Angry bird(s)

Tiger moms. Grizzly moms. We’ve probably all seen that  harder side of mom. It usually happens after she’s used the eyes in the back of her head to see right through your well-laid-out plan to cover your tracks. Then that sound reaches your childish ears. She’s using that voice. And all of your names. You’re in “wait-til-your-father-gets-home” trouble.

Humans aren’t the only ones with angry moms. Over the last few weeks, we’ve begun to feel as if we were in the Hitchcock movie “The Birds.” Nearly every window in the house has been under assault from an angry female cardinal bent on defending her territory. The windows are covered with wing marks and the sills are covered with another bird byproduct.

And it’s not just the cardinal, indigo buntings have also joined the fray, all apparently in Fury mode when mistaking their reflection for another of their kind.

We figure when baby bird season is over, we can clean the windows.

TALONS OUT — Mama cardinal has beak and claws out for the reflection in the front door.
IN ACTION — Stills taken from a low-res video of the cardinal in full attack mode. At the time these were taken, she made repeated attacks on the window for nearly 20 minutes. We’ve tried turning the internal lights on to dim the reflection; tried chasing her off, but nothing deters this bird. 

Happy Mothers Day!

Red and blue

A welcome sight on arriving home from work — indigo buntings and a cardinal pecking around the grass.

COLORS -- A rare double -- a cardinal and indigo bunting share the frame as they eat seed in the tall grass.
FLUFFY -- Indigo fluffs his feather against the rain.
BLUE BELLIED -- This lizard's underside turns a bright turquoise during breeding season. He shows it off doing pushups on a brick wall.

Distractions at the office

The parade of wildlife outside the office window is amazing, and at times, distracting. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. [The photos aren’t great — hard to shoot through double-pane energy-efficient windows with a reflective coating. Still …]

FLICKER -- A yellow-shafted flicker takes a second's break while pecking around the "back yard" at the office.
UP A TREE -- Is exactly where you'd expected a red-bellied woodpecker.
DEFYING GRAVITY -- Red-bellied woodpecker goes nearly perpendicular just because he can.
SLEETY MORNING -- Cardinal struts in a landscape of sleet, dormant grass, broken pine twigs and old sweet gum balls.


Jan. 29 and 75 degrees

Here it is late January and according to the National Weather Service, it hit 75 downtown.  However, as is often said, “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” There’s a slight chance of snow in 72 hours.

Buffleheads noodling around the pond.
Chipmunk enjoys a warm morning.
Squinting chipmunk enjoys a warm morning.
Cardinal in a tree
Cardinal gazes out from his perch.
It was so warm, it was a good day for car washing.