Friday, December 23, 2011

Rounding out the Collection

I'll be searching for new members of the crew at the after-Christmas sales. Nutcracker gifts are always welcome, too :)

All Sizes are Welcome

The purple one on the lower left was the first one I ever purchased. I remember I adopted him from a Pier 1 store - 1986.

All Cracked Up

Yes. I LOVE nutcrackers. I like kings and soldiers best.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hummingbird Banding 2011

Nationally-certified bird bander Fred Bassett came to Pearl, Idaho, for the 7th year to inventory and band local hummers. Above is one of the traps. There's a door on the right held open with fishing line. Someone about 10 feet away will use that line to drop the door when a bird flies in. Then, the bird can be caught inside the trap and put in a mesh bag, where it waits until Fred give it a look.
Pearl, Idaho, is north of Boise in a shrub-steppe habitat. It's high desert, although not as dry of a desert as usual because our wet weather this year. Thus, more flowers.

After the birds are measured, weighed and banded, everyone gets a chance to hold a bird for release. Most of the hummers don't realize at first that they're free to go. The bird in this child's hand is a male black-chinned hummingbird. Look closely and you can see his new jewelry.

The banding table was shaded by a giant pine.

A female black-chinned hummingbird.

Fred placing a male black-chinned hummer in someone's hand.

The birds are placed in a piece of nylon stocking for their weigh-in. It keeps them still and calm. This calliope weighed 2.8 grams. The calliope is the smallest bird in the U.S. and Canada. The black-chinned hummers weighed between 3.5 and 4.1 grams. Fred says if you ever think you see a baby hummingbird at a feeder, it's a calliope, not a baby.

After birds are checked out, Fred buys them lunch. They always take him up on the offer.

Everyone gathers around to get a closer look.

A close-up of a calliope. This one has a couple of gorget feathers coming in


Another close-up of the calliope. Look how short its bill is, compared to the black-chinneds.

Peaceful bench on the property where the banding was held.

The waiting rack. Each mesh bag contains a hummingbird collected from a trap.

Irridescent purple gorget on a male black-chinned hummingbird.

Barbed wire wreath.

My daughter, Aviana, petting a hummingbird.

My kiddo waiting for a bird to fly into the trap about 10 feet away. She was in charge of lifting that red fishing reel to close the door when a bird flew in. The banding is held every year, and we've attended four years now. We plan on making it next year, too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Foggy River Walk

This song sparrow was scratching in the leaves and debris. A Northern flicker picking bugs out of a fallen tree.

Common mergansers in the river.