The bird in the above entry is a distored blue jay that flew in front of my motion sensitive camera and not an ivory-bill.
One quick note: The current, I and the Bird is up at Bird DC Blog. Word is that if you can id all 27 birds pictured in the carnival, Nick will give you a Peterson Field Guide. I would argue that if you could id all those birds, you wouldn't need a Peterson Guide.
Today, I set my Aunt Lorelei up with a Raven Scope and Radian tripod. For anyone interested the Raven is on special with a free tripod. We did this earlier this year for a little while and now we're running it again. We'll do it until we run out of Ravens, which with this special will probably be soon. If you were thinking of getting one, I would decide soon.
I set up the NovaBird Camera at my Mom's house with some peanuts. Not only did I get a blue jay showing up right away, but I also got footage of a robin. When I first saw the robin hop up on Mom's deck I thought it was odd. It was fighting with the blue jay. Now, I didn't put out anything fancy, just some peanuts in the shell and a mix of peanuts out of the shell, sunflower hearts, raisins and cracked corn. Robins are not what you would call a traditional feeder bird. They have been known to show up for mealworms, grape jelly, dried fruit and in harsh weather conditions they will eat sunflowers out of the shell. Still, this is not something you see every day.
When this dude hopped up I was so excited as I watched it ravenously eating the peanuts out of the shell. When I downloaded the photos, I noticed in one that it was a decent photo, but the leg was out of whack. At first, I thought this was just an oddity picked up on the camera.
Sometimes, when the birds move too fast, they will get distorted and you get these great Salvador Dali looking birds, like this photo that I got of a female boat-tailed grackle in Virginia (pictured above). But every photo of the robin that I have from today had the same distortion on the foot, even if other parts were blurry. I grabbed my binoculars and sure enough, this guy has a deformed foot, it almost looks as though it has broken and healed oddly. The bird is thriving well on it's own, and this probably explains why this bird is eating around my Mom's feeders, it's an easy reliable food source. The robin is big enough that the house sparrows can't give it any grief and the starlings appear to give it plenty of space. Blue jays rarely take crap from anybody and they seem to keep the robin off. But otherwise it appears to be doing as best as can be expected.
My Mom's cats are not thrilled with Cinnamon. It doesn't help that they are wussies to begin with--when it comes to bravery, they are certainly not a credit to their species. They are twice Cinnamon's size and run like...well, like "fraidy cats" when she even looks in their direction.
Above is one of the cats named Copernicus, right after he ran and hid behind Mom's DVD player on Cinnamon's approach. I can't even say he's disapproving of Cinnamon, but more terrified than anything else. Cinnamon has decided to compound their indignity by eating their Meow Mix. Non Birding Bill and I are NOT amused, as we are not sure of what the effect of cat food will be on a rabbit. We've already called our vet who gave us a standard answer of just watch and make sure she eats and poops normally over the next twenty-four hours (basically, they don't know the effects of Meow Mix on the non-meow crowd). Bunny-butthead.
For anyone who has ever wondered how I learned to be so classy, there's you're answer. I kind of invited my boss to dinner at my mom's when we all come to Indianapolis in June for a Wild Birds Unlimited Convention...maybe I should rethink that invitation.
Tomorrow, I go to Eagle Creek park with Mom (Non Birding Bill and Cinnamon will be elsewhere). I haven't been there in ages. Way back when--when I was a single gal, I would get guys that wanted a date to take me there. Can't wait to revisit it.