1. says

    I get the feeling that your North ‘Merican dinosaurs are somewhat more diverse and colourful than our European ones. Is it really so (as in species count etc.) or is this just a case of the inherent mental bias along the lines “the grass on my neigbour’s garden gets more rain than mine”?

  2. says

    I’m pretty sure it’s the grass is greener syndrome, because I feel the same way about everyone else’s dinosaurs. There are also all the birds we know live where we are, but never get the opportunity to photograph. There’s a ton of that here, the majority of what I think are really cool birds don’t get anywhere near residences or people.

  3. Kengi says

    What a lovely shot. Beautiful detail around the beak. I’ve never seen one around here.

    I’ll second Caine on the grass is greener syndrome. I see all the wonderful little dinos from different places posted here and am always jealous. And I’m in a pretty good area for bird watching. eBird lists 353 species for my county, and the app I use for identification lists 251 at this time of year in a 25 mile radius. Many of those are migratory, however. (The last number drops to 159 when turning off migratory birds.) We are in a good path for migration, along a river valley that widens out into a chain of small lakes. Lake Michigan also tends to push many species together as they pass to the west of the lake, making all of NE Illinois a great area for spotting migratory birds.

    As Caine points out, I only get to see a fraction of what’s in the area. My “front yard list” is currently at 37 species. I’m often trying different feed to attract something new and wonderful.

  4. says

    Kengi, you don’t get any of the Grosbeaks? I wonder why. They’ll show up anywhere for sunseeds, but they are on the shy side.

  5. Kengi says

    We get rose-breasted grosbeaks, and that’s it. And not many of them come to the feeder. We are supposed to have the dark-headed ones, but I haven’t seen hide nor hair.

  6. says


    We get rose-breasted grosbeaks, and that’s it.

    Oh gods, I can barely contain myself if the rose-breasteds show here, they are so beautiful! I don’t get them every year, but when I do, I am so excited, and take so many photos. I have found they prefer the studio side tray to the front deck, they like a more sheltered, quieter place to eat, which provides close by places to duck and cover. And sunseeds. Lots and lots of sunseeds. (Preferably black oil.)

  7. Kengi says

    I’ve never managed a photo, but not for lack of trying. They rarely stop for long. Black oil sunseeds are part of the daily mix, partly to keep the cardinals happy. Although, the cardinals will usually start with the peanuts as well, they like a little variety.

    In a failed effort to keep the cats away from the front, I’ve been putting a small tray of peanuts on the ground well in the back yard for them so they don’t go around eating the scattered front-yard peanuts off the ground. (It did stop them from eating the front peanuts, but they still hang out in front trying to catch birds and squirrels.) Now the cardinals have discovered that tray as well. And a squirrel. And a big crow…

    I have to dig the mower out and cut the tall grass and weeds out front to take away some of the feline hiding spots. I usually have to do that twice each year, and I’m a little behind this year.

  8. says

    I seriously loathe people who let cats roam loose. Recently, some people abandoned their house in the middle of the night, taking off due to money problems, and they left a houseful of fucking cats. Cats that are loose, and always end up at my place, stealing suet and looking for anything else to eat. They also manage to kill birds now and then. I keep my cats kenneled and contained, and I wish to hell every other cat owner out there would stop being so damn arrogant as to think the rest of the planet belongs to their effing cat.

  9. Kengi says

    Agreed on the cats. My neighbor has a friend with connections at a vet, so she collects all she can and spays and neuters them every so often. She can’t bring herself to have them killed, which I understand. Since she also feeds them, we have a lot of strays that live next door. Yet more keep showing up. She thinks people drop them off because they know she takes care of them, but it’s an asshole thing to do and she wishes they wouldn’t, for obvious reasons.

    Plus there are at least two other nearby households that let their “house” cats run free outside. It’s pretty safe for them, in this area, but bad for everything else. Again, an asshole thing to do.

  10. says


    I seriously loathe people who let cats roam loose.

    Ouch. Well, we are bound to disagree on somethings. I personally do not see the point of an indoor-cat. They are supposed to be working animals.

    We had cats in the past. We were storing grain and hay at that time and every such household around here has had a cat to keep the rats, mice and voles at least somewhat in check. Even after we stopped storing feed for rabbits and fowl (because we stopped having them), we always had 1 or 2 semi-feral cats, because once a starved cat wandered by, we fed her and she then came back regularly. But she never became really trusting enough so we can catch her and neuter her, so we had to put down her kittens twice a year, otherwise there would be about 100 cats by now (I am fully aware that feral cats are a worldwide problem that has to be adressed).

    She disappeared last year (at 15 years age of anything could have happened) together with her last surviving son. Now we do not have a cat and do not seek a new one, because we do not need one anymore. But if I were to get indoor pet, I would take a small pinscher dog over a cat anytime, they are much more relatable animals.

    I know cats catch birds too, but have never seen one of ours to do it, but I observed them to catch mice quite often. I have occasionaly seen feathers from a disemboweled bird in the garden, but those could as well be left behind by a hawk (after all, they are there occasionaly even now, without a cat). That is mother nature for you.

    As a both cat/bird related note, I think that barn owls are actually much better at keeping the voles and mice in check than cats are. If you have a barn owls nesting in the neighbourhood, it is better than multiple cats. We had one pair nesting on a spruce tree near my neigbours house, and we did not have half the problems with voles ve have now when the spruce is no more.

  11. says

    Charly, I’m not talking about bloody barn cats. On farms, they aren’t a problem, because farms are very large, and they stay on their own fucking territory.

    I live rural, yes, but I do live in a ‘town’. No one in Almont is sitting on a big fucking farm. We all have a decent amount of property, but it’s not massive, and there is no fucking excuse whatsoever for people to let their cats roam all over the damn place. People in suburbs do this shit, too. We are not talking working cats, we are talking PETS, and assholes who let their PETS roam all over, digging up peoples’ gardens, spraying and pissing all over, shitting where they please, killing wildlife, breeding indiscriminately, all with the luxury of wandering home every day to get fed and cossetted.

    I don’t give a damn what people on farms do with their barn cats, they aren’t a problem for me.

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