Friday, December 12, 2008

College work

When I was going to Grad School at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas I was studying the Brown Headed Nuthatch. Long story short: I did my study on campus. We trapped them and marked them with colored leg bands and also tried painting in order to ID individuals. Let me tell you, trying to ID a small upper canopy bird in tall pine trees is a pain in the neck. Literally.
Anyway, I found a few pix from my work. Here they are.Here we are setting up the mist net.

I think that the blue paint made a nice fashion statement. I like to think that this bird was like the cool kid on the block with his new Jordan sneakers.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A sighting of my own.....

I couldn't believe my eyes... in the middle of my work day.... in the middle of Bowie...and yet, there it was, seeking it's prey.... A beautiful eagle.

Ok, it was a picture sent in an email I received at work. (One of those painfully funny emails full of heinous pictures of incredibly inappropriate things.) But this picture, this needle in a haystack snapshot, took me away from my desk, just for a minute. In my mind, I was atop the South Rim in Big Bend National Park, Texas. Thankfully, my memory blocked out the part about being insanely hot and sweaty and nearly out of water and I was just watching. Watching, as I had years ago, a Peregrine Falcon.... diving. For prey? Perhaps, but we were never quite sure. Whatever his goal, it was quite a site to see. A site I will likely never forget (baring the setting in of dementia) and it was truly refreshing to go back there today.... no matter what crazy thing conjured the memory.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Reminiscent Sighting

I was in the Pasadena area today. Actually, I wasn't that close. But, I was in the northern half of the county.
Anyway, I drove through my old neighborhood. The one I grew up in. There is a small pond or swamp so-to-speak in the neighborhood that I visited when home from college sometimes. Spotted the Hooded Merganser floating across the water as he did 15 years ago. Of coarse I realize it wasn't the same one... I also caught the Yellow bellied Sapsucker. Likely part of a mixed species flock. I saw and heard some chickadees and a few Juncos. But, I really didn't spend much time there. On the way out I also glimpsed a Bufflehead at the community pier.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So it begins

As I sit here today I remember the care free effort of birding on my own time. There was the occasional early wake up to walk through a neighboring forest. Maybe quietly watch the bird in the back yard at the feeder. Perhaps a camping trip with birding in mind. A search for a Life Bird.
Alas, this is no longer the case. Enter two lovely children and all that goes with them.
I and wife, Karen, are now the distracted birders.