Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Queen City Birding Festival

Saturday was the day for the first annual Queen City Birding Festival. This event was geared more toward kids, but there were plenty of old timers there, too.

Speaking of old timers, let me tell you a story:
I had the birds perched out for this program, with a table, chairs and the carriers blocking the public from getting too close to the birds. The red screech owl was perched on the table, as far from "petting" hands as possible. I have a sign that I printed up telling folks how to enjoy our birds; Don't yell, don't touch, ask lots of questions, feel free to take pictures, etc.
Well, this 203-year-old man came over and was getting a bit too close to the SO (the SO is a nervous bird anyway, and he was starting to show signs of stress). I stepped up to block the man from getting any closer. The old geezer was standing right in front of my instruction sign, and decided the SO needed shade (it was sunny, but the bird was fine) and he started to place a piece of paper over the screech owl. I gently put my hand on the man's hand and said, "Please don't do that." The old fart turned and said nastily, "I don't LIKE that." And I said, "Well, I don't either. My birds, my rules." And off he went, grumbling and geezering. I didn't see him again.
I mean, HELLO? Wild birds of prey? The person in charge of protecting said wild birds of prey, telling you not to do something? THAT gives you the right to be a &%$@?

The best part of the festival...this guy:
David and banded cardinal
This is David Russell. He teaches ornithology at Miami University. He bands. He's fun. He's a walking encyclopedia of bird knowledge. He made me wanna go to school and get a degree in ornithology.
I saw him first at the OOS Owl Symposium last year, but didn't get to officially meet him until this Saturday. What a hoot.
Aside from bird walks, me with the raptors, etc, there was also a banding demo.

Even from this angle I think youre an a hole
"Even at this angle, you still look like an ***hole."

This next photo is bad if you want to look at the birds (an orchard oriole), but it's the people I want you to look at:

banding demo
The woman wasn't nearly as disgusted as she looks. She was just a random person helping with the data entry. Her son, to the left, looks like he's about to puke or sneeze.

female towhee
Female Eastern Towhee. Subtle colors, but still that evil red eye....

female towhee brood patch
...and a perky little brood patch.

Orchard oriole
Male orchard oriole...just drink that in. The rich, dried-blood color and the glossy black. The two-tone bill of black and silver. *shivers*

Sylvester in the sunlight
And as usual, Sylvester disapproves. Of everything and everyone.


The Swami said...

Great photo of Sylvester, especially when enlarged.

donaldthebirder said...

Aren't the Russells just amazing? Glad to see you and the birds again. The weather was nasty before you arrived - glad the day turned out nice.

NCmountainwoman said...

Great pictures and comments. There always seems to be an old fart around, doesn't there? I fell in love with Sylvester, although I don't think I would approach him.

Lynne said...

"grumbling and geezering..."

I'll be stealing and using that phrase! Too funny.

dguzman said...

I'm glad you told off that old poop. Go Susan!

I love orchard orioles! Thanks for the great pics!

Sylvester is scary.

RuthieJ said...

Great pics and story Susan.
There's just no telling what humans are going to come up with is there? I know for myself, I have become so fixated on an object that I never saw the sign telling me not to touch it (or that sign that said 50 MPH either!)

Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Nice bird pics! We had an Oriole in our tree the other day who was just singing his heart out. And tonight as the sun set, I was serenaded by an energetic Catbird with a fabulous song selection! Awesome!