Friday, May 30, 2014

New Resident, Bad Dog Ranch

How about them Cowboys?

What do Lois and Mabel think of this new creature?
Interloper.  Irritant.
He is called Henry.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 26

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.  On to our question.

A Maine teenager was walking in a Florida park and decided to take a picture.  His first inclination was, naturally, to take a selfie.  Then he noticed a squirrel sitting on a nearby rail.  The teenager shoved his face up to the squirrel and snapped his selfie. 

What happened next?

The squirrel demanded payment for use of his image?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
The picture has gone viral, raising awareness of the
need for conservation of the
squirrel's habitat?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
The squirrel yelled for help. 
A bunch of his friends came and
wrestled the teenager to the ground.
They took his wallet and ran up
a tree.  Then they
chattered and taunted the kid by
tossing each item from the wallet on
his head?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