It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the reduction in days in this month has a tendency to cause stress in my blogging activities. Those precious days between the 28th and say 30/31st is often my “get down to business” days. That’s when I take out my trusty TI60 calculator, punch in 6 for my self-imposed quota of posts per month (note, that includes post on the mothership Intrigued site, not just the wildlife blog), count up each of the posts made in the current month, hit the minus button and then insert the recently summed number of posts and hit equals button. After a burst of electrons through an array of ands/ors/nands/nors logic gates the liquid crystal is signaled to delivers the painful blow. Then the scramble begins to address the missing posts. Granted, this year, gives me an extra day this month.. but that has already been earmarked for birding (need to keep the hopper full for the 2025 posts hehehe). Linda enjoys teasing me while I am trying to stay focused on the posts – I shall let the Great-Tailed Grackle demonstrate the look I give her.
That pretty much sums it up! I will admit, this has absolutely zero impact on my wife’s behavior beyond extra volume to her laugh. Then she’ll start touching my stuff and moving it just enough to cause my OCD to fire – evil woman! The good news is I wasn’t far off this month and was able to close the gap pretty quickly – for the record this is the 6th so all is good. I might feel better, but this rather torqued looking creature is likely still holding a grudge against me. In fact, every time I come in contact with the Great-Tailed Grackle I get the feeling I wronged its ancestors in some way and it’s taken a lifelong blood oath to extract a compensating revenge. Is it just me or do others have this same experience with this disgruntled bird? – Ron you don’t count as all birds basically hate you.
Hit the jump if this Grackle hasn’t already scared you too much.
Continue reading You looking at Me !?!
First off let’s all give Ron a big Happy Birthday! I have no idea why he is aging so fast while I, the baby of the family, remain frozen it time in my late 20’s. Quite amazing really and owe it all to the miracle of running. Ron on the other hand sports the 0.0 magnet on the back of his vehicle and can tell you all about the pterodactyls he used to photograph on his birding outings hehehehe. Let it be known one of the best things about being the baby of the family … you ALWAYS get to make fun of your older brothers on their birthdays without repercussions. I imagine Ron reading this post and looking like this…
Wait, this isn’t what Ron is looking like, rather EVERY bird he comes into contact when we are out birding together. It is well documented that birds typically hate him for some unknown reason. My theory is he is a CAT person. Natural born killers I say. Maybe I should put together a post of birds attacking him – I think you would get a kick out of it
Hit the jump to see a few more pictures of this real life angry bird.
Continue reading Get that Bird Some Happy Pills
I can’t believe it is October already! Seems like this year is flying by way to fast – pretty soon it will be snowing in Denver. What!?! holy crap, it is snowing in Denver today. Those Globull Warming dudes got some splaining to do. I warned you on the last post we would once again be spending some time at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve in the coming posts as I try to close out the second day of shooting there. The good news is we are almost through that visit.. bad news is we had the opportunity to head back there a few months ago so we are far from over at that birding paradise. To start the month off, I’m in need of some more help. I am always amazed at how hard bird identification can be even with what I would consider unique features. Two birds are featured here that gave me some troubles and thus not entirely sure if I have them right. If I do, then there will be two new checks in the Bird List. Always pleased when I can mark up the list and as you have seen in the past posts, this particular birding site was a goldmine of check marks.
First off I bring you this rather plain looking bird:
I suspect your first inclination is to ID it as an American Crow. Pretty common bird around here so I have the advantage of seeing it just about every day. I’ve spent a fair amount of time out in Yellowstone so I can definitely tell you how those compare to the mammoth Ravens out there. But something just didn’t seem right about this one. It was black (I can always get the easy ones) but the beak just didn’t seem to fit the large but blunter ones on the Crows around here. The other part that was causing me some confusion was the tail.
It seemed to long and slender relative to the more stockier body frame of the Crow (and definitely smaller all around compared to those Ravens). This concern sent me pouring over bird references looking for some other alternative. Eventually I made my way to the Grackles. Typically the Grackle is easy to distinguish due to the iridescent purple coloring when the light hits them right. It is hard to tell in this picture due to having little sun at the moment this was taken but the shape is darn close from my perspective. Post processing may have taken some slight shimmer out since I was thinking it was just a nicely posed Crow at the time. The yellow eye definitely stands out which is a defining feature for the Grackle – the Crows and Ravens tend to have black on black eyes. Now the hard part.. which Grackle. The Common one is close but the images in the books definitely show more of a purple hue and/or more brownish than the full on black this one is sporting. That left the Boat Tailed, but that is NO WHERE near where we were out in Nevada (more East Coast). Could it be the Great Tailed Grackle?
To the web!
Take a gander at the set of images at AllAboutBirds.org (link here). As mentioned, not positive, but it definitely looks similar to the Great Tailed Grackle shown there – and we can definitely dismiss the Common version. Would appreciate any help on this one. I have no problem accepting that it is a Common Crow or possibly something I overlooked, but keep in mind that yellowish eye. Definitely distinct. Sorry I can’t give you any other angles, this was about the sum total of the shots. With all the new birds there I likely didn’t spend much time on what I assumed at the time was a common bird. Regardless of what the ID comes out as, the composition turned out nice especially with the first and this one.
The tail matched the twig angle and the head aligned with both the upper and lower branches giving a nice framing effect. If you have time, take a stab at it and use the comments for any ideas.
Hit the jump for the second bird featured in this post!
Continue reading To Check or Not to Check