Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yellowlegs Express


Greater Yellowlegs
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
When you absolutely, positively have to be there by tomorrow.

This weather stinks!


Skunk
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
No goose or duck eggs, no turtle eggs, no fruit. What's a poor skunk supposed to eat?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm the most adorable bird in the universe!

Google "most adorable bird in the universe" if you don't believe me! (Pete Morris kindly allowed us to use this beautiful photo of ME to highlight the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival.)

Home again!

Hey, it's good to be back home again
Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend
Yes, 'n, hey it's good to be back home again

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My favorite Robert Frost poem?


BOBOLINK
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I'm sort of partial to The Exposed Nest. Though really, you'd think people would use it as a cautionary tale about the perils of mowing during nesting season.

Friday is Robert Frost's birthday!


Ovenbird
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I expect you all to recite his poem, The Oven Bird, at least once to celebrate.

I wish people were more like us chickadees

We welcome every warbler, vireo, nuthatch, kinglet, woodpecker, or other non-predator into our flocks without caring if they're gay or straight, black or white or yellow or green or red. All of us work together to insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

And no way would we ever deny health care to anyone.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Side by Side


Sandhill Crane
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money
Maybe we're ragged and funny,
But we'll travel along,
Singin' our song,
Side by side.

Oh, we don't know what's comin' tomorrow,
Maybe it's trouble and sorrow
But we'll travel the road
Sharin' our load
Side by side.

Through all kinds of weather--
What if the sky should fall?
Just as long as we're together
It doesn't matter at all.

Oh, when others have quarreled and parted
We'll be the same as we started.
Just a travelin' along,
Singin' a song,
Side by side.


All that lovey dovey crap...

who needs it?

When I'm not near the girl I love...


Mallard
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
...I love the girl I'm near. I can't help it. But I'll stick with you most of the time until you start incubating. That gets a little boring for us drakes.

Hopelessly devoted to you.


Mourning Doves
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I love how romantic you get every year starting just around our anniversary! But it's lucky I appreciate sad love songs.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Together again!


Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
We're reminiscing, looking at last year's photos.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Can't we all just get along?

Everywhere I go lately I'm seeing robins fighting over territories. What a waste of energy, plus while they're focusing on each other they can miss hawks flying over and all kinds of more urgent issues.

C'mon, guys! Give it a rest. Singing it out is much better than duking it out. Really.

They call me the upside-down bird!

I'm just trying to live up to my reputation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

When the swallows come back to Capistrano...


Cliff Swallow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
...that's the day you promised to come home to me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Anyone remember My Little Margie?


Dark-eyed Junco
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Ddddddddddddddddddddddddddd.

No that's not a starling!


Killdeer
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I'm really back in Ithaca! So I hope you don't get any more crappy winter weather.

I'm baaaaack!


Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Checking out my nest again! Lookin' good!

Heard your first Eastern Wood-Pewee yet?


European Starling
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Hehehehehehe. We love tricking birders.

Ready or not...

Here I come!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I wear green every day...


Painted Bunting
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
...but even on St. Patrick's Day, people seem more focused on my red and blue colors.

I love St. Patrick's Day!


Green Violetear
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Every other day, folks tell me I'm green with envy.

Like Willie Nelson, we're...


Snow Goose
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
On the road again -
Just can't wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is making music with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again

Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again

And I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again -
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends.
Insisting that the world keep turning our way

And our way
is on the road again.
Just can't wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is makin' music with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again

Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends

Insisting that the world keep turning our way

And our way
is on the road again.
Just can't wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is makin' music with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again.
And I can't wait to get on the road again.

For us, every day is St. Patrick's Day


Emerald Toucanet
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Time to think about the wearin' o' the green


Monk Parakeet
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
For us, every day is St. Patrick's Day. Well, except for the Irish part.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The global warming quick weight loss plan


Scarlet Tanager
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Hmmm. A new study shows that we Scarlet Tanagers living today are more than 2 percent lighter than our great great great great grandparents from back in the 1960s. According to the BBC's Earth News:
Songbirds in the US are getting smaller, and climate change is suspected as the cause.

A study of almost half a million birds, belonging to over 100 species, shows that many are gradually becoming lighter and growing shorter wings.

