Cherry Saturday, April 28, 2018

Today is Go Birding Day, which evidently means you’re supposed to go out looking for birds.  This seems odd to me since they’re all over the place, and you can just sit in the yard with a bunch of birdseed or bread crusts and watch the little buggers come to you, engaging in what might be called cage matches over the good stuff except they’re not in cages.  If you live in northern New Jersey, shortly after you strew the seed and bread, the bears show up, so you might as well go inside and get a nice cuppa and watch the birds flit by the window, cussing out the bears in Bird.  

Or just draw a bird (Draw A Bird Day was April 7, but nobody checks):

43 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, April 28, 2018

  1. That looks like a very grumpy robin who’s tried to cheer himself up (inspired by Peggy) by dying his head and wings sky blue.

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    1. That’s a famous Nat’l Geo photo called The Mad Bluebird. It was taken in 1979, and spawned a zillion prints, t-shirts, and memes.

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        1. Eastern bluebirds do. Maybe you don’t have those in England? Google.

          ETA after Google:
          YOU HAVE NO BLUEBIRDS IN ENGLAND?????
          The only bluebirds without red breasts are Mountain Bluebirds (West Coast), and evidently bluebirds in general are only found in the Americas (plural).
          Also, turns out that Americans wrote “there’ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover” which is probably where I got the idea that you have them.

          The More You Know . . .

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          1. Yes: Vera Lynn has a lot to answer for. And while you think you have robins, of course you only have imitation ones. Same probably goes for wrens, which are smaller than robins. I was relying on Disney cartoons for an idea of what bluebirds looked like.

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          2. I always think of England and the US as having the same wildlife, which is a ridiculous assumption. There’s that pond between us, for one thing.

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          3. Our school mascot where I teach is the Raven (the area’s known for its Halloween festival, and the student body voted for Poe’s raven over The Headless Horsemen), but of course there aren’t any ravens in North America, so we’re always pretending the local crows are close enough. 🙂

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          4. Ravens are common all across the Northern Hemisphere. My BIL is Tlingit and his family totem is the Raven.

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          5. I should have known somebody would do that. Don’t mess with the local ecology people.
            Are American gray squirrels doing something horrible to English red squirrels? Or is it the other way around? (I know the gray squirrels are the bad guys.)

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          6. American grey squirrels have caused our native red squirrels to go extinct over most of England. The reds are being reintroduced, and in places the greys are being exterminated. The greys are fun, of course, but I do long to see Squirrel Nutkin (although my friend who has a place in France says the reds there are a real nuisance).

            Another problem is the mink, liberated from fur farms by animal rights campaigners, which has helped to put paid to most native water voles (Ratty in ‘Wind in the Willows’).

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        2. Biggest surprise of my life was seeing an English robin. American robins are thrushes which are fairly large and are all over the place and very showy at this time of the year. English robins are the size of wrens or Western blue birds (which is the bird in the picture).

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          1. Oh. I am wrong. Western and Eastern bluebirds both have orange breasts but Eastern bluebirds are a little showier. Mountain bluebirds on the other hand are all blue. And indigo buntings are really, really pretty and the best blue bird of all.

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          2. The lovely thing about robins is they follow you round the garden in what appears a very friendly way – after whatever food you turn up for them, of course. They’re territorial, so they get used to you, and will come quite close. I was foolishly surprised to see one in the woods by the stream as I was picnicking last week: I think of them as purely garden birds, but of course woodland edge is probably their natural habitat.

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          3. Blue birds are nice, but I vote for blue jays as the prettiest blue bird. They and the stellar jays have great pointy feather heads. Obnoxious calls, but good looking.

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          4. Blue jays are so obnoxious, though. Gorgeous, but such bullies. We had tons of cardinals in Ohio–it’s the state bird–and those are knock-your-socks-off gorgeous.

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          5. Blue jays are the big blue and white ones? I found happiness while camping in northern Wisconsin by spending about 30 minutes watching 3-4 of them come out of the treeline, scavenge around for whatever they eat and blip back into the trees.

            I made the kids sit down and be quiet to watch them too.

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  2. It’s raining here. I did see a squirrel wander by but the birds seem to hide from view in the rain.

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  3. When I woke around six this morning and looked out the kitchen window I saw skunk coming from underneath the tool shed. A very ominous start of the day.

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  4. It’s gorgeous out today, and I’m not much for bird-watching, but I may instead go out and pick up sticks. It was a tough winter, not so much for snowfall or cold, but for wind. I’ve got branches in assorted sizes EVERYWHERE in my yard. But first, Must Edit Ten Pages. (That’s pretty much my mantra every day for the next three weeks.)

