Thursday, February 08, 2007

Where are all the birds????

Word of the Day:

Pyrrhic victory \PIR-ik\, noun:
A victory achieved at great or excessive cost; a ruinous victory.

Are all the good birds just NOT HERE, or what?
I drove all over the area, hitting some of my favorite spots (East Fork, the PITS, etc.) and it was damn quiet.
coopers hawk
I don't even remember where I took this picture of a Cooper's hawk. I think I took it yesterday.
red shouldered in the yard
This gorgeous red-shouldered hawk was hanging out in one of our trees this morning, hopefully lowering the mouse population.
red shouldered in the yard 2
Like I mentioned in a comment on my last post, if you can see the tail, you will know this is not a red-tailed. And see the 'scalloped' look of her back?
mutt geese
I saw some mutt geese. From the distance, I thought they might be swans, but I wasn't that lucky today.
mallard speculum
At Lake Isabella, the bird action was mallards, mutts and Canada geese.
When I saw the mallards rooting around in the snow for food, I did what I usually don't do, and threw out some cookie crumbs I found in Lorelei's car seat. The ducks were appreciative, and one got close enough for me to get some nice close-ups. Look at the detail in those gray feathers. Mallards may be common, but they are not COMMON.
male mallard head
When Isabelle saw these photos, she asked, "Mommy, is that iridescence?"
Who is this kid??
One more little Belle tidbit: I was using a pot holder, and Lorelei asked what it was. When I said it was a pot holder, and I used it for picking up hot things, Isabelle pipped in and said, "They should call them HOT HOLDERS."
That's a smart kid.
frosty bill
Poor little Cold Duck.
rapidly shrinking ice
It's been harder and harder to find open water this week. It's all shrinking fast.

Oh! I made a local newspaper today...the Clermont Sun had a reporter and photographer at my program on Sunday, and I was interviewed and the guy took some really bad pictures.
You can read the article here.
He was fairly accurate in quoting me, not word for word, but the basic gist of what I said. I actually sound smart!!!


Mary said...

Susan, that is exacting what I was wondering today, "Where are the birds?" Your girls inherited your curiosity, for sure. I really like when you incorporate them into your posts.

Well, I read that article and you ARE SMART! Kudoes to you for capturing an audience with your knowledge.

Your photos are great and I agree with you, Mallards aren't so common...they are always worth a photo.

I wish you 40 degrees tomorrow!

LauraHinNJ said...

Nice article - you do sound smart!

Good *bird* vibes to you - although I'd be pretty happy with that red-shoulder. They're pretty.

Susan Gets Native said...

How sad is that I would look forward to 40 degrees????

I need the bird vibes...I hope they start showing back up when this 10 degree weather ends.
I was happy to see the RS...I love it when any raptor visits the yard.

John said...

Susan - I have found that bird photography, even at my rather basic level, has made me pay more attention to the beauty of common birds. Even ring-billed gulls are beautiful when you look closely at the feather patterns.

Lynne said...

I'd love to attend one of your presentations. You ARE smart! Mallards really are pretty and the detail in the picture of the feathers is amazing.

vicki said...

The good birds are down here staying warm. What can I say? Still, you always come up with great posts, great photos and good Isabelle sightings.Thanks!

Endment said...

Yes Susan -- You do sound smart ---:) And all the rest of us think it is because you are smart!!!

Anonymous said...

i read the article and was happy that it seemed to be accurate. I am proud of you. I have learned so much from you and Rachel. As you know I have been feeding birds for years but didn't realize how much there was to learn. I do enjoy their beauty. They make me feel peaceful. Swamette

NatureWoman said...

Congratulations Susan! You *are* very smart! I love all of your pretty, irridescent bird shots!
I enjoy reading about your daughters, too!

dguzman said...

Thanks for the tips on telling raptors apart (about the tail). I've been focusing on songbirds in my learning, so when I see a raptor I just automatically run through my wish-it-were-this list:
1. bald eagle! (salute)
2. red-tailed hawk! (feathers used in Native American ceremonial headdresses)
3. a falcon that Prince Humperdink can track on a cloudy day!

Liza Lee Miller said...

You ARE smart!

Cracking up at the Princess Bride reference above! Too funny!

Love that mallard closeup -- gorgeous feather details. And, your kids are super smart too -- don't you love the things kids say?

Dave said...

Open water? What's that?

Nice article & good picture.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Now THOSE look like snow geese...and the bill proportions and stark whiteness of the head actually points more toward Ross' goose to me. I'm going to forward this to BOTB and my friend Jeff Gordon and see what they think.
Just hoping to prove I'm not just here to rain on your parade!
My main Boomer nibble fell through (there actually IS a cat in the picture who would be an issue)
but I'm working on another. Hang in there. Maybe it's time to uncross.

The Swami said...

Is "uncross" a religious sign made by people who are unschooled?

katdoc said...


In the end I will defer to you, BT3 and Jeff, but I am going out on a limb to say not Snow or Ross geese, based on the lack of black primaries. Also (inside track) nobody is reporting a group of 3 Snow or Ross geese on the Cincinnati Birds site.

~Kathi, crossing my fingers that I don't look stupid in public and that this limb I am on doesn't break.