Today was the last day of my birding class. MUCH more enjoyable without a headache. We even tested that theory by replaying the coot call. And what did we learn, boys and girls?
Thanks to NPS.gov for the photo!
First. FIRST! We figured out what Frankenbird was! I feel very bad about how I described him…because he was a perfectly healthy turkey vulture. As you can see, they have long necks with a thick turtleneck looking thing – which I thought was a deformity. And the young one I saw hadn’t developed the red head so he was just patchy and bald looking. So, that’s what he is. I found this out because what I thought were ravens floating on the updrafts by our house are actually turkey vultures. I’m going for a closer look next time I see them.
Second, in May we get an influx of yellow birds. We thought it was many
different kinds but, in fact, it is the same bird but the female goldfinch kind of gets ripped of. It’s like humans – why do boys have great eyelashes and an easier time staying fit? Our girl goldfinches are sometimes even less pretty than this one – they are more grey and don’t have the nice wing patterns. The boys are just exactly that handsome.
And third, we learned what Oliver’s new breakfast bell is. Every morning we hear this sound and it wakes him up and gets him thinking about breakfast. If I needed any confirmation that this is the bird I was looking for, I just got it. As soon as I started playing videos for this, Obi and Oli appeared on the desk. They WANT that bird – they’re searching everywhere for it.
Bird class: well worth the price in order to be the OutTV Guide.
It’s Thunder Thursday! Today we feature the brand new kittens born out at Terry Bison Ranch this week. Sooooo cute. That mama cat is dangerously close to a striped calico – Kitten Thunder might be closer to getting a sister than I thought!
The Boy was on OutTV this evening, doing various out things, and Obi was in his now normal spot in front of the window in the living room. He was dividing his attention between what The Boy was doing and a sparrow that keeps trying to eat Obi’s birdseed.
I don’t know why Obi won’t let this bird on the ledge. He gets really excited by the finches and orioles, but he doesn’t attack. But this sparrow can’t even land without a brown kitten lunging toward the window. I guess Obi thinks he can take him.
I was watching TV – real TV – when I heard a weird sound and saw Obi leap back from the window from the corner of my eye. I looked up to see that The Boy had sprayed the window with our garden hose. Obi was freaked out. Then entertained.
The whole time The Boy was outside, Obi’s attention was on him. He’d peek around the corner of the window. Hoping.
It’s a foggy evening in Cheyenne. That is important because it means we didn’t grill pork chops. Which means we didn’t eat my homemade applesauce. Which means that the only reason we chopped up all those apples was to provide excellent OutTV.
The buffet I’ve set out for the pregnant squirrels is a big hit in the neighborhood. Especially with the apples I set out today. We had squirrels and all sorts of birds, plus a bunny. My blog today was going to introduce you to all the birds. I had a couple I needed to work really hard to identify. Including orioles. I was really excited to find out Wyoming has orioles. Then, just as I was wrapping up, I discovered our new birds might be grosbeaks. My head hurts.
The funny thing is that we’re serving corn this week and most of our birds are yellow. Five different varieties of yellow bird. Coincidence?
While the apple sauce was cooking, I kept hearing this popping noise. I thought maybe the lid wasn’t on right on the crock pot and kept going to look. Then I figured out that the little yellow and black birds were flying into the windows. They, like Obi, don’t seem to have the whole concept of glass down. At the end of this video you’ll hear a clunk…and my “oh gosh” as a bird hits the window.
The Boy came home from his business trip and you would not believe what happened. I, of course, was happy to see him. Oliver jumped out of my lap and onto the back of the couch to welcome him. Obi…not so much. I’d have never pegged Obi as a punisher, but he is. He ignored The Boy all night. And BARELY let him rub his belly the next morning. Who knew?
The other day, Obi and I were watching the porch while I ate my sandwich. A very pregnant squirrel came to the feeder. She barely made it up and only ate one peanut. She was considering whether it was worth it to try to get up there again when a very VERY pregnant squirrel chased her off. This one had no chance.
She stretched and stretched and streeeeeeetched to try to reach the feeder. The profile of her tiny hands, small head, HUGE belly, and tiny feet was cute. And pathetic. Once she gave up I went out and arranged a buffet for my girls – piles of peanuts and lines of sunflower seeds across all three ledges of our porch.
Now if we can just figure out some way to convince the boy squirrels that they should ignore the easy food and still use the feeder.
We’ve had so much squirrel action on OutTV that Kitten Thunder is losing a little bit of interest. Luckily, we have a whole lot of birds. I can hear a blue jay, right now, calling his girlfriend across the street. There are robins and finches and sparrows and doves and wrens. Last night there was a little woodpecker tap-tap-tapping on the phone pole. And somewhere out there is an owl. I can’t see him, but he’s on OutFM in the morning.
I was watching a robin in the yard with Obi. I was asking about the bird: what was it? What is he doing? Finally Obi turned and looked me square in the eye. I’m pretty sure the look said, “if you’ll shut up and watch, you could figure all this out.” Sorry. I left him to his bird watching and came in here to blog.
Usually I have help when I blog. Lots of “help.” But today we have ten programs going on on OutTV, with smell-o-vision, and that’s an opportunity not to be wasted in May in Wyoming.