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    1. Forgot to say — if anyone needs a dose of kittens, I’m posting more pictures of Billie Jean and her crew beyond the ones labeled #workingwednesdaypix (so as not to clutter up the hashtag too much) at Instagram, under GinJonesMysteries. Gotta go put the latest there now. Kittens will be two weeks old on Monday, and their eyes are open, and they’re starting to crawl, but their big bellies are too heavy for them to get their feet under them to stand yet, so it’s mostly that first stage that human toddlers go through too, when they’re dragging themselves around on their front legs. I’ll try to get some video. Too cute.

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  5. We have a jillion grackles that hang out around our place. When you farm, there is grain everywhere. It’s like a never ending all-you-can-eat buffet. So the birds sit at the tops of the trees, especially the one by our back door, shitting on everything. I’m ready to get the chainsaw and whack that tree down.

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  6. I throw seeds out in the morning, first thing. Then when I’m doing my (very short) philosophy reading, I get to watch the birds flit about.

    This idea of watching reminds me of Inspector Morse, when his doctor told him to find a better hobby than drinking and reading. He tried to take up bird watching, but Lewis had gone to see him and turned out to be pretty good at identifying birds!

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    1. I started watching Lewis before I watched any Morse. Love Lewis. Then I tried Morse and realized that it was the same actor playing Lewis, just twenty years before, young and not widowed yet. It was a nice shock.

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  7. We have had quite a show out here in northern California, I am about to sell my house to relocate closer to hometown and am greedily taking my favorite garden plants with me. The last three weeks while house is being cleaned up and repaired for sale and me digging up every bulb possible, I have watched territory wars, and mating rituals I assume…by crazy bizarre posturing on the more colorful of the birds and constant bickering of funniest flock of birds ever. I am not a bird expert, but the behavior just started about a month ago and only started to slow down the last few days. Its been so noticable that all the neighbors have been commenting, because the behavior goes from garden to street to garden. My dogs were very perplexed when two fighting ones practically landed on them and did not got away in fear, you know how dogs are when there is no chase……very confused. Even the crows have been watching from a distance.

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  8. We’ve got red wing blackbirds, Canada geese, robins, swallows, back for spring. Also peepers in the wetlands, which will be frogs in a while.

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  9. Most of the songbirds aren’t back yet and the first wave of geese and ducks has just arrived but we have giant ravens here all year around. We have an unkindness of 30 or so in town. They are my favourite bird.

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  10. I feed the birds here all winter–mostly cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, juncos, mourning doves, sparrows, and the like. The crows often show up too. As do deer, rabbits, squirrels, and a plague of chipmunks (no, I don’t think that’s the technical name for a large group of chipmunks, but they’ve dug my yard full of holes, stolen most of the food, and for the last couple of years, decimated my garden–little bastards). This winter I had a lone pheasant for a while too.

    I eat breakfast sitting on the couch in the living room (best morning light) with a book and occasionally a cat (Magic always sat on me, but the kittens are too busy ramming around) and watch the birds out the window. It’s lovely.

    But it’s spring, so the feeder comes down. Besides, I’m sick of feeding the chipmunks.

    Yesterday was my birthday and we went to a friend’s house to celebrate Beltane (May Day). Part of the ritual was sprinkling flower seeds all over an empty hillside behind her house in hopes of enticing butterflies and hummingbirds later in the year.

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  11. At the new office location, we are much closer to the edge of undeveloped desert. One of my coworkers has hung up a humming bird feeder, another small feeder with assorted seeds, and has put down a large shallow dish of water, with a large seed block nearby. In addition to the usual pigeons and starlings, the are desert doves, sparrows and finches, and quite of number of Gambel’s quail. There have been roadrunner sightings on the walk to and from the shuttle bus stop, and I’ve spotted the odd hawk as well.

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    1. Gosh that sounds incredibly exotic! (and fabulous)

      We mainly get pigeons, magpies, blackbirds, and starlings in our garden. Occasionally we’ll see goldfinches in the front garden, and that is a reason for excitement and comment 🙂

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  12. My back yard + front yard bird count to date is:
    house sparrows
    house finches
    mourning doves
    Eurasian collared doves
    phoebe
    scrub jay
    mockingbird
    Allen’s hummingbird (2 of these at least)
    Anna’s hummingbird (only one sighting so far, they don’t like sharing the feeder with the Allen’s)

    btw per the bluebird discussion, I remember being completely thrown out of a Regency romance one time when the author had the heroine noticing a hummingbird in an English garden. 🙂

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  13. We have a crazed robin that likes to fly into our window trying to fight it’s reflection. Like someone said robins are very territorial.

    Also my high school mascot was the Bluejay.

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