Dinosaurs in my yard


Mary is continuing to be obsessed with birds, and they keep coming back and hanging around. Today she was all excited by something called a Brown Thrasher, which would be a great name for a spider or a shark, but no, it’s a bird.

I like the blue jay because I can recognize it. Because it’s blue.

I may have to work on my avian taxonomy skills.

Comments

  1. captainjack says

    I’m envious. I’ve noticed a lack of song birds in Denver the last year or so. I wasn’t surprised to learn there’s been a mass die off in the Southwest from starvation.

  2. davidc1 says

    Always been fascinated by the names of birds in America (,good name for a book) ,ever since i watch a Yogi Bear cartoon .
    He lifts up the lid of a nest box ,and some nestling said, “There Ain’t Nobody Here But us Yellowed Belled Sap Suckers “.

  3. numerobis says

    I can also recognize red-wing blackbirds.

    They are black. With a dash of red. On the wings.

  4. woozy says

    I like the blue jay because I can recognize it. Because it’s blue.

    That won’t cut it here in California.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    If you want to brush up on your avian ID skills, there is a helpful app called Merlin Bird ID. I often use it during my walks when I come across a bird I can’t ID.

  6. blf says

    I know a penguin who could help your dinosaur taxonomy skills. In several ways. Besides being a dinosaur herself, she has met and played with and hunted and feasted on a number of the older models including T. Rex (“tastes like chicken”), likes to blow things up (which means that to stuff a dinosaur it helps to be good at soggy 3D jigsaw puzzles), sometimes has access to a Tardis (extremely angry mouse permittingfooled), and whilst deranged, it’s mild. Cheese usually calms her down.

  7. rblackadar says

    The excitement was probably in large part because brown thrashers are not supposed to be in Minnesota in December. And yes, that brown bird (the one near the fence) does appear to be a brown thrasher. Good luck, little bird.

  8. fishy says

    I see that Morris is included in the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count.
    Are you participating?

  9. brightmoon says

    Surprisingly there are a lot of birds in NYC. Besides pigeons! Hawks , brants, black and white warblers, cardinals, blue jays, crows, sparrows, herons , egrets , grackles, mourning doves. I see a lot especially since they started planting more trees

  10. brightmoon says

    Oh I almost forgot our parrots . Green and grey monk parrots . They’re feral escapees from JFK but they’ve been here for about 50 years now and their numbers are increasing

  11. birgerjohansson says

    The pigeons near my work place are thriving…because I am feeding them during the winter. They have even learned to recognise me.
    The magpies and crows ignore me. They have the skills to find plenty of food elsewhere.

  12. magistramarla says

    We have Bald Eagles here at the Monterey Bay! I managed to see the first nesting pair back in 2013, just before we unwillingly moved back to Texas. We’ve now moved back to Monterey to stay and found that the Eagle population has exploded.
    They tend to live in the Ft. Ord wildlife conservation area (Thank you, President Obama!), and I almost always count four to six of them wheeling overhead when we go to Ft. Ord to shop at the commissary.
    I also see a pair of them that fly low over our patio nearly every day. My cat, Princess Leia, also spots them, and comes flying off of her perch on the window sill. She must be convinced that there are cat-eating birds near her new home!

  13. azalin34 says

    I also used to be confident in identifying Blue Jays (and pretty much only Blue Jays), until I learned that we have another local bird that looks similar, but is called the Stellar’s Jay. Now I’m back to knowing that I know nothing about birds.

  14. says

    Oh, I love your American blue jays. Our jays are pretty, but not that blue. Which reminds me that I haven’t seen any jays lately…
    One thing I have noticed is that many people will be amazed by the spectacular colouring of birds in other places, but ignore the spectacularly coloured birds they’re used to…

    BTW, I found “bird taxonomy” a great example of the constructivist idea of knowledge: what we observe is always filtered by what we know: My husband and I will look at the same garden, with the same birds: but I may freak out because there is a rare bird in the garden.

  15. chrislawson says

    We have lots of birds here on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. My favourite is the family of ospreys that fish just off the beach we walk along. It’s not unusual to see them dive into the surf and come up with a fish to take back to the nest. Frigate birds have a more spectacular dive but they’re only around for a very short season. Weirdly, whenever we mention ospreys fishing to the people we meet when we walk, most have no idea this happens right in front them on a regular basis.

  16. John Harshman says

    I applaud your foray into ornithology. Do let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Hey, do you know there’s a genus of birds (Arachnotheraknown as spiderhunters? Not, sadly, in Minnesota; you’d have to go to south Asia, and covid presents difficulties in that regard. Still, pretty cool.

    What’s a brown thrasher doing a) at a feeder and b) in the middle of winter? Maybe you could offer him a few flies?

  17. magistramarla says

    azalin 34 @ 15,
    Are those Stellar’s Jays the same as “Scrub Jays”? I was always used to the jays with peaks on their heads. Here in California, we have Blue Jays with rounded heads. We have a pair of them who live in he oak tree just outside of our bedroom window.
    I’ve been told that they are called “Scrub Jays”.

  18. John Harshman says

    magistramaria:

    Are those Stellar’s Jays the same as “Scrub Jays”? I was always used to the jays with peaks on their heads. Here in California, we have Blue Jays with rounded heads. We have a pair of them who live in he oak tree just outside of our bedroom window.
    I’ve been told that they are called “Scrub Jays”.

    The “blue jays” you have are indeed California scrub jays, Aphelocoma californica. Steller’s jays (Cyanocitta stelleri) live at slightly higher altitudes in deeper forests; they have crests like blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) but their heads and large parts of their bodies are black. Like blue jays dipped head first in black ink. You should find both of them near you.

  19. magistramarla says

    PaulBC, I agree. I grew up in the Midwest, and I’m partial to the beautiful crested Blue Jays that I knew in Illinois.
    However, I’m liking those Scrub Jays. They have a lot of moxy. There was one that kept joining us in The Trident Room bar in the summer of 2019. He would hop in through the back door to eat popcorn.
    The fellow who lives in our backyard comes very close to us anytime we are doing yard work. He has appointed himself chief supervisor. I’m learning quite a bit about the local flora and fauna here in California.

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