Some catching up: DK and the Fluffies won the owl caption contest with "Yes, damn it, we are having rodent for dinner again tonight and until you can flap your a** out of this damn nest and get your own damn food, I'm not having any more whining from you! *snap*"
Sorry I fell behind on that one, I blame the bee class. Email your snail mail to me.
Okay, a BIG FAT thank you to Veronica B in SoCal for bringing this to my attention:
Okay, to the untrained non birder eye, this might look like bird "marital relations" but it is quite the opposite. This is an all out peregrine falcon territory battle happening at the Riverside Falcon Cam. You can view all of the photos at the website, but you will need to scroll down to March 11, 2007.
You'll note in all the fight photos that the raptors are keeping their heads back and their feet forward. On raptors, the feet are the business end of the bird, they are strong and sharp. The goal is to kill or severely disable your opponent--aim for the eyes with the toes. The eyes are the last thing raptors want destroyed on their body--they can't see to hunt or defend the territory. That's why people who work with birds of prey and have them sitting on the fist aren't worried about being bit. Raptors don't want to use their bills as a primary weapon, they want to keep their eyes away from any potential danger. By bringing their face close to your face to bite you, they risk bringing their eyes closer to a dangerous situation. It's much safer for them to use their talons.
Speaking of fights, I go out today for awhile and when I come back home all heck is breaking loose on the birding blogosphere. Laura Erickson has left binoculars.com and started her new (temporary) blog here. I had a link earlier to her notice of resignation that was up at the old blog, but it has been taken down. Mike has a copy of the original notice up on his blog. I'm sure Laura will come out on top when the dust finally settles. If you're worried and want to help her, you can always purchase a copy of one of her books--even if you already have one, purchase another and gift it to a school, your senator, or library.
If you're looking for a place to purchase binoculars, I still recommend my former employer Eagle Optics. Their record for giving back to the birding community and funding for conservation programs speaks for itself. There's even quite a bit that they do that no one ever hears about. Early on in the current war in Iraq, Dan Hamilton (the owner) read about an army unit that had really poor binoculars among the many hardships they were enduring. He sent the whole unit new optics. It didn't make the papers. Just one of the many interesting facets of Dan Hamilton.