Friday, January 30, 2009

You might be a birder if.....

I'm up at the cabin for a few days but wanted to leave you with some bird humor.

You might be a birder if....

Someone yells "Duck!", and you look up and shout "Where?"

Every time you practice your bird calls thinking that you are alone, someone pops up from out of nowhere.

Vacations are planned to maximize the number of life birds.

You criticize television programs and commercials that depict a bald eagle but play a red-tailed hawk call.

People stop and stare when you pish at the shrubbery at the local mall.

You might be a birder if you know the real name for shopping center pigeons.

Lunch breaks find you driving to check out your favorite hot spot.

You might be a birder if you want to see just one more warbler before lunch.

You might be a birder if you tell your friends you saw 78 birds today even though you saw 600.

Your spouse says, "It's either me or the birds," and you have to think about it.

On sunny days you hop in the car, crank up your tape of bird calls, and drive like crazy to the nearest mountain where the thermals are great for soaring hawks.

You pay a neighbor kid $20 to roll on a carcass and lay still while you search the sky for vultures.

Clouds take on the shape of birds, and you can distinguish male from female, and adult from immature plumage.

A machine squeaks at work and you describe it to maintenance as sounding like a black-and-white warbler.

The first time you meet your future in-laws you demonstrate the courtship dance of the woodcock, replete with sound effects.

You spend fifteen minutes preparing dinner for your family, and thirty minutes mixing and placing seed for your birds.

You wake up your spouse at 5:30am and exclaim, "Is that a phoebe I'm hearing outside the window?"

Preparing for trips to visit out-of-state relatives involves contacting local birders, securing local bird lists, and buying the appropriate Lane's Guide.

You identify calls of birds in the soundtracks of television shows and movies.

You're willing to fight with anyone who criticizes your optics.

You participate in hours-long discussions about the pros and cons of using a certain field guide.

You lose friends, and perhaps even your spouse, from fighting over the pronunciation of "pileated."

You spend most of the day on Saturday, after getting up at 4 a.m. making a five-hour drive, in near zero degree weather in snow and sleet with wet feet and inadequate clothing, looking for an unusual bird, and then exclaim "YES!" with a big grin on Monday morning when someone at work asks you if you had a good weekend.

You are the only one in the room who doesn't think "Prairie Chicken" and "Sapsucker" are funny.

You have trouble following movies, because whenever they have a scene with birdsong in the background, you try to ID all the songs and then lose track of the plot.

Answering "yes" to any of these questions qualifies you as a birder.

*The following birding humor is credited to the following site:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Look up little Downy


“The best PR is when people look up in the sky ... see the snow start to fall.”

-Betsy Strickler

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'll take my food to go please!

chick to go

*I had just finished making some pinecone bird feeders so I thought I'd set out the leftovers for the birds. This chickadee was so cute - can you see him laying on his belly to eat the seeds?

Monday, January 26, 2009

I've been waiting for you!

red breasted nuthatch

All winter I have been wondering where my Red-breasted nuthatches have been. My finches, chickadees, woodpeckers and White-breasted nuthatches have been plentiful. So finally I got a nice morning surprise on one of my pine cone feeders. I've missed you little one!

P.S. Thank you everyone so much for your advice and feedback on my crashed computer situation. I have so many nice blogger friends!! I decided to purchase the computer and wait on the lens. I am still crossing my fingers that my photos can be recovered off the bad computer. Luckily I hadn't deleted the last photos I took on my camera so at least those are preserved!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tufted Titmouse's dilemma


Okay, so it's not Mr. Titmouse's dilemma really, but he is concerned. As you know, my computer crashed and I am crying over my lost bird photos. Even Bob the Mourning Dove is crying. My hubby's cousin is going to try to recover them but the computer is not repairable. If you had the choice of the following, which would you choose?

  1. The least costly option of having the hard drive replaced in the computer - it will cost around $200. It's less money than buying a new laptop - but somehow this computer now seems tainted to me. Yes, I know it sounds silly.
  2. Get a brand new laptop which will run 3 times the cost of the above option. I will then need to wait on the purchase of this Sigma 150-500mm Lens with an optical stabilizer I have in layaway at a camera shop. I stick to a strict budget in our household - so if I get the new laptop - I'll probably need to wait till April to get the lens.
Thank you in advance for your input. Now excuse me while I go get some kleenex.....

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Computer Crashed!

My computer crashed yesterday and I am devastated! I did not have all of my photos backed up and we are hoping to find someone to recover them. (The Geek Squad at Best Buy did not come through.) I will have sporadic access to my hubby's computer and it looks like I might need to get a new one. I hope to be back and running next week! Don't forget about me!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bob the Mourning Dove follows Shelley

Bob? Is that you? Did you follow me to the log cabin?
dove two

Bob! I know that's you! Take your head out of the snow!
head in snow

Bob, now you have snow all over your beak!
snow on his beak

I missed you Shelley!
i missed you

Aren't I cute?
arent i cute

Awww Bob! I missed you too!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A head turning Pine Siskin!

Today I want to show you a little trick!


Watch what I can do with my head Shelley!

siskin turned sideways

Oh my! Linda Blair's head turning scene in the Exorcist movie does not compare to that!

exorcist siskin

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Overheard at the bird feeders

"I'll race you to the thistle sack Mr. Chickadee!"

race to thistle sack

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I think this Downy is giving me a raspberry!!

downy looking straight on

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Goldfinch in the snow

golfinch on branch

“To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”

-Author Unknown

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Two Eagles for you


I think the saying is that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? But I did get a thrill when I saw these 2 juvenile Bald Eagles in the tree, twice as nice I think. I dedicate this to you - thank you so much for answering my questions on why you blog. Your input is invaluable. Your bloggy friendship is priceless.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Michigan Audubon Society said what?

cute chickadee

When I walked into the house the other day, I thought my husband was playing a joke on me.

Greg: The Michigan Audubon Society called.
Me: Oh, do they want me to renew my membership?
Greg: No, they want you to speak at their annual conference.
Me: Quit playing around, what did they want?
Greg: No seriously!! They've been reading your blog and want you to speak about it.

Me: You're not very funny. What did they really say?
Greg: Here's the number, call!

Needless to say, he wasn't kidding and I am extremely honored. (Also embarrassed, they must think I'm obsessed with Mourning Doves and poop. ) So on March 7th at the Kellog Center in East Lansing, Michigan - I am going to be speaking about blogging and birding - two of my favorite things!! Here's where you come in, my dear bloggy friends. (Do you like how I kiss up to you before I ask you for something?)

I know why I blog. I wanted a place to connect with people with similar interests, expand my learning and promote the importance of wildlife and nature. But I need your help and would like your input!

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What have you gained from it?
  3. For some of my older crowd - what difficulties did you first find when you started blogging? How did you overcome it?

Thank you in advance for your input!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Catch me if you can

female hairy

This is a female Downy Woodpecker that was considering eating out of my hand a few weeks ago at the cabin. You should have seen me trying to position the camera in one hand and put seeds in the other to see if I could snap it. (I told my husband he really needs to start being available to take photos of me with my bird friends! ha,ha.) She flew over my hand several times but then decided to head over to the tree. I'm going to see if the Chickadees will vouch for me!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

For Sandy

You must go visit Sandy at Birds, Bees, Bugs and Blossoms! Click here . She recently did a beautiful sketch of a recent photo I took this week of the nuthatch and downy. Sandy is a talented artist as well as photographer and she has a beautiful view of the world through her eyes.

I dedicate today's Hairy Woodpecker to Sandy! Thank you Sandy!

good male hairy