Friday, March 29, 2013

For Da Birds, Part Two

Thought for the day:  There is an unseen force which lets birds know when you've just washed your car.  [Denis Norden]


Yeah, so maybe there are a few drawbacks to having a passel of bird-filled trees in your yard. (Especially if they're mulberry trees.)

I thought of something else pet birds taught me: One of my aunt's parakeets could hang upside down from its perch like a bat. It was the darnedest thing...

Okay, ready for some more astoundingly fascinating bird trivia? (Or at least, a teensy bit interesting, anyway.)






First, some quick facts:

  • Birds have hollow bones, which help them fly.
  • Seagulls can drink sea water, because they have special glands that filter out the salt.
  • A duck's quack doesn't echo.
  • Penguins can jump up to six feet into the air. (Yeah, but how are they on free throws?)
  • A chicken with red earlobes is likely to lay brown eggs; and one with white lobes, white eggs. No matter what color their earlobes are, none of them can swallow when upside down. And get this: believe it or not, the chicken is believed to be the closest living relative to the tyrannosaurus rex!
  • Emus can't walk backwards.
  • Puffins fly underwater.
  • The male sand grouse soaks himself in water, and then flies to the nest so his young can drink from his feathers.
  • Vultures can soar for hours without flapping their wings.
  • The common loon can dive more than 76 meters below the water's surface.
  • Owls can turn their heads almost 360 degrees, but they can't move their eyes.


The male frigatebird has a red inflatable  throat pouch, which he puffs up to attract a mate. If he gets rebuffed, I guess that deflates his ego and pouch.







Flamingos can only eat when their heads are upside down. (How can they swallow?)







The albatross, AKA goony bird, can sleep while in flight. He goes into snooze control at about 25 MPH.








Talk about miles per hour, which bird do you think is the fastest flyer? Most sources say the peregrine falcon holds that title, and can reach a speed of 200 MPH. However, I read one report of a spine-tailed swift flying an astonishing 220. At any rate, how'd you like to get a vicarious thrill? This video allows you to experience flight with a peregrine falcon and a gos hawk. Pretty doggone cool!



Did you know storks have no voice? That's because, unlike other birds, they don't have a syrinx, the usual sound-producing organ. They do, however, bang and clack their bills together as a means of communication. (Looks like avian sword-fighting...)






Don't ya love the sound of a woodpecker at work? Unless, of course, he's a much earlier riser than you are... and he's hammering on your gutters, or fiberglass boat. Would you believe woodpeckers can peck up to twenty times per second?!










The fine-looking malleefowl lives in Australia, and I guess you could call this bird a real environmentalist. He composts. Sorta. The female lays her eggs in a nest built of rotting vegetation, and the decaying process keeps the eggs warm. Papa checks the temperature often, and adjusts the pile as needed to maintain the warmth.






The catbird is a talented bird, who can imitate... Wait! Not THAT catbird...







THIS catbird.

This catbird imitates other bird calls, and can even meow like a cat.





As can a mockingbird, who has quite an impressive array of sounds and songs in his repertoire.




And here's the mighty bald... er, wig-wearing bald eagle. One of the more majestic birds, (without the toupee) most people are well aware of this bird's flying, swooping, and hunting capabilities, and of its great strength.

But did ya know he could...  swim?







                                                                      Check it out!


This guy is a cowbird. No, cowbirds  don't moo like cows, but they are cow groupies. They hang out with cattle, because moving herds stir up a mess of fresh cowbird food — insects. Because cowbirds stay on the move, they don't bother to build a nest. They share the nests of other birds. When the female sees an unattended egg-filled nest, she simply lays her little ol' eggs in there, too. She doesn't abandon her young entirely, though. She returns from time to time to observe, and if the other bird shoves her eggs out of the nest, well then, she may just have to retaliate by pushing the other eggs out, too.



That's about it from me. This barely even skims the surface of all the fascinating things there are to know about birds, and I'll betcha you could all add something. Like, anybody know about turkeys? Ben Franklin seemed to think they were intelligent birds, but I've read stories about them being so dumb they look skyward when it rains... and (bless their little hearts) drown. Izzat so?

And have you ever wondered why female blue jays don't have subdued coloring, like other female birds? I don't know if that's the case for any other species of birds; do you?

So, what have you got to add? Ever have any pet birds? Could they talk or do tricks? Do tell.

