Browsed by
Month: November 2010

Monument to Shakespeare

Monument to Shakespeare

I took this photo last weekend during our family’s trip to Maryland.  No- the Washington Monument is not a monument to Shakespeare.  But a few feet from where I took this photo, there was one of sorts. The European Starling.  This bird was introduced into New York’s Central Park in 1890 by a man who was attempting to introduce to the U.S. every bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. Within 60 years starlings could be found everywhere in the United States….

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Cover Bird

Cover Bird

My friend Jeff took these photos some time ago in his backyard in central Oregon.  I immediately recognized this bird- not because I’d seen it live before, or because I knew what it was.  Rather, I’ve seen it’s picture many, many times…on the cover of my Sibley Guide (The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, that is). It is a male Varied Thrush which is related to the American Robin.  It feeds on berries which appear to…

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Maryland Bumble Bee

Maryland Bumble Bee

Slugyard is on vacation!  We are in Maryland, which is good since it was beautiful outside today as opposed to icy and snowy back in Oregon.  It was so nice out that I caught this bumblebee with my camera.  It seemed to be looking for a sheltered spot to rest. After I bothered it for a couple of minutes, it flew away.  Hopefully it found some real privacy. Related posts:No Web- no problem! (for a crab spider)Grappling Hooks and Nectar

Empty Nesters

Empty Nesters

The leaves are falling revealing things to see that were hidden before.  Goat Island is in the Willamette River below our house.  It is a well-known Great Blue Heron rookery (or place where lots of them get together to nest). During the nesting season, blue herons are all over the place here and you can hear their young calling out loudly for their parents.  Although they have left this area until next season, we can now see the nests that…

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American Canada Geese

American Canada Geese

These Canada Geese are flying over the house in standard V-formation.  According to The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, birds fly in V-formation to gain extra lift from their neighboring birds.  This makes staying aloft easier and probably helps a lot over long migrations. Of course, even with the help in flight they still need to rest.  These geese are swimming on the Willamette River. Canada Geese are everywhere around here, as they are in many places in…

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Rush in the Sky

Rush in the Sky

I noticed these nice cloud patterns over our patio pond this week.  The rush spikes still have their seed heads.  Hold on though- one of them looks a little strange. Another Cross Spider!  They are everywhere.  This is just above the spot that was in my last post where a Cross Spider didn’t fare too well. This rush plant towers over the patio pond.  I sometimes forget whether it is a rush or a sedge.  Plants of the Pacific Northwest…

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Cross Spider All Wet

Cross Spider All Wet

With the weather changing, I’ve noticed a lot less Cross Spiders and their webs recently.  This large one was still around but unfortunately fell into my patio pond.  It was probably a female due to its size (males are smaller). Related posts:Cross Spiders are harmlessCross Spider Gets a MealCross Spiders Are Everywhere

Golden-crowned Sparrows Wintering

Golden-crowned Sparrows Wintering

This morning a couple of Golden-crowned Sparrows were foraging across the street.  When these birds return to the far north to breed, they will develop their black and yellow cap.  As it is, these are non-breeders (and maybe juveniles) that will live here for the winter. According to Birds of the Willamette Valley Region by Harry Nehls, Tom Aversa, and Hal Opperman, these birds like to forage on the ground for seeds and insects.  Seeds are plentiful right now as…

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