Birds and Beers

The bandwidth is going of the charts again this month. Non Birding Bill just looked into it and found I'm getting quite a bit of traffic from the International Atomic Energy Agency (the agency that promotes safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies). Interesting....

I'm organizing an informal get together of birders. There are so many people that are doing interesting things bird wise--research projects, banding, writing, etc. and we don't often find out about it on the listservs. I also notice that some of us only have a chance to meet at a stake out bird. I thought it would be fun to get some of us together, have a drink, and talk some birds.

So, if you aren't doing anything on Tuesday, July 17 at 6 pm and are in the Twin Cities metro area, come on out for Birds and the Beer at Merlin's Rest. This is not any kind of paid thing, or something the restaurant is sponsoring. It's just an informal gathering to talk with fellow birders--beginners, novices, hard-core--whatever you are, come on in. I chose Merlin's Rest because I know the owner (he's helped with peregrine falcon reintroduction in the Midwest) and it's got bird photos on the walls, so it can't be all bad. Even one of the bartenders is an ornithologist.

They do serve food there as well, so if you want to grab a bite feel free. If you can't make it to this one, I'm hoping this is an ongoing thing and I would like to try it when I travel to other areas.

If you're curious about the tufted titmouse photos, I was around yesterday when one hit a window and dazed itself for about five minutes. When I picked it up from the ground to keep it safe from predators, cats, and dogs I realized that I had never held a titmouse before and it's one of my favorite birds.

Upon closer inspection you could see that this bird was fairly fresh from the nest. Notice the yellow along the gape (the corner of its bill), that's the give away. Poor thing must be learning to fly and like a 15 year old with a learner's permit, lost control.

I loved getting a look at all the little whiskery feathers around the bill. The titmouse sat in my hand for a few minutes and then took off like a flash. That was when it found its way to my head. It stayed for another minute and rejoined its begging siblings in a conifer ten feet away.