This is gonna be my last post for quite a while. I know a lot of you will be participating in the A-Z Challenge during the month of April, and I wish y'all a lot of fun with it. Not me. Not this year, anyway. Gonna take the month off and tend to some other writerly stuff. But I'll be around. I'll try to visit some of your blogs from time to time, and see how you're doing. If you leave me a comment here, I'll certainly respond, or if you want to get in touch with me, just use that little Email me thingie in the sidebar, and I'll get back to you.

In the meantime, if ya miss me, (and Johnny Carson) just watch this video... that myna sounds a little like me!



                                      Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

[Images come to us courtesy of Wikipedia, Seniorark, and Morguefiles.]
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134 comments:

  1. I do know that birds of the Pigeon/Dove family are the only birds that can drink with their necks down. All others tilt their heads backwards, and let gravity do the job.

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  2. I enjoyed the vintage Carson bit! Also liked flying with the hawk. That was just as I imagined being in a personal flying vehicle would be.

    I'm not able to participate in the A to Z either, also writing. Hope your Easter is great.

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    1. Yeah, I kinda miss Johnny Carson. He was one of my favorite late night hosts of all time.

      Good luck with your writing, and a very happy Easter to you, too.

      Delete
  3. When I gardened public places, swallows would follow me like a personal cyclone because of all the lawn moths the big mower kicked up. They take all their food in flight. Have a pleasant hiatus, Susan. I very much look forward to May and the pleasure of your renewed company. Please visit Trainrides and call me dude sometimes.

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    1. That's an interesting tidbit about the swallows. (I trust you always wore a HAT around them!)

      Thanks. I most certainly will stop in and visit during April. Can't miss my enigmatic ride on the train, dude.

      Delete
  4. SUSAN ~
    Living (or dying) here in Airheadzona, I have had the opportunity to watch Roadrunners on several occasions. Although I'm not especially a "bird fan", I do like Hummingbirds and Roadrunners.

    When I lived in Prescott, for about a week or so this one Roadrunner was hanging around outside the magazine publishing company office building where I worked. Some mornings he would just stand there on top of a hedge and watch me as I got out of my car and got ready to enter the building.

    I can't really put my finger on it other than to say that there is something in the eyes of Roadrunners that makes me think they are possibly the most intelligent of all birds. There's just this "spark o' smarts" that seems to reflect in a Roadrunner's eyes, and it's almost as if you can actually "see him thinking".

    Other than that, they just seem very proud and sturdy; there's almost a kind of nobility about them that I've never noticed in any other type of bird.

    I'm pretty sure that the cartoon was probably not far off: I doubt there's ever been a Coyote that was any competition for a Roadrunner.

    Hey, enjoy your month off! Get sumpin' done, eh?
    (Got Haiku? ...Write Haiku!)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Not sure, but I think roadrunners are liberals. HA! Sorry... I couldn't resist.

      I don't know that I've ever seen a roadrunner outside of an aviary. (And an occasional car show.) But my hubby sure was a fan of the cartoon. When he came home from Nam, if he didn't have to be on base on a Saturday morning, we'd set the alarm clock anyway, just so he could watch that cartoon. MEEP! MEEP!

      Delete
  5. The female lays her eggs in a nest built of rotting vegetation, and the decaying process keeps the eggs warm.

    Very interesting behavior, I wonder how it evolved.

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    1. Let's see, the female probably asked her hubby to egg-sit while she ran to the store. Then he thinks of all the other things he'd rather be doing, like shooting pool down at the corner bar. So, he hides the eggs under garbage to protect them, and lo and behold! finds out he doesn't have to "sit" on them at all.

      Or something like that.

      Delete
  6. So that's what a mocking bird looks like!
    The only thing I know about birds is they can be raised harmoniously with cats and dogs. When I was small, we had a German Shepherd, a ginger cat and a galah. On sunny days they'd all be together outside, the dog sleeping on the path, the galah sleeping on the dog, the cat curled up right next to the dog, and they would all share the big water bowl by the tap.

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    1. How wonderful that your cat, dog, and bird peacefully co-existed so well. I hope you took pictures of them sleeping together like that. Priceless. We humans could learn a lot from animals.

      Delete
  7. Hi Susan .. I saw a vulture's bone at the Ice Age Art exhibition in the British Museum that had been used as a musical instrument ... about 27,000 years ago .. but of course hadn't realised all bird bones are hollow - thanks for that = good timing.

