Birds on the Brain

The picture with today’s post is of a rare Micronesian Kingfisher or the Guam Kingfisher.  It is extinct in the wild, wiped out, when after World War II an invasive tree climbing snake made it onto the island.  I photographed this one in the Saint Louis Zoo.   It is one of only a few hundred still left alive.  In an attempt to foster breeding, most of these kingfishers at the zoo are not on public display.

I bet you thought that I was just kidding in the other day’s post about using a picture showing white swans in a snowstorm.  Checkout today’s header. It shows a flock of Trumpeter Swans on the wing.  Anne thinks that Wednesday’s unidentified species of “duck-like” waterfowl, at the Riverlands Conservation Area, were Common Goldeneyes.  I’m not so certain.  I forgot to mention that Anne saw four Great Blue Heron along the Illinois River.  Frankly, I was rather surprised by that.  I had expected them to have all flown south for the winter.  Here is a brief audio clip of a Bald Eagle’s mating call (click on the orange button): 

NPR’s Science Friday radio show was all about birds too.  They had an article covering this year’s Audubon Christmas Bird Count.  This is an annual event that is regularly covered by the show.  Their feature article was about an iPhone application called BirdsEye.  It is produced by Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology.  This App allows the user to access Cornell’s eBird database while in the field.  Birdseye combines the phones GPS capability and the eBird database to let the user know what kinds of birds have been spotted in your area.  I searched their database for the Riverlands Conservation Area and large numbers of Common Goldeneyes had been reported for this week.  I knew that I had married Ms. Right, but I didn’t know that her middle first name was Always.  😳

My Bro Frank has published another YouTube video (sent from his iPhone), featuring Cornelius the Penguin and his much-loved San Diego Chargers:

I asked Anne, that since both Sam and KW now have better cameras than I do, does this mean that I can upgrade too?  She was emphatic, “No, because you have a better bike than either of them.”  On no, that classic mommy block, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”   Hey wait a minute?  Like, isn’t that what a camera is designed to do?  Like let you shoot out with your eye?