Thursday, November 20, 2008

Crows On Pie


One of the wintertime sports around the farm here at Indigo Hill is watching who and what comes to the meat pile. We throw old, freezer-burned steaks, over-the-hill chicken carcasses, and past-its-freshness-date hamburger in a big pile three-quarters of the way out our middle meadow path, along with anything else that might attract hungry wildlife, and we watch to see what comes in.
Link
Ten days ago we put a frozen fruit pie out, along with some carbon-datable chicken fingers. Then we placed a Moultrie GameCam (courtesy of our friends at WingScapes) nearby to capture snapshots of the action. Most of the activity occurred at night and that's the stuff of another post. But we also caught some visits during the day by our local American crows.


I can just imagine how long they must have perched in the woods nearby, sure that this was a trap. They might have watched for hours before the bravest among them swooped down for a closer look. Even when other flockmates joined in, you can still see that they are wary—checking for trip wires, joy-buzzers, pit traps, Ed McMahon.


Finally satisfied that this is simply a big pile of gourmet grub set out just for them the crows tie into the pie. They look like hungry diners at a lunch counter. And I can almost hear their mealtime conversation.

Crow #1: "Hey bro! You know what would go GREAT with this pie?
Crow #2: "No idea, dude. What?"
Crow #1: "A cup of caw-fee!"
Crow #2 "Fershizzle!"

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For A Grackle Eating Dog Food


Black shine yellow eye
Great-tailed grackle eats dog food
bow-wow-wow-sckrkkttshhhh!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alcid Indigestion

The camera's date is wrong, but the cameraman's mad ID skilz are in full force.


While digitally flipping through the images from the front yard Wingscapes BirdCam this morning I was shocked and pleased to add ANOTHER new bird to the property list here at Indigo Hill. If you look in the lower frame of this image, you'll see a nice shot of a fox sparrow (of the eastern legless race). But it's the OTHER bird I am super excited about. The one in flight. See it?

I've studied it for several hours now and feel I can conclude with complete confidence that the motion detector on the camera caught an image of a flying alcid. To be completely, awesomely specific in this identification: It's a razorbill!

Now why would a razorbill end up on a dry ridgetop in southeast Ohio?

Then I remembered! I threw some old sardines out on the compost pile the other day.

Mystery solved! Eat your heart out David Caruso! And take those stupid shades off your face. You look like a leprechaun in a Blues Brothers movie.

Nailed it! Razorbill, baby! Sweet!

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