    I agree mulberries and blackberry season is a nightmare for reddy splodges ... the seagulls make wonderful messes too ..

    Love the facts you've listed here .. amazing listing and fun to read .. also the descriptive photos ..

    Cheers and have a happy Easter - Hilary

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you made it to the Ice Age exhibit. I'll have to pop over to your blog to see if you wrote about it.

      Cheers, and a very happy Easter to you, too!

      Delete
  8. Another wonderful, wonderful post. Feeding my avian obsession.
    I loved the swimming eagle and noted that I have seen humans with far less style in the water.
    Bird anecdotes: My mother had a pet cockatoo. She named it Hugo. Hugo chewed his way out of his aviary and lived free. A particular favourite spot was on out roof. He got beakfulls of leaf litter from the gutter and threw it on the heads of visitors as they came up the front steps. He also took to laying eggs off the roof. They didn't bounce.
    He was very partial to strawberries and would stump into the vegie patch to check if they were ripe. If he saw a red one it would pick it up, examining all sides to ensure it was ripe before picking it.
    And there are a kazillion other stories about him.
    Have a wonderful and productive month away...

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    1. A friend sent me that video of the swimming eagle, and it totally blew me away. I had no idea they could swim! There's even a handful of videos on Youtube showing other eagles swimming, too.

      Hugo sounds like he was a hoot, even if he was a bit confused sexually, what with him laying eggs. HA! You cracked me up when you said his eggs "didn't bounce". Poor guy.

      Thanks. I'll be popping in to see what you're up to... after all, I wouldn't want to miss any possible stories about Hugo

      Delete
  9. Wow, t-rex and the chicken, who knew?

    Have a wonderful break and I hope you get all your writerly work done.

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    1. Isn't that cool about the t. rex and the chicken? First time I heard that was on Jeapordy! years ago.

      Thank you, dear lady, but I don't think it's ever possible to get ALL of the writerly work done, do you? One just leads to another to another... Kinda like eating peanut M&Ms.

      Delete
  10. Wow, talk about a bird's eye view in that falcon video--fantastic! And I never knew eagles could swim like that. Thanks for the fascinating lesson. :)

    My pet parakeets could say "pretty bird." At least, that's what it sounded like to me.

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    1. Cool. I'm glad you liked those videos, too.

      Maybe he was actually calling you... "pretty girl".

      Delete
  11. Wow, birds are starting to come across as little people! And that wifi cartoon had me chuckling.

    Thanks for stopping by, Susan. I initially thought the bay leaves were there because St. Paul had been there when the bay leaf trees were there. Then, I learned there could be another association but couldn't find out what. So, I'm going to call the Cultural Affairs section of the Greek embassy and ask. I'll let you know what they say.

    Happy Easter! May all of life's blessings be yours!

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    1. Or maybe we're "big birds"...

      Oh neat. I'll look forward to hearing about the significance of those bay leaves.

      Right back atcha, Kittie. Happy Easter!

      Delete
  12. That first horrifying photo (Angry Birds) struck a chord with me. My neighbors have a huge tree that looms over my driveway. Every time I parked my truck there, hundreds of birds from the tree would generously annoint my truck with bird poop.

    Ominous Turkey Buzzards often circle my yard and watch me. I think they're waiting for me to drop dead......

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    1. HA! Where I park my little red car, it's within reach of the bomber birds sitting in the branches of a huge gum tree, so I know what you're talking about. (And they really DO seem to know instinctively when you've just washed the car, too!)

      Tell those buzzards to get lost!

      Delete
  13. You sure flipped the bird today
    Here at your bay
    With many to view
    Along with a car full of poo
    Never knew some of the facts
    orgot about their hollow bone acts

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    1. Oh, dear, haven't you heard?
      It's impolite to flip a bird.
      He has great balance, it is said,
      But he still might land on his widdle head.

      Delete
  14. My son is a quite the birder now and I have learned a bit about them through him. I can even recognize some of their calls - like the red-winged blackbird, the wood thrush, and the oven bird. We had a mynah bird when I was living on Cape Cod and it used to imitate the sound of a door creaking, which could be quite disconcerting to say the least!

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    1. I think it would be totally neat to identify birds by listening to their songs. I'm pretty sure there are CDs available to teach that, but I haven't looked into it yet. (Your son would probably love one of those CDs, too!)

