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Spring has sprung

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

Re: Spring has sprung

Postby doppel » Sat May 12, 2012 4:31 pm

Pasted from a US Fish and Wildlife page:

"Jay Feathers

Common Name: Eurasian Jay
Scientific Name: Garrulus glandarius
Protected Status: Not protected by U.S. Law or CITES.
Laboratory Section: Morphology
What’s the Story? The blue-and-black feathers of this species are popular in fly-tying."

Apparently the USFWS ain't bonkers insane, afterall.
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby snoqueen » Sat May 12, 2012 8:14 pm

Jays are fun. I saw a couple of 'em chasing a crow the other day. They've been making a lot of noise in my neighborhood lately, after being quiet (or absent) all winter.

Jays are related to crows, too.

Both jays and crows like to chase owls, and they have some way of finding the owls during the day and waking them up and making them fly and then dive bombing them.

I don't know if this is for entertainment or to protect their nests or what.
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Marvell » Wed May 16, 2012 12:16 pm

Speaking of Steller's jays:

This position will serve in a research environment supporting survey of habitat use, foraging ecology and diet of Steller's Jays in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.


If only I didn't already have a damn job...
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Marvell » Sat May 19, 2012 10:56 am

Out-RAGEOUS critter action at Olbrich this a.m.

After making various songbird sightings amidst the trees along Starkweather Creek - orioles, cardinals and goldfinches in particular - I approached the happy pond to behold two turtles AND a green heron all hanging out on the log. It was a multi-species love-in!

I crept up and took what will probably prove to be a totally inadequate picture with my phone. Unfortunately this spooked the green heron who flew off.

I crossed the wee footbridge that traverses the happy pond with an eye towards giving the turtles a closer inspection, basking as they were in dapper fashion upon their log. It was then I noticed a whole different kind of turtle, lurking submerged beneath the log with only its broad snout breaking the surface of the water!

This was an occurrence without precedent in all my visits to the happy pond. To call me dumbfounded would be an understatement; I was witnessing levels of spontaneous turtle fraternization perhaps unequaled in the history of Olbrich Gardens.

The one thicker-necked, bumpier-shelled turtle eventually swam out from under the log and began swimming about the happy pond in a sort of torpid manner. The two slimmer, orange-necked turtles continued their dapper sunning.

After a minute I caught a flash of motion in a small tree on the banks of the happy pond, not ten feet from where I stood. It was the green heron; he had returned! I got a fantastic look at the little guy; what an unbelievably beautiful bird. They have this pattern on their wings that looks for all the world like a wood burl; it's phenomenal.

I gawked at the green heron for a while, and then decided I'd cross over the the other shore of the happy pond, where the little wooden construction juts out into the water. Like the green heron, I was looking for frogs; I'd seen tadpoles earlier in the spring, and spotted a couple adult frogs lurking in the muck on previous visits.

I walked out onto the wooden dock and almost immediately saw something small perched on a rock just off the pond shore. It was a teeny turtle! Just the cutest little dude; at one point I swear to Baal he wagged his tail in the most adorable fashion.

I plotzed. Hard.

So - if you're keeping score at home, we're now up to FOUR turtles, including an entirely new kind of turtle previously unwitnessed, plus a wicked-cool green heron.

And then I turn around, and there in the mud next to the dock is a huge, perfect, emerald-green frog.

It really doesn't get more critteriffic than that. Not bad for a Saturday morning, five blocks from my house.
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Remember_Me » Sat May 19, 2012 11:28 am

I've probably walked/run at least 50 miles since posting about bluejays.

STILL haven't seen one.

Slippery bastards.
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat May 19, 2012 11:44 am

Remember_Me wrote:I've probably walked/run at least 50 miles since posting about bluejays.

STILL haven't seen one.

Slippery bastards.

They come to my bird feeder from time to time. I also often hear their obnoxious squawks in the neighborhood.
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Remember_Me » Sat May 19, 2012 11:46 am

Henry Vilas wrote:They come to my bird feeder from time to time.


Alright, should I just camp in the yard or do you want to set me up on the sofa?

Also, what's your feelings on sleep groping?
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat May 19, 2012 1:06 pm

Remember_Me wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:They come to my bird feeder from time to time.


Alright, should I just camp in the yard or do you want to set me up on the sofa?

Also, what's your feelings on sleep groping?

Only if that offer came from Scarlett Johansson.
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Remember_Me » Sat May 04, 2013 10:00 am

Remember_Me wrote:This brilliantly red cardinal right outside my window right now has got me thinking what I haven't seen yet this year.

And what I haven't seen, and what no one else has mentioned here yet either, is blue jays.

Anyone seen a blue jay yet?

And did you know they're actually black and not blue?


Two cardinals out there now. One brilliantly red, the other quite dull. Two different trees and having quite the gab fest.

I can't say as I recall seeing a SINGLE blue jay all of last year. Lots of married ones but no single ones.

That was a first for me and I hope it doesn't happen again this year. Saw damn near everything else you'd expect, plus a few surprises, but no jays.

Anyone seen jays yet?
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat May 04, 2013 12:16 pm

Just once for a jay at the feeder and then at the birdbath. The bright red cardinal is the male, the dull colored one the female.
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby fennel » Sat May 04, 2013 4:11 pm

We had a blue jay in our back yard yesterday. He was loud and clearly trying to make a point about something.
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Madsci » Mon May 06, 2013 8:46 pm

The last of our spring arrivals from the bird kingdom came in this weekend. The bobolink let's everyone know it has returned.

On a different but relate note, has anyone seen morels yet?
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Marvell » Mon May 13, 2013 3:14 pm

Saw a scarlet tanager on Helena St. on Saturday morning.

He was a handsome devil!
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby fennel » Mon May 13, 2013 4:16 pm

Marvell wrote:Saw a scarlet tanager on Helena St. on Saturday morning.

He was a handsome devil!
Well, that's who makes that familiar call. Scarlet Tanager
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon May 13, 2013 4:41 pm

Earlier today I had a Baltimore/Northern Oriole try to feed from my hummingbird feeder. I'll buy an orange for it tomorrow.

No hummingbirds yet.
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