Category Archives: Avian


Yellow-Headed Blackbird

Yellow-Headed Blackbird

“You could lose everything you have overnight, life does not offer a guarantee, for this reason you must cling no more.”

The marsh along County Road 13 is a haven this time of the year for blackbirds as they hover above the cattails collecting insects, mating and nesting. They also feed on seeds but this time of the year the insects are everywhere.  You will find them feeding and nesting in colonies along with the red-winged blackbirds. During this time of the season the males are quite territorial as they perch on tall stalks and fend off any approaching contender of their claim with imaginary boundaries. This one is keeping an eye on his territory.

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Feeding Time

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird (Female)

“I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.” ― Albert Einstein

If you look close you will see the insects swarming around this female as they gorge themselves on the insects. They were singing happy songs as they feasted.

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Last Nights Concert

Sunset over Timnath Reservoir

Sunset over Timnath Reservoir

Went to the concert at Timnath Reservoir along County Road 13 last night. Performing artists were by the Red-winged Blackbirds, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, meadowlarks, at least two grackles, and  croaking frogs. I pleased to see for the first time a special performance put on by several Western Grebes.

Western Grebes in a rushing courtship

Western Grebes in a “rushing” courtship

I witnessed several pairs of grebes rise in the water and scurry across as in the image above. Excuse the poor image as they were beyond the reach of my lens. This dance was a new experience for me. As it is a mating time I guessed it to be some courtship and had to look it up when I got home. This courtship happens entirely in the water and is known as “rushing,” where two birds turn to one side, lunge forward in synchrony, their bodies completely out of the water, and race across the water side by side with their necks curved gracefully forward. It was awesome and a great way to finish my day.

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“You cannot be what nature did not intend you to be, the struggles of life come from trying to be something other than you.”

I love Meadowlarks. I think they are a very pretty bird and their song is wonderful. It is so distinct and resonates with the feeling of being happy and joyful. And, I think they are. It could be they are happy because they are living who they are, a meadowlark, and not trying to be a robin. We can learn from them. It looks like this one is working on building a nest or patching one up.

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“We see quite clearly that what happens to the nonhuman happens to the human. What happens to the outer world happens to the inner world. If the outer world is diminished in its grandeur then the emotional, imaginative, intellectual, and spiritual life of the human is diminished or extinguished. Without the soaring birds, the great forests, the sounds and coloration of the insects, the free-flowing streams, the flowering fields, the sight of the clouds by day and the stars at night, we become impoverished in all that makes us human.” Thomas Berry

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Yellow-headed Blackbird  (Female)

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Female)

Beneath every sound is silence.
Within every prayer is silence.
Beneath every distraction is silence.
Within your heart and mind is silence.

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Getting Older

Frost Covered Feather

Frost Covered Feather

Well, my Medicare card arrived in the mail along with a very confusing booklet to read. Man, do my parents feel old now!

A couple of weeks ago I stepped on a crowded bus headed for the transit center on the campus of CSU so I could spend time at Morgan Library. Standing room only so I grabbed the overhead rail to hang on for the ride. A nice young man stood up and said, “Sir, would you like to sit down?” Without knowing or intending to, he made a d deep cut as I immediately felt old. I declined his offer. As I looked at these college students I realized I am 40 years older than almost everyone on the bus except the driver. And I’m still 20 years older than they were. The reality is that to them I am old and at their age I felt the same. When I look in the mirror I don’t see that. Perspective. And, that’s a good thing.

I’ve had a few days to reflect on my reaction and how I might react differently if faced with that again. If the passenger next to him is a hot 20 year old college girl, heck yes I’m going to take the offer. :-) When you think about it there are more perks for getting older besides senior bus passes or food discounts at IHOP.

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