Thursday, March 03, 2005

Binoculars and Birds Update

My mom says I need to get a good strap for my new binoculars. The ones that come with are no good. Also, "don't let people take your binoculars." Apparently, people will try to steal them out of my car or "borrow" them so I better watch out.

So far, the strap works fine and no one has tried to take them from me. When I get the chance, and at my mom's suggestion, I'm going to do some shopping at a guns and ammo store.

The woodpeckers on my street are Acorn Woodpeckers, and they are awesome to see in magnified view. They're mostly black and white in color with bright red heads. They peck and make holes in the palm trees for acorn storage.

I also saw a bunch of parrots. There are numerous flocks of freed and wild parrots in the San Gabriel Valley, and I hear them all the time. I see them too, but until now, I've never seen them in such detail. There were about 20 of them overtaking a leafless tree; they looked like fruit. Two were fighting over a branch, and I got a vivid glimpse of the red in their wings as they spread them in protest of each other.

Ed and I agree that it's kind of cool to see accidentally introduced species of animals and plants take over. It's almost just in light of what humans do. Admittedly, it can be kind of scary too. For example, according to Ed, there are predatory fish in the Eel river, and they're causing quite a stir. They have no species above them, and the fish they prey on are dying out. Also, Ed heard about pythons in the Florida Everglades that shouldn't be there. Messed up people who wanted exotic pets dump them off when things don't work out.

Anyway, to my knowledge, the parrots haven't done anything other than look out of place. But see. They never come to my bird feeder. They're not the ones burying weird seed pods in my potted plants. They're never as nasty as the Steller's Jays who antagonize my dog. And they're so much more interesting to look at than all the little boring perching birds with all their chirping and rustling in the bushes outside my bedroom window.

p.s. my technical disclaimer still stands. I am sorry for any difficulty you face in trying to link to the site with general info about the parrots in the San Gabriel Valley and the article that suggests a problem with the parrots squeezing out native species.

9 Added Something:

Anonymous chuy quipped...

Kathy, I recommend you come do some bird spying in Austin, Texas. Nature is crazy out here. For one thing, it's louder. My first nights in Austin were spent listening to all the noises coming from the trees and bushes outside my room. This morning I awoke at about 5 am to some very strange, and fascinating, sounding bird noises. Nature in the Northwest is much quieter.

Also, there are some cool birds I've never seen before, like the cardinal. It's such a treat to be looking out the window and see a cardinal, all red n' whatnot.

We'd have a great time bird spying. You should come and visit.

Thursday, March 03, 2005 8:03:00 AM  
Anonymous elijawonk quipped...

You know, birds are not just cute and warbly - they are also messengers from the gods ('auspicious' means 'having to do with bird watching'). A little tip for you Kathy: if you see Northern Flickers tomorrow morning in the left quadrant of the sky, you should probably be a little more cautious throughout the day and shouldn't try to sack Troy or anything.

Thursday, March 03, 2005 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Kathy quipped...

thank you chuy and elias for the recommendations and advice.

Thursday, March 03, 2005 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous ed quipped...

according to the Anasazi (ancestral Puebloans) of the U.S, southwest, hummingbirds have the unique ability to travel through the four different plains of existence. because they possess these powers they are used as messengers for magical and supernatural beings. birds are cool.

also, check out this site:

Thursday, March 03, 2005 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Dirty Dan Sin quipped...

I always seek counsel from birds. They always provide.

Dan's pick for most inspirational non-human settler strain is my beloved star thistle.

Thursday, March 03, 2005 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger cloudy quipped...

Ooh, what is a Star Thistle? I want to see all these birds. Chuy, have you seen the Bats under the bridge near the river there?

Thursday, March 03, 2005 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous quipped...

Oh yes, the bats. I've seen the bats!! Although not technically a bird, the bat is easily the second most fascinating mammal on the planet (primates being the most fascinating; and really I am primarily thinking of monkeys not humans). One of the largest urban colony of bats in the world lives under one of the main bridges in Austin. Every night during the warmer months they dazzle humans by emerging en masse from under the bridge to go hunting mosquitos and other bugs. At its height, the bat colony consists of over 1.5 million bats! Check out this website for more info:

Bats, however, aren't the best for spying on since they emerge primarily at dusk and move awfully fast. They are still cool as hell. Just one more reason to pay Austin a visit!

Thursday, March 03, 2005 1:46:00 PM  
Anonymous chuy quipped...

anonymous is me, not sure how that happened.

Thursday, March 03, 2005 1:47:00 PM  
Blogger Dirty Dan Sin quipped...

star thistle are those effed up yellow spiky weeds that came over with the wagons. horses suffer greatly due to these things. i think they're purty and am impressed by their tenacity.

Friday, March 04, 2005 3:55:00 PM  

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