Confidence Restored

Greetings everyone! Please bear with me as I reach up and rip off another page on the ol’ timekeeper. I used to get really excited about April as it was the traditional start of the race season for me. Two back to back half marathons (second one with a 5K event the night before) for the last two weekends. As everyone is painfully aware, these are not normal times and true to course, those square boxes on the calendar are absolutely blank. The first trail run has offered our money back, a reduction in fees or a virtual event and the other road race (Illini Marathon) has been postponed to an unannounced time later in the year. The trail run was a charity event for Make a Wish Foundation and therefore I offered to continue to support the children and just run virtually – the Illini one is going to be an issue as all the races are backing up and guessing there’s either going to be one hell of an end of the season (which already ends with 4 halfs in 6 weeks) or it is going to be a disappointing year for this self-proclaimed medal whore. If that was not depressing enough, the very foundation of my birding identification skills has been rocked

American Robin shot in Iowa in April 2017

Hit the jump to read more about our familiar friend. Continue reading Confidence Restored

Project Chekov: Red-Winged Blackbird and Robin

Now you gotta give me props for my clever Blackbird and Robin title! Here we are with another entry in Project Chekov. I may have underestimated this little project but no good project comes easy. As you know by now, this post features two birds. Neither of these birds are technically new to the Blog and therefore sans check marks. However, it does give me a chance to significantly improve my offering of the following bird:

That there is the cleverly (okay, maybe not) Red-Winged Blackbird.  These shots definitely up the game from the distant branch cluttered shot from before (link here).  I bet that if you live anywhere in North America you have seen this particular bird and per Wikipedia one of the most abundant and studied birds in these parts.  With that stated, you would think there would be more interesting information readily available on them.   Pretty weak in that area across both Cornell’s bird site and Wikipedia.  There is one key behavioral aspect that they lightly touch upon, but in my opinion understate.

These birds are downright aggressive on intruders.  Get to close to their territory and they’ll start puffing themselves up, displaying their wings in an aggressive manner and get to squawking something horrible.  If that doesn’t get your attention they’ll commence dive bombings.

hit the jump to read a little more about this blackbird and the other featured bird of the post

Continue reading Project Chekov: Red-Winged Blackbird and Robin