      I love myna birds and the way they can imitate sounds. Years ago, when we went to the National Zoo in D.C., a myna there kept imitating a woman in our group. I mean, he sounded just like her... her voice, her laugh. And the more the bird laughed like her, the more she laughed. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. But I never knew anyone who actually owned one of them as a pet. I am duly impressed. (Um, betcha your son would love THAT, too!)

      Delete
  15. Enjoyed the post, Susan. Have a great Good Friday. :)

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    1. Thanks! You, too. And a very blessed Easter.

      Delete
  16. I've spotted a trend this year of certain birds of a feather flocking together. I'm not doing the A to Z either. Gotta write, so I'm taking April off. Enjoyed your bird facts. I think downy woodpeckers and chickadees are about my favorite wild birds in the winter, but I love the songbirds in spring. So beautiful. :)

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    1. Yep, I've seen evidence that quite a few of us will be flocking together in April, too. Guess we'll all be working on flights of fancy, eh? (A real flighty bunch!)

      Take care. Good luck with your writing, and a very happy Easter to you.

      Delete
  17. As you may remember from my posts, I live in Birdland. There are some areas of my gardens that are rather messy, to say the least. I plant a lot of white flowers so it all blends in.

    Our parakeets use to spend most of their days looking in the mirror and making love to their reflection. Poor lonely guys but very self-absorbed.

    I will miss seeing your posts, but I know you are hard at work on your book. It is your dream and it is about to come true. We are all routing for you.

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    1. Yes, I do remember. One of my all-time favorite header pictures is the one you had showing all the cardinals in the trees in your yard. Bird heaven! I can see why you might want to plant a lot of white flowers, though. Too funny.

      Oh, I forgot all about how the parakeets used to make a fuss over their images in the mirror. Egotistical little cusses, aren't they?

      Thanks. I really appreciate it.

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  18. Just what every stand up comic needs...an instant laugh machine.

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    1. Absolutely! I wouldn't mind having one around the house, either. Especially if it was smart enough (and of course, had a superior sense of humor) to laugh at all my cornball lines.

      Delete
  19. What a fun post! I especially liked the footage of the eagle. It's amazing what necessity can bring forth.
    Thanks for updating your lovely picture with a link! I came here with ease!
    ~Just Jill

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    1. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. Especially the eagle. I found that video absolutely fascinating, because I didn't even know they could swim!

      Cool. I'm glad the link fix worked. Thanks for nudging me. (Sweetly, too. No sharp elbows involved!)

      Delete
  20. If I could have one superpower, it'd be flying. I could watch those birdcam videos all day.
    And enjoy your vacation, Susan. We'll miss you!

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    1. I think the closest we can come to experiencing what it would feel like to fly would have to be hang gliding. Not that I've ever actually DONE it, mind you. God, no! Ya think I'm nuts? HA! Seriously, I think hang gliding would be amazing.

      Thanks. No need to miss me... I'll be by your place to visit a time or two. Happy Easter, kiddo!

      Delete
  21. The thing about penguins and free throws made me laugh!

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    1. Ah, so you have a corny sense of humor, too, eh?

      Delete
  22. Loved the eagle video! And I know who to ask next time I need to research something and come up empty. I think you can probably point me in the right direction :)

    Enjoy your break!

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    1. Glad you liked the video. I'd be happy to do some brainstorming with you sometime. I might not come up with the answers you need, but I'll betcha we'd have FUN!

      Thanks.

      Delete
  23. Puffins fly underwater? When I was a little girl, my favorite animal was a puffin because of a picture I saw in a book of poems. He looked so beautiful and friendly and I just wanted to hug him.

    What does it mean to fly underwater?

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    1. I thought that was a funny way to put it, too. Fly under water? Then I remembered watching them at the Baltimore and Atlanta aquariums. It DOES look like they're flying. Picture them lying in the water horizontally, okay? When they move, their wings flap up and down! Really cool-looking.

      Delete
  24. A chicken with red earlobes is likely to lay brown eggs; and one with white lobes, white eggs. No matter what color their earlobes are, none of them can swallow when upside down. And get this: believe it or not, the chicken is believed to be the closest living relative to the tyrannosaurus rex!
    WELL I HAVE JUST LEARNED SOMETHING NEW X

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    1. Well, I'll be doggone! I figured you already knew just about everything there was to know about chickens, geese, and turkeys. Cool!

