I have to say, this has been quite a week! Started with a trip down to the St. Louis area for the boy’s agility show. Raven was a rockstar qualifying 8 out of 10 runs placing in all if I remember correctly. Ruger, well, as they say…at least he’s cute. He did qualify on one of his runs – he’s young and still getting used to the big ring stress. Went for a run the day after and blew my May training goal of an 18 mile day out of the water with a 22 miler (the cooler temps were greatly appreciated). Then, as if that wasn’t enough, had a fun outing with the Intrigued staff – except the lawyers, they are still on double secret probation thanks to their previously mentioned copier stunt. Word has it Brad might cover that event, so I’ll leave those details for him. Retirement life is certainly good!
For today’s feature I am adding a new entry in the “in a Tree” series.
Hit the jump to see more high branch topknot glory and for the bonus content!
I cannot believe how fast this month has gone. Granted we were out of state for most of it, but even then, it feels like we accidentally took a wormhole to May. I’ve been in a bit of a panic since glancing at the post count for April. Even with Brad’s help, I was still way below my self-imposed monthly quota. Managed to claw my way back over last week with several finds from our trip to Las Vegas in Feb/Mar. Needed one more in these last couple of days before May. Checked out the queue – Brad has several ready for us, but he is still on assignment and want to keep him focused on the Ptarmigan objective. That left me three choices – a grey bird that continues the Desert NWR theme, a grey bird with quite the proboscis or a complete left turn to some creepy crawlies. Grabbed a coin, made a few tosses and welcome to today’s featured feathered friend.
Powers of deduction can quickly reveal the winner. No bursts of color and by birding standards a pretty normal bill…yep, we are going to stay with the Desert National Wildlife Refuge theme from the last couple of posts. While reading the latest finds from this site – specifically the Corn Creak Field Station area – three birds stood out. The Western Bluebird, the Mountain Bluebird and what I thought was a surprising addition based on our location.
We just got back from our trip to St. Louis were Linda ran the kids at the Poodle Club of America Agility Nationals. A big congratulations to Linda and Raven who qualified 2 out of the 3 runs they competed in. Not only did they qualify, they took a first and a second. His third run was just about there, but Raven decided to “improvise” a little. Ruger had two runs and he lived up to our low expectations ha. He just turned two years old and a bit ..hmmm.. let’s go with Linda’s word – scatterbrained. Absolute speed demon in the ring but, just gets distracted easily and seems to enjoy bringing comic relief to the audience. That’s to be expected and once Linda gets that worked out, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with. It was also a bit nostalgic for Ruger as he was reunited with his brother (was actually running against him). We had a great chuckle as his brother (Orion) is EXACTLY the same – full of speed but prefers his own path through the obstacles. Can’t wait to see these two compete next year! Oh, and even Raven had a reunion as he got to see his mother, now 14.
With the accolades out of the way, I should get to the featured feathered friend of the day.
You might have seen this one coming if you caught some of the hints in the last post. Carrying the theme from the last post, I am pleased to bring you another Bluebird for today’s topic.
Hit the jump to learn more about our gorgeous blue tinted specimen.
Howdy folks! Even with Brad’s help I am running behind this month. Having been gone nearly the first three weeks of April and now heading out to St. Louis for a few days so Linda can compete in the Poodle Nationals at Purina Farms, I’m a few posts behind. Trying to get at least one more in while I am waiting for some glue to dry on this year’s signature Halloween prop – a piece that is definitely ending up to be a lot more effort than initially imagined. Cue Linda eye roll “Every one of your projects turns out more than you expected!!!!” True, but most of the time … in the end…”wooooorttthhhh IT” ha (like in this link here). We’ll see how this is going a few months down the road. For now, will try to clear the head of glue fumes and bring you an incredible feathered feature of the day.
Don’t worry, if you hit the jump I’ll get you closer to our feature.
Hello Everyone, Happy “Spend Lots of Money on Your Significant Other” Day or minimally shower them with affection and let them know how important they are in your life (the latter being a hell of a lot cheaper .. just saying). So a few posts back I mentioned that I had already selected the featured subject for this special day. That foreshadowing resulted in Ron spending every available minute from that point on theorizing, hypothesizing and speculating on what I would possibly select to represent SLoMoYSO Day. He actually had a few good guesses, but failed to put two and two together even though he already knew what birds were in my queue. Granted, his guess of a Vermilion Flycatcher (link here) would have definitely been a fitting tribute to the traditional color of the day, I went with another option – one that is making its debut on the blog.
Yes, a Hummingbird! How cute is that!?! In every post involving these delicate birds I’ve mentioned how I have to travel to get any variety in the tin. If you live in the Midwest you basically have three choices of Hummingbirds. The first being a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. Secondly, if you stand real still in a yard full of Hummingbird feeders you just might see a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. Now lastly, if you are feeling really lucky, and I mean really feeling lucky and cover yourself in sugar water and shimmy up the largest pole you can locate you might find yourself in a mental ward …soon after seeing a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. I think you get the picture.
