Tuesday, May 5, 2009

There's A Priest Kneeling Next To Me

Black Noddy. They are beginning to be outnumbered by Brown Noddies. The Brown Noddies are much easier to approach because they don't nest way up in trees....but I like the Blacks more because I have been friends with them longer. And no I am not racist.

I got another island bird today! Least Terns! They are mixed in with Little Terns at the catchment. I don't know if there is anywhere else where you can see both species....I think of them as being each other's counterparts between the Old World and The New World (i.e. like yellowlegs and redshanks, hummingbirds and sunbirds). But since Midway is not really one or the other, it seems fitting that they are both here. The nearest known breeding areas for each species is thousands of miles away, so its pretty sweet to see both at once. I will try to get pictures, but they don't really have the Midway attitude that the local birds have......meaning I can't just walk up to them.

Yes, sorry for the nerdy introduction, but you get what you pay for, you know what I'm saying? There is only one more species of bird here (in fact, I may go look for it tonight) that I think I have any decent chance of adding to my island list before I leave, so I will take what I can get. In this case, Least Terns are (rather endangered) old friends of mine from California and Baja Mexico, so I'm glad they came out to visit.

Speaking of old friends, Liz and Cass will be happily reuniting (Monsoon Reun?????) in Overton, Nevada, in the very near future to harass riparian and desert songbirds on the Lower Virgin River. I can only wish them the best. Considering that they are in roadtrip range of where Laurel #1, V-Ditch, Laurel #2 and of course Golden Plover (the person, not the bird) are located, the possibilities here are truly endless. All I know is that someone needs to tell me where I can find a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.

By the, just for the record, one way I'm going to take advantage of my newly highly-migratory lifestyle is by doing some legendary roadtrips. I need to do this while I am still young, you know what Im saying? Of course, they are going to be heavy into birds, but if you are into it (or at least indifferent), let me know. There is a Limpkin in Florida I need to meet, a Xantus' Hummingbird in Baja I gotta talk to, and a Boreal Chickade straight outta Maine that I wants me to holler at it.

In other news, I really miss Jameson (the refreshing beverage...as well as the person), Jim Beam is just not cutting it for me.

I really hope that this blog will get me a job someday, or prevent me from getting one. Either way I win. I think its mostly been PG-13 so far though.....I guess I need to take it to The Next Level.

This is the first documented Triceratops X Laysan Albatross Hybrid.

The chick pictured above is actually suffering from Avian Pox, which we have here. All the birds Ive seen with it are Laysan Albatross chicks.....maybe it doesnt physically manifest in other birds. Anyways, its carried by mosquitoes, and when a chick has it, it gets real ugly real quick. Huge growths will cover their bills and faces and render them hideous and blind. I am not kidding. They look like burn victims. Anyway, although they look like they will die a horrible, painful death, most birds actually recover as they get older and it ends up going away. One of the ways it does screw birds over is that chicks will wander around whether they can see or not, and if they get completely lost and cant find their way back while being completely blind, they are out of luck.

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