Cardinals and Owls

I have not found the chrysalis of the swallowtail butterfly in my apartment, but I did find a bunch of frass on the kitchen widow frame around a very dried out parsley plant. The plant had been chewed down to mostly nubs by Miss Cinnamon and I am sure that this was a wayward caterpillar that came in on some grocery store parsley and found its way to the dried pot. I wonder if I will ever find the chrysalis? Based on the frass it managed to live on the dwindling parsley in the window. I feel bad that I never noticed it.

I had a meeting with Stan at Staring Lake Nature Center for our trip to go see sandhill cranes in Nebraska next week. I got there an hour early to do some digiscoping in the evening light.

There was a small flock of cardinals hanging around the bird feeders. I was surprised that the males were still tolerating each other and not more territorial, but I suppose we have a few more weeks of winter left. This bird popped up when I whistled a cardinal call.

Even some of the female cardinals popped up to check out my calls. I either have mad skills in speaking the cardinal language or I said something really offensive.

Stan told me that he has a great horned owl nesting nearby--right along one of the trails. He pointed it out and I set the scope up on it. The owl nest is in the center of the red circle above. It's a great horned owl that took over an old crow nest.

Here is what she looks like through the scope. As people arrived for the meeting I had them look through. It was almost like a magic eye puzzle trying to make her out from all the branches. People would look through and say, "Well, I see a bunch of sticks...oh, OH! I see her!"

This bird made an informed decision, it nested right on a well used trail (even in winter) near a parking lot. So much for owls being skittish at the nest.

And now for some light reading...

Non Birding Bill picked me up a boxed set of Casino Royale from Target that includes a booklet on the making of the movie. I'm not kidding when I say light reading--it's all photos. Mostly of Mr. Craig, but a few to make it more artistic, like a photo of Dame Judy Dench. You know, to make it classy and not just about beefcake.