Greetings all! Hope you enjoyed the deviation from all the usual feathers in the last post. Always good to feature something other than birds to give everyone a break. Although I have been getting some feedback requesting I stay away from the Snake topics. Which means, of course, there will be slither posts coming sometime in the not too distant future hehehe. I think it best we all try to face our fears or there’s little chance to get comfortable with them. I can state for a fact that standing on rafters three stories up while building our house definitely helped quell some of my height fears. Been a dreary week around here with all the rain (needed for sure), but there is a lot of woods work to do before the upcoming Halloween event. I can’t afford to be sitting around here staring out the windows. Figured it would be a good time to feature this.

Brown-Headed Cowbird found on Brimfield IL Lot in May 2018

Oh, before I forget. With the time crunch from the Halloween work and some key deliverables due on aggressive timelines at my day job, I’ll probably get these posts out shorter than usual – content and timewise. Everything should be back to normal in October and I can finally take a break and relax a bit – been a long year so far and just need to get over this last hurdle. Now back to this jerk of a bird.

Brown-Headed Cowbird found on Brimfield IL Lot in May 2018

Hit the jump to read more about this lowlife bird.

Continue reading Asshats

Project Chekov: Indigo Bunting

There are birds that have some blue in their palette and then there are birds that are BLUE! The following bird definitely fits into the latter group and one of those birds that are rarely mistaken. Unlike the last post, this entry does result in a new check mark in the birding list – not that I haven’t seen it a bunch of times (especially around where I live), but finally got one in the tin and that is a key criteria for the coveted check. So, without further delay, I present to you the Indigo Bunting.

This specimen was really sporting the blue and based on the other specimens below, you will notice it is actually a little more puffed than usual. My apologies, but I cannot remember the setting where this particular bird was taken. As a result I am not sure if it was cold that day and it was simply puffing itself up or if there might be some other external condition that accounts for the larger than rounder shape – maybe it is just fat (harsh, I know).

I did check into the Blue Bunting which does have a deeper blue and fuller shape, but according to Stokes that is a fairly rare bird so dismissing that for now. Here is a more typical example of an Indigo Bunting that was taken at a different location. A little thinner (umm maybe a LOT thinner). From this angle you can get a good feel for the overall coloring with the deeper almost black highlighting in the wings.

Hit the jump to view a few more Indigo Buntings enjoying our feeders

Continue reading Project Chekov: Indigo Bunting

Project Chekov: Brown-Headed Cowbird

Welcome to the second day of 2014.  Only a couple of days into the new year and I’ve already found a great way to force myself to concentrate on the new running mechanics.  Simply go out and run on ICE.  Nothing forces you to keep your foot plant underneath your body like knowing too much heal strike or less likely too much lean will put you on your ass.  Yesterday got to practice my windmilling a couple of times, but zero outright falls so mechanics starting to make its way into muscle memory.  Figured I’d bring out a new bird to the blog as the second installment of Project Chekov.  This isn’t a rare bird so to speak and in fact it has shown up at our feeders from time to time during the summer months, but all the other birds in the queue kept trumping it.  Time to correct that – introducing the Brown-Headed Cowbird.

This birds falls into the category of “Named by an Unoriginal Person”.  I can image how that first encounter went “Hey, look at that bird over there – the one with the brown head the color of a cow.  Never seen one of dem der winged thingies looken like dat before.  I shall call it Brown-Headed Cowbird and it shall be mine”  Honestly, is this the best the founder could have done?  Oh well, it is what it is and probably should be grateful it is this easy to identify – at least the males.

I tried to pull the shadows out of the RAWs on the two above, but just not enough there to distinguish the deep brown from the surrounding eye shadows.

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the male and likely the female

Continue reading Project Chekov: Brown-Headed Cowbird