Monday, May 30, 2011

Are We Paranoid, Or Basically Ok?

A big line of birds moving north (puta madre!). Probably a mixture of Turkey Vultures, Swainson's and Broad-winged Hawks. 


North Dakota, your weather is really bumming everyone out. It's cold. It's raining.  Many birds can't nest in their usual spots, due to high water levels. The unseasonal wetness can't be helping the birds that can nest in their usual spots. I am constantly covered in ticks...which probably isn't weather-related, but it warrants some bitching. 

Mexico, unsurprisingly, had better weather, so here's some more pictures from Chavarrillo.

This week we start the official Piping Plover census. Everyone is predicting very small numbers of birds this year, due to the atrosh weather I've been....piping about. For example, I surveyed the lake that had the most nests out of anywhere on the refuge last year. How many plovers were there? Zero. Cero. Zip. Nothing. Nada. Brutal.

My Año Tranquilo is going along swimmingly...I reckon I'm perched right at 450 bird species in 2011, over 100 of which are life birds (mostly from Mexico). The grand total will reflect where I wind up this fall, as I have no winter plans as of yet, aside from forcing different factions of my social life to hang out together.

I still haven't seen a Baird's Sparrow. It is my North Dakotan grail bird. Rather than seek out some kind of sparrow wizard, I reckon I can find one on my own....but it's been a weird, weird, weird year it seems for birds all over the continent. But the refuge I live in is legendary for its Baird's, so perhaps I will become a sort of Ammodramus Obi-Wan. 

Allegedly, "Ammodramus" translates to "sand-runner" in that's something to think about.

Right. In other news, I saw the Aurora Borealis last night for the first time ever, and it was preposterous.

One of the local Roadside Hawks.

Great-tailed Grackles on parade. They often gathered here in the late afternoon and did grackle things in grackle formations.

Blue-gray Tanager. Looks like it made a decision and went with blue today.

This picture speaks for itself.

A "vortex" of Mississippi Kites (in Mexico, there are no kettles, only vortexes). When they get going really fast, they open a wormhole into another dimension. Truth.

Inca Dove, looking scaled back.

A Chavarrillo sunset.


  1. The degree to which that woman looks like the owl statue she's holding is amazing. nice post. nice dove pun.

    not babbling today as (favorite) chicken is @ death's door AND EVERYTHING IS CLOSED FOR A THREE DAY WEEKEND. f.

    Anyhow, thanks for 20 seconds of pleasant distraction.

  2. That was Alexis' mom's photo face. Shes not normally that grim. Sorry about your sick chicken!

  3. Haha I thought the same thing about the owl photo. The grackle caption made me laugh. Scratch that, most of the captions made me laugh.