      Delete
  25. I miss Johnny Carson! I've never had a bird, though I've flipped people the bird. I read recently that the story about turkeys drowning from rain isn't true. I had a friend who had "Easter egg" chickens (I think the correct name was Aracauna). Their eggs were beautiful pastel shades.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Yeah, Johnny Carson was the best, wasn't he? (So were Jack Paar and Steve Allen...)

      Ah, I'll never forget the day, years ago, when my angelic six-year-old son, with his soft blond hair, big blues eyes, and rosy cheeks, stepped off the school bus and while walking toward me, grinned and flipped me the bird. (It wasn't hard to figure out what he learned in school THAT day!)

      Thanks. I'm glad to hear turkeys aren't THAT stupid. I just read something recently about chickens that lay pastel-colored eggs, but I've never seen them. But I've seen pastel-colored baby chicks... remember when the dime stores used to sell dyed chicks for Easter every year?

      Delete
    2. Yes, I do remember the dyed chicks. They were probably destined to die in the hands of some little kid. Gosh. I always see the bright side.

      Delete
  26. Susan, I just nominated you for the Shine On Blog Award. This one is different from some of the others that have the same questions for everyone. For this, each participant comes up with new ones, so I have 5 that pertain to blogging. Hope you can participate.

    The details are on my blog today http://its-not-all-gravy.blogspot.com/


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    1. Thank you so much, dear Maryann. I do appreciate it.

      Delete
  27. Those are some really interesting facts. I wonder why quacks don't echo, and I didn't know chickens had earlobes. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. So far, nobody's been able to figure out why quacks don't echo. As far as I know, that's the only sound that doesn't. Weird, huh?

      I think chicken lobes are more of an "area" around the ear than they are a dangly part. (Although, I suppose they could maybe wear pierced earrings... if they really wanted to...)

      You have a wonderful weekend, too.

      Delete
  28. My partner's sister loves her chooks - she had a rooster which used to sit in her lap and watch television in the evening. She assures me that the earlobes predictor is a furphy - she tested it on her current chooks - and it failed. She also added (which is very true) why would a chook (or anything else) WANT to eat while being held upside down. The T-Rex link? She believes.

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    1. I'm not surprised about the earlobe predictor not being accurate. I saw it mentioned in multiple places, but had my doubts; that's what I added my own words in there about it indicating a "tendency" to lay eggs of a given color.

      HA! You're absolutely right about eating upside down. I certainly wouldn't want to. Then again, I'm not much of a fan of being upside down for ANY reason!

      Yeah, as odd as it sounds, I believe the T. rex link, too. I first heard that on Jeopardy! quite a few years ago, and Jeopardy! wouldn't lie to us. (Would they?) I also saw that tidbit in a bunch of other sources, as well, so I think we're safe.

      Thanks for coming back with the fresh info. I do appreciate it. Take care.

      Delete
  29. Wait a minute...chickens have earlobes?

    Did the tyrannosaurus rex?

    (Oh, how I miss Johnny.)

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    1. Well, I reckon a T. rex had "earlobes" about as much as a chicken does. Just with bigger holes. Much bigger.

      The lobes on a chicken are more like as "area" around the ear, as opposed to a nice dangly piece suitable for hanging an earring.

      (I miss him, too. He was one of the best hosts ever.)

      Delete
  30. I don't think I knew anything in your bird trivia list...so I learned a lot.

    I, too, still miss Johnny Carson.

    Enjoy your "time off" - I'll miss reading your posts!

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    1. Cool!

      Yeah, Johnny Carson always had an enjoyable show, and his comedic timing was the best.

      On top of writing during April, I plan on maybe catching up on a bunch of yard work and spring housecleaning and painting, as well. So, I think I'm gonna enjoy all of that a lot. But like Arnold said, "I'll be bock."

      Delete
  31. I know, where is that Gary? Sorry, been working in the background with a mystery author.

    Anyway, ah yes, angry birds, indeed. Thanks for all of this. And yep you have reminded me of what happened recently. A whole row of cars outside my house. One car is completely covered in bird droppings. And yes, it was my car! Alfred Hitchcock would have been delighted.

    Enjoy your blogging break. And that darned alphabet challenge. Oh I'm ready. Ready to satirise the darned thing! :)

    When is the new series of "America's Got Talons" on, Susan?