This shrinkage has occurred within just half a century, with the birds thought to be evolving into a smaller size in response to warmer temperatures.

However, there is little evidence that the change is harmful to the birds.

Details of the discovery are published in the journal Oikos.

Read the whole article here.

Who the heck is this Sam Peabody guy?!

The things people come up with when they don't understand someone else's language!

Beware the Tides of March!


Ruddy Turnstone
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

I put the "real" in "Boreal."


Boreal Chickadee
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson

Happy Pi Day!

Being of a mathematical bent, I put the "pi" in "pileated."

I put the "hero" in "heron"!


Great Blue Heron
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Maids, maids, maids...


Song Sparrow
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
...hang on your tea kettle—ettle-ettle-ettle ettle"??!! What the h*ll is that supposed to mean? Thoreau was a smart guy in some ways, but he sure didn't understand what we're all about!

How come nobody makes a fuss when we come out in spring?


Muskrat
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I mean, ain't your first muskrat a sign of spring, too?

You think mosquitoes go for warm-blooded animals only??!

Don't I wish! And guys, please stop referring to me and my kind as "bird food." (Thanks for letting me post this, too, since I am not a bird.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Help us get the word out!

Help! The New York Times just had an article about coffee shops in the Big Apple, and didn't even mention which ones sell certified Bird Friendly coffee. We birds can't seem to get them to take us seriously. Please write to them and tell them that PEOPLE care about Bird Friendly coffee, and want to know which coffee shops sell it!

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center certifies Bird Friendly coffee when it meets their criteria--the coffee must be organic, shade-grown, AND grown in genuinely diverse forest. We NEED you people to get the word out!!

I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm...


Red-winged Blackbird
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
...I'm as jumpy as puppet on a string.
I'd say that I had spring fever, but I know it isn't spring.
I am starry eyed and vaguely discontented, like a nightingale without a song to sing.
O why should I have spring fever, when it isn't even spring?

I keep wishing I were someone else, walking down a strange new street,
And hearing words that I've never heard from a girl I've yet to meet.
I'm as busy as spider spinning daydreams,
I'm as giddy as a baby on a swing.

I haven't seen a crocus or a rosebud, or a robin or a bluebird on the wing.
But I feel so gay in a melancholy way, that it might as well be spring.
It might as well be spring.

Oh, wait--it IS spring! And I'm back in Ithaca!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I KNOW there are some worms in here!

But if I can't find any today, there are still some berries hanging about.

Oh, sweet Ithaca, Ithaca, Ithaca!

I love when my hormones kick in every spring. I feel as much in love with my territory as with what's-her-name.

Cheer! Cheer! Cheer!

What I mean to say is, "Sweet, sweet, sweet! Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon. Let's do it!"

But so far, no go. She has a "headache."

Gee but it's great to be back home!


American Robin
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Feels so good to be back here singing away! Cheerily, cheerily, cheerily!

I'm baaaaack!


Common Grackle
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson

Oh, man--we're on the MOVE!!!!


Snow Goose
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson

So should I go commercial?


Laura Erickson made this video of me three springs ago, and suddenly people are clicking on it enough that Google wrote her asking if she wants to do "revenue sharing," wherein Google puts up ads and if people click on them, Laura gets money. So I'm wondering: 1) will she share this revenue with me, or with my buddies in the Wichita Mountains? 2) Is it fair that she even posted this since I didn't sign a release? I mean, if I knew she was taking a video, I'd maybe have changed my angle (really--my other side is my "best side"!) and worked a little harder at my song. 3) Why doesn't Google offer ME "revenue sharing"?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good fences may make good neighbors....

...but ordinary fences are killers--at least for us prairie grouse. But thanks to the hard work of some wonderful people in Oklahoma, the fences in one area won't be hurting our little relatives, Lesser Prairie-Chickens, anymore. Wires look like grasses to us prairie birds, and you can walk or fly right through grasses without getting injured. Check out Eric Beck's blog to learn what they did to make fences look like the kinds of things we'd want to avoid rather than fly right through.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Next year make it Boreal Chickadee Awareness Day


Boreal Chickadee
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Did you know that some people don't even realize there are two different chickadees in Minnesota?