Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bird-watching.

Yesterday we were in a funk. The girls were a'fussin' and a'feudin' and Gray was teething. I dug around in my stash of emergency distractors and found a book on identifying Idaho's birds that I'd gotten about a month back. I'd meant to stick it in a field bag, but I haven't gotten around to making one yet. I grabbed it out, went into the room where the girls were sniping at each other (understand that their sniping was them feeding off of my on-edge-cabin-fever-my-poor-baby's-in-pain energy), sat down on the couch and started flipping through it.

It took all of seven seconds for them to be on top of me, asking what I was looking at. About ten minutes later, the sun came out for the first time that day, the wind died down to a breeze, and we headed out to see what birds we could find (expending energy was a nice side-effect). I looked over at Hannah as we were walking along and had to snap this picture.

We found a Yellow-Headed Blackbird which was a surprise this early. They usually don't show up until a few weeks from now when the cattails are starting to grow. They're pretty birds and we'll see them by the hundreds in the summer.

We heard a really pretty call, which I'd always assumed was the Yellow-Headed Blackbird, but the book said that their call is "low, hoarse, raspy, or metallic" - definitely not what we were hearing, so we went on a bird-hunting mission. We followed the cry and found this guy - a Western Meadowlark. His yellow breast and black necktie were really clear. Our book organizes birds by the most prominent color, so we flipped to the yellow section and there he was, singing his heart out. I think I'm kind of addicted to this now. I wish my camera battery hadn't died - I could have gotten some pictures.

I went back and compared our owl pictures and hawk pictures to the birds in the book, so we're adding Great Horned Owl and Red Tailed Hawk to the list.

Today Hannah and I went to town to vacuum the car and she brought the book. She might be hooked too. Today we added Rock Pigeon and Red-Winged Blackbird to our list. Whee!

About the puppy... he's getting along like a house on fire here. He's very intelligent which has made training easier than expected - I'm used to working with Border Collies (she says in a snobby voice) - and he's got a really pleasant personality.

The first week he was here, he thought that the cats were fun to chase. Aradia and Gandhi quickly decided that ignoring him was the best option and he quickly decided that getting a claw in his nose for trying to make them notice him wasn't so much fun. The kittens took awhile longer to get the "he's really not a danger" message, but once they got it, he got willing playmates. That gray kitten will sneak up behind him and claw him in the rear and then sit there letting the puppy run in a circle around him, popping him on the nose every few seconds just to keep him interested. The orange and white kitten stalks him constantly but doesn't decide until the last minute whether to attack or caress. It's fun to watch them play together.

3 comments:

Stephanie said...

How great to have discovered your book and a new interest! (and at such a fortuitous time)
I love it when a day that isn't so fun is saved! lol

Yay for happy families (kitties and pups included).

Should be able to do SS today, but we'll be in and out, so...

Cindy said...

Love Hannah's fashion sense... so so cute! Cute little kittens and puppy too!

Lori said...

what a great outing!

now, you need to make that bag. ;^)