    In kindness and good wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar's alleged human,

    Gary :)

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    1. Working with a "mystery author", huh? Does she wag her tail when she sees you coming, and bark to get your attention? And lick your face? Never mind. Too personal... HA! (Give Penny a pat on the head for me.)

      I dunno, but I think birds must "aim" for a particular color of car. Mine's red, and they certainly have a knack for picking it out of a crowd. (So ya might not want to wear a red hat!)

      Take care. And a very happy Easter to you, my punny friend.

      Delete
    2. Oops, eh Susan! :) I drive a rather rare car for Britain. I have a Chevrolet. Maybe the birds that crapped on my car, don't like American cars! :)

      The "mystery author" wishes he could write like Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

      Be well, I'm going to now reply to your comment on my site. Aha....

      Delete
    3. Oh, no, I'm sure it isn't that they don't LIKE American cars. On the contrary. I think they simply have very high-brow taste as to where to um, take care of business. Not just any ol' car will do.

      Delete
  32. That was fascinating! And quite funny, too. Both educational AND entertaining! And thanks so very much for dropping by today & leaving me that comment. That & your review absolutely made my day! Have a blessed holiday!

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    1. Thanks. Glad ya liked it. And I'm REALLY happy my comment and review made your day. Don't let a couple bad reviews get you down. Your book is awesome. Happy Easter!

      Delete
  33. What is up with that toupee-wearing bald eagle??? I have never seen that before! And I love the cartoon with the wifi bird. LOL!

    BTW,I just saw the review you wrote for We Hear the Dead on Amazon. Thanks so much, Sue! Have a great holiday!

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    1. Isn't that picture funny? I think that eagle must hang out on Donald Trump's estate...

      Cool. Sorry it took me so loooooong to get around to writing that review. (I'll do better with your next book!) Happy Easter to you, too! Eat a chocolate covered coconut egg for me, willya?

      Delete
  34. Hey Susan, that's a whole load of bird trivia... wow, I didn't know most of those tidbits of info.
    The upside-down eating flamingoes bit was very interesting...
    Hope you're having a great Easter!

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    1. Yep, I have a head stuffed with perfectly useless trivia, and still... I look for more to cram in there. Incorrigible.

      Happy Easter!

      Delete
  35. The first picture is why I won't leave my convertible parked with the top down.

    People laugh at me, but I know those birds are waiting for their chance...

    Larry

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    1. Can't say that I blame you. Nasty enough to find dropping all over the OUTSIDE of your car. Years ago, my father had a convertible, and he had no problem leaving the top down. But... he always locked the doors. Totally cracked me up!

      Delete
  36. Now that's an interesting post! I just learner a lot of cool new stuff.

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    1. Chase Manhattan??? Wow, I can't believe I just got a comment from a kick-ass book character! How cool is that? Neat picture, too... by golly, that looks like Dean Koontz standing next to you, "Chase".

      Delete
  37. Love the trivia. Thanks for sharing. :-)

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    1. Glad to hear ya liked it. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  38. Thanks for sharing. The flip side of beautiful birds is the car covered in droppings! True-that!

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    1. My pleasure. I reckon we have to take the bad with the good, huh? Take care.

      Delete
  39. We had a parakeet when we were kids. Loved it!

    I am not a woodpecker fan (other than that cartoon). I am surrounded by trees and cactus, yet we have this woodpecker who likes to peck at the metal around our chimney at about 5 am every morning. Not cute at all.

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    1. I know what you mean about the woodpecker. We used to have a fiberglass canoe, and in spite of all the perfectly good trees around, a certain woodpecker caller insisted on pecking either on that canoe ... or on the storm gutter right outside our bedroom window. Every morning. Between 5 and 6AM. And you're right; it wasn't the slightest bit cute.

      Delete
  40. That fence-top pic might be the awesomest thing I've ever seen! I hope you had a great Easter Susan!

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    1. Glad ya liked it. I hope you had a super Easter, too.

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  41. enjoy your writerly break

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  42. I learned so much today! Hollow bones eh? Isn't that kind of like osteoporosis? In which case old ladies should be able to fly...one day our freestanding fireplace was making a crazy rat-a-tat-y kind of racket. I was scared that there was some kind of animal in the stovepipe. Finally went out and look at the chimney flue. A woodpecker was sitting on the metal flue and doing his best to peck a hole in it! Not sure, but I think I heard him laughing that evil Woody Woodpecker laugh...