So instead, we load up the RV and head out to better locations. Las Vegas happened to be the spot where this specimen made it into the tin. Over the last Thanksgiving holiday we headed out to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to see what we could find being already elated to have checked off the Costa’s Hummingbird the day before (link here). While coming out of the Visitor Center I noticed the unmistakable sound of a Hummingbird blasting by with full burners engaged. Challenge accepted. This proved to be a bit more difficult than usual thanks to choosing to leave the Beast at home and rent a 180-600mm from a local camera store. Although it was definitely lighter than the Beast, the focus was incredibly slow making in flight shots impossible. All was not lost, just needed to wait until these sugar freaks took a break.
Hit the jump to discover why this little bird was chosen for V-Day.
In preparation for tomorrow, I did some digging in my out building, found a lawn chair and dragged it out to the middle of the yard. Grabbed a pair of flip flops, a bottle of suntan lotion, cheap sunglasses and my favorite birding reference book. Going to be some fun in the heatwave forecasted to hit sometime tomorrow…40F. However, there are possible clouds and rain sneaking in for the afternoon through tomorrow night. Needless to say, I’ll take it. It might look a bit odd being surrounded by a foot of snow that is still lingering, but I “needz my vitamin D”. In truth, I am skeptical it is going to get that warm with this much snow and ice about, but I will definitely be lacing up the running shoes and getting a few miles in snow, rain or sunshine. It might be a bit sketchy on the footing, but it will help the soul to lift the winter blahs. If nothing else, I can simply recall warmer places… for instance Las Vegas.
First a public service warning to those of you that might have adverse reactions to creatures with red eyes. As with the previous post on the Cinnamon Teal, today’s featured bird also possesses a blood red eye. Feel free to view the rest of the post through your fingers if that will make you feel more comfortable ha!
I was just talking to Ron tonight on how odd it is that so many birds have red hued eyes and I am not talking about the night owls squinting through strained eyes and hazy rooms trying to hit the big payout on the one arm bandits (another term that is becoming outdated with the advent of digital technology/machines). We were wondering if it provided some evolutionary benefit, maybe better able to see at dark or perhaps provide better tracking of UV urine trails of prey (yes, some birds have that ability like the Kestrel) or perhaps it is simply a defensive mechanism – if I was a bird I would stay way the hell away from something that had red eyes – clearly bloodthirsty heathens – just saying. Neither of us have a definitive response to the quandary which means I’ll have something to research while enjoying that lawn chair tomorrow. If you happen to have some thoughts on red eyes feel free to let us know in the comments. We here at Intrigued are thirsty for wildlife knowledge.
Short one tonight, but if you hit the jump, I have a few more words and one more image to share.
Greetings to all from the big white tundra we like to call the Midwest. A bit of an icebox at the moment as we are dealing with ~12″ inches of the fluffy stuff. Add to that a layer of ice that accumulated overnight from freezing drizzle and you have yourself a recipe for hilarity. Case in point. Our dogs decided that 4:50am is a perfectly good time to demand I take them out. Wipe the sleep from the eyes, remind the legs they were designed to move me from one place to another, put some shoes on and leash up the dogs – you would think by their expression I take evil enjoyment out of cinching up their necks as opposed to the truth there are “eyes in ‘dem trees” that think 4:50am is a perfect time for an early morning snack. Shut the alarms down and take a groggy step off the porch onto the wet concrete. Except it wasn’t just wet, nope, black ice quickly causing my feet to go eye level and my eyes to go feet level. Just got my back all healed up and now I’m being snickered at by sure footed furballs. Later that morning, a semi ended up jackknifing by the main highway exit I use to get to work shutting down that access and choking up all the alternative routes (which had their share of wrecks as well). Some days were just designed to stay in bed and enjoy thoughts of warmer locations.
Like for instance the desert – specifically the Mohave Desert in Las Vegas. The Rock Wren was not the only bird hanging out at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area back in November 2018. Unlike that bird (link here) and Abert’s Towhee (link here). that came before it, this bird possesses coloring that contrasts sharply with the desert floor. Yep, this one is adorned in a pretty blue and grey palette.
Hit the jump to find out what kind of bird this is!
Getting my exercise in alternative ways today. Seems Old Man Winter has decided the Midwest needed a serious coating of white. Snow has been coming down in our area since 9pm last night and not planned to let up until 2am tomorrow. Good for our wells, but not for the body. Finally got my back functioning again and was hoping to take an easier trajectory to the daily workouts. So far everything is holding together – did a mid-shovel this morning to get the pavements cleared, but will probably be heading out soon to clear off the 4 hours of new powder that has been dropped and break out the tractor to clear the 300′ of driveway.
In the meantime, thought I’d recall warmer times in the Mojave Desert.
Feel bad for bringing you another fairly dull colored bird, but the desert birds tend to inherit the hues of their surroundings. Nonetheless, this little bird represents the second +1 for the young year. Those that happen to be familiar with our feathered friends will probably recognize it as part of the Wren family. Although unable to bring this element to bear, the chatter these hyperactive birds emit is also a dead giveaway. All that is left to do is identify which type it is.