chess pieces and other toys to my heart's content without my very life depending on successful kills and the cheap dry catfood they set out that we're supposed to share with every other TNR cat around.

Inside, in my cushy life, I've learned that predators only thrive at the peak of the food chain when there are a LOT of animals on the lower levels. But these TNR programs subsidize us, turning what's supposed to be a food pyramid on its head. I can't help wanting to chase things. It's hard for me to remember that that White-throated Sparrow out there is not a chess piece for me to push around. So you've got to do that remembering for me. If you're really humane, your sympathy should extend to the birds we subsidized cats love to toy with, shouldn't it?

Look, people. If you care about cats and want to create a world that is really sustainable for us, for wild birds, and for you, take one or two strays in and encourage others to do their part, too. And read this: http://wildlifeprofessional.org/blog/

No one--least of all us cats--wants people to have to euthanize unwanted strays. But guess what. We cats are predators--lean, mean, killing machines. We can't help it. And so guess what--we understand death and accept it. It's what happens in nature. You deluded humans romanticize nature and think that just because we want to play outside, that we should be allowed to. But I don't see you letting your toddlers play outside unattended. Love us? Take us in and take care of us and protect us from toying with birds like so many chess pieces, or soon this planet will go all to hell and we'll all go down together. We cats aren't rocket scientists. But some of you humans are. It's time you started acting like the most intelligent species on the planet.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Nestlings? Yum yum.


Whooping Crane
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
We cranes, both us Whooping Cranes and our dinky relatives the Sandhill Cranes, do in fact eat nestlings when we chance upon them. They're rich in protein and their crunchy little bones give us calcium right when we need it most. (Shhh--don't tell those pesky Red-winged Blackbirds that their paranoia is justified!)

Ruddy Duckie, you're the one!


Ruddy Duck
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
You make Goose Pond lots of fun.
Ruddy Duckie I'm awfully fond of you.

My babies are probably not going to be killed by this crane.

And your babies are probably not going to stick forks in that electric socket. But good parents do what we can to protect them from EVERYTHING.

Strained mud....


Blue-winged Teal
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Mmmmmmm good!

There are nine...


Mallard
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
And yes, I have duck lips. But if I hear one more person make a crack about "Octomom," I'll just scream.

(Anyway, everyone knows she has grouper fish lips, not duck lips.)

Semipalmated means our toes our half-webbed.


Semipalmated Plover
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
But we're hardly going to show them to the likes of you.

Give me peanuts...


Red Squirrel
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
..and nobody dies.

These things are supposed to do WHAT?


Canada Goose
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I don't think they're ever going to get me off the ground.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Macho?


Peregrine Falcon
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I'm bigger, tougher, and more aggressive than my mate. Sure, he's speedy and he brings home the bacon, so to speak. But in our world, there's no such word as "macho." The word is "macha."

It's about time...


CHSWAR01
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
...that someone took my photo with a decent lens!

Shhhhh!


Fawn
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
And please don't touch.