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    1. Yeah, you've got a point! Guess we'd better not give birds any milk, huh? It might toughen up their bones, but ground their feathery little butts.

      Too funny about the woodpecker messing with your flue. (He must've missed class the day they taught about WOOD.)

      We've had a couple birds come down the chimney into our fireplace. After my hubby removed the cover to rescue one from the ashes, and then set it free, I asked him what kind of bird it was. My favorite smart ass said, "Gray."

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  43. those are really informative.. and i was like really?...nice post...thanks for sharing..i was hoping to read about hummingbirds though...i'm a big fan of that bird...:)


    xx!

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    1. Thanks. Glad ya enjoyed it. Oops, you just missed the hummingbird. He was flitting around in Part One.

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  44. My car has looked bad, but not like that.

    I love birds. So many interesting facts here.

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    1. HA! Yeah, birds have their own idea about "decorating", and it isn't always to our liking.

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  45. You've had a lot of great blog posts over the years, but I think this one is my favorite of them all. I loved all the bird facts. And the peregrine falcon video was amazing. Thanks so much!!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it! Oops, gotta fly...

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  46. Hi Susan! These photos are great!

    I wanted to let you know you won a copy of BAKING LOVE!!! Congratulations! It releases May 17. If you would email me at laurenfboyd (at) gmail (dot) com to let me know what version you'd like (any ebook format or paperback), I'll get that to you as soon as I have it.

    Congratulations, and thank you so much for stopping by Meradeth Houston's blog to comment and enter (and win)!

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked them.

      And REALLY thanks on winning your book! (Do I get my German chocolate cake, too?) Just kidding. I'll email you asap.

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  47. Superb post! That falcon video is incredible, and I LOVE the catbird—both variations.

    I do believe that's a photo of our car when we lived on Mercer Island in Washington State. Explains why after we moved, we insisted on covered parking.

    When I was little, my mom had canaries. But we also had a very clever cat who made sure she didn't have the canaries long. Never any evidence, just an empty cage. An avian locked room mystery that was really no mystery at all. Sad.

    ~VR Barkowski

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    1. Glad you liked that falcon video. I think it's pretty cool, too.

      Poor widdle canaries. Reminds me of Tweety Bird and Sylvester.

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  48. Absolutely love the cat bird LOL. These photos are all so great, I especially love the line of all different birds sitting on the fence. They look so cute!

    I also love your frog header picture, so funny. :D

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    1. Thanks, Julie. Glad ya like it. I hope your book is selling better than, um, Eskimo ice cream in the polar regions. (LOTS better!)

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  49. Birds are amazing creatures. It's a wonder how there's so many different kinds.

    I'm partial to the fiery red Cardinal!

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    1. I know! Would you believe there are more than 300 species of hummingbirds alone??? (Although I have no idea who counted all of those little guys...)

      I'm partial to just about anything fiery red.

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  50. Great car photo, and I love the quote that goes with it. It never fails on wash day. I didn't realize that eagles could swim. Delightful part II. Sorry I didn't see this sooner.

    Julie

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    1. Isn't that swimming eagle cool? I had no idea, either. And hey, no need to apologize. This post will be hanging around for quite a while.

      Take care.

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  51. I'm glad I came back to get part two of this series. So fascinating to get all the trivia about birds, and I did love that first catbird. (smile)

    I thought the female bluejays were a bit paler than the males, but maybe I was wrong. I'll check the next time the pair that nests in a pine just outside my office window is out and about. Happy writing.

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    1. I'm glad ya came back, too!

      I read that tidbit about blue jays in a nature column in the Atlanta newspaper. Sure surprised me! I'd always assumed that all female birds had muted coloring.

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  52. Hi Susan, I have enjoyed your bird series very much. I only knew about two of the things included in your bird trivia, and I thought that I would know more than that.

    Enjoy your time away, and I hope that you get a lot accomplished on your writerly stuff. Thanks so much for your visit and nice comment. I am trying to catch up a bit today.

    Hugs,

    Kathy M.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. I'm glad you enjoyed it. So far, I'm enjoying my break. (If you can call raking a bazillion gumballs out of the yard "enjoyable"...) In between catching up on some of the spring chores, the writerly stuff is going very well. Thanks. Hugs back atcha.

