Well, I'm as about as packed as I can get for the ABA. I still have several loose ends to tie up before I head out this afternoon. Mostly bird store stuff, but I think I can get it done.
Yesterday one of the NovaBird People stopped by and we talked about a fun new hand held pishing device they are working on. It has sounds on it to call in birds--including pishing. They recorded my pishing sounds for possible use on the machine. I hope I make the final cut. Wouldn't it be dreamy to see someone with this device at a birding convention, use my pishing sounds and get a great rare bird? As everyone is congratulating themselves on a bird well observed, I would casually say, "You know that pish you used? That's my pish." I'd be so cool.
There are a few other birders they are recording such as my good buddy Carrol Henderson (who wrote theMN DNR's Wild About Birds book among others). Perhaps he and I will have a friendly competition on whose pish gets the most birds. My pish fu is the best. I just realized that if there are any beginning birders or non birders reading this blog, they will be utterly confused about what pishing is and quite possibly assume I have an incontinence problem.
I'm just getting into my non birding summer obsession of raising monarch caterpillars. I have one caterpillar and two eggs...actaully as I type this one of the eggs is hatching. Alas, it is too small for me to get a photo with my camera but in a few days it should be big enough. Monarchs become the store soap opera from July through September as we find eggs and caterpillars outside the store and bring them inside to raise them into a monarch. We then release them so they can begin their migration south. Val Cunningham told me that just about everything eats monarch caterpillars (despite the awful taste they have from eating milkweed) so if you can raise the caterpillars indoors it does help the monarch population. Plus it's fun.