Arboretum Party

I spent the day at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Sunflower Picnic answering bird feeding questions and signing calendars with Stan Tekiela. It was like a big birder party. I ran into Roger Everhart and Mark Newstrom the songbird banders at Lowry Nature Center, Val Cunningham and Holly Pierson who were local birding experts and some of the regular customers from the bird store.

The banders got some great birds including white-breasted nuthatches (pictured left), black-capped chickadees (pictured with Mark below), goldfinches, a family of house wrens and a great-crested flycatcher. It was fun day and perfect weather.

Things at the birdchick cave are a little challenging right now, I have removed five squirrels and still had one sneak in the bedroom this morning, we lost half the power in our apartment Saturday morning (the important half is still working like the refridgerator, air conditioner, internet access, phone and tv but it's tough showering in the dark) and the emergency maintenance guy doesn't know how to fix it. With our schedules the apartment looks like a tornado hit it--kinda glad lights our out in half of it, so I can't see how messy it is. But all this was made better as Bill and I went to one of my favorite used book stores and found a Forbush May book. I love the old books that categorize birds as good and evil, it's incredible to see how far we have come in roughly a century in how we regard certain bird species. I leave you with one of the best passages of a description of a flock of blue jays mobbing a screech owl:

In their excessive agitation the jays seem to lose their habitual caution, and it appears as if the mob would annihilate the despised and hated imp of darkness.