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  53. So many bird facts. Who first discovered that quack doesn't echo? And as for cars, we used to have a lime tree that secreted sticky stuff next to a damson tree. We parked our car under the lime tree and got sticky stuff plus damson coloured bird poo on it. We no longer have a lime tree!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Oops. I HATE typos.

      I wondered that about the quack, too.

      We don't have any fruit trees in our yard, but the enormous gum tree, besides being a swell roosting place for a bazillion birds, also secretes a sticky sap. Very handy stuff, if you want all that pollen to stick to your car...

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  54. WOW, that was some cool trivia.
    That eagle should invest in a better toupee. (just saying) LOL

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  55. Wow! You'd flatten everyone in Jeopardy if the "bird" category came up. The flamingo photo reminded me of my daughter's first experience of eating shrimp, which happened to come after a visit to the zoo. She ate one, thought about it for a moment, then announced that "shrimp tastes like flamingo!" I've never really been able to shake the association.

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    1. No, I probably wouldn't do all that good in a bird category. This isn't stuff I already KNEW; it's stuff I discovered by doing research. (But I'd do a heck of a lot better in a bird category than I'd do in one about royalty.)

      That's funny about the shrimp comment. I wonder if your daughter heard someone at the zoo say something about how flamingos get their pink coloring from eating shrimp, and extrapolated from there. Kids do have a unique way of thinking. (That's what makes them so much fun!)

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  56. Dropping by to say hello! Thanks for leaving that nice comment on my blog susan:)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. Hi back atcha! Thanks for dropping by. (My pleasure.)

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  57. I so love this post, I have to save it someplace and also send to my Dad. We are total birdies! How is your month off going? I so miss Johnny too. That is when late night was funny! Nice to hear what you sound like. :-)

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    1. So far, the month has been super. Getting a lot of stuff done. (Wow, life DOES exist away from my keyboard...)

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  58. oh my gosh...loving all the info here...fun facts!! I am never complaining about my car windshield again!

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    1. Thanks; I'm glad you liked it. I believe if the birds decorated my windshield THAT much, I'd have to find a different place to park.

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  59. In the old days I used to go to Hialeah Park where every afternoon they would have the flight of the flamingos. They really were stunningly beautiful birds.

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    1. I can only imagine. I've never seen them in flight before.

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  60. OH MY WORD! That car with all the bird poop! That is overkill. I don't actually play Angry Birds...the only one in my fam who does not. Hello Susan! I was thinking maybe you were doing the a-z, but I guess not. I still pop in now and then. Thanks for coming by today. I'm doing the a-z and wearing down! I must say, I missed the yam when I first came to your site. :0). I, too, am trying to build a platform, but it's been fun in spite of that. Keep us posted on the book. Sounds like a GREAT title!
    from The Dugout

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    1. I don't play Angry Birds, either. (So maybe the birds won't target our cars?)

      I know what ya mean about the A-Z wearing you down. Keeping up with all those comments and trying to visit a bunch of new blogs takes an awful lot of time. Fun, but too time-consuming for me this year. Maybe I'll give it another go next year.

      Don't worry; I yam sure the tater head will be back again.

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  61. Posts like this are hard for me...because I"M TERRIFIED OF BIRDS! I have had curls stolen more than once!!!

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    1. Oh, dear. I'm sorry; that would freak me out, too. You must have very tasty curls. Or nice and soft for nest-building. (Wear a hat!)

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  62. Wait...go back...duck's quacks don't echo?

    Doesn't that break the laws of physics or something? Is that like the sound ships make in movies when they explode in the vacuum of deep space?

    This must be the reason Darth Vader's voice sounds so deep.

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    1. Yeah, isn't that strange? I've read that tidbit many times before, but never an explanation. (Maybe they're aliens!)

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  63. 128 comments
    You deserve them
    Lovely colourful,post xxx

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  64. Hey, came across this while searching for Bald Eagles in toupees, and just HAD to comment saying that the picture you posted is not actually a Bald Eagle at all! It's actually a Crested Caracara, a relative to the falcons, and that's really what it looks like - those black feathers aren't a toupee! Here's a link to a bird identification site with more information.

    http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Crested_Caracara/id

    The rest of this post was really fun, though :)

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  65. Hi, Kelsey. Thanks! That is so cool. (It reeeeally looked like an eagle wearing a bad toupee, though, didn't it?) I really appreciate the information. Please stop by any time.

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