Birding and Birds

We’ve had two bird strikes just today! Normally we get a few each year but they’re rarely fatal. Once we lost a woodpecker that way :frowning:

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I used to work in an office set back in a lightly wooded area. One morning we came in and there was a perfect shape of an owl, wings spread, on one of the big windows. Luckily there was no sign of it, so it hopefully just knocked itself silly and flew off once it recovered.

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Last week, we were in little Marshall, IL on the square and I saw a hawk statue on a plinth across the street at the courthouse, which then took off and flew into a tree since it wasn’t a statue.

That was neat.

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I admit, looking at interesting birds might get me in trouble. I pointed out a pileated woodpecker to mini-me last week while I was driving. It’s a good thing my hands don’t follow my eyes. The next day, we were at the ball fields while two osprey were hanging around and catching thermals, and I had to remind myself several times that I was on the field with live batting.

Safety first, birds second.

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More than once a grouse has BOOMED out of a bush next to me while I was precariously balanced on rocks in a river. @#$#ing &^%#ers. There’s about a dozen variables there for a slapstick injury or death.

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We get pheasants, which love to burst out of hedges into the road. Even better, they time it so they’re right under your tires when they appear, and will sometimes turn around for a second go. We call them suicide birds, but have thankfully managed to dodge them so far.

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There used to be a restaurant in North Hollywood, which has sadly closed, which was like going into a little jungle (it had no roof) and there were a bunch of birds in cages and rabbits hopping around, but there was also a golden pheasant walking around and it was a gorgeous bird.

I have no idea how it wasn’t closed down by the health department, but we always took people there when they visited.

image

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Ours aren’t quite that pretty, although apparently we have a feral populations around somewhere.

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Cornell stocks them around here, but they don’t do winters so well, I guess. They always seem lost. The raptors and fishers and coyotes probably appreciate it.

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That is gorgeous! Reminds me of this rooster we saw in Hawaii once:

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Oo! I’ve got Maui chickens!!

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Unfortunately no good pics but two fun bird sightings today – one, I saw TWO woodpeckers, together, on the walnut tree. One red headed one black headed. We get woodpeckers often but I’ve never seen two of them this close before. Terrible pic, look halfway down on the left side:

The other fun thing was a hummingbird flew down right in front of where I was sitting, and visibly peed on the sidewalk. I saw a hummingbird pee! (Weirdly the pee evaporated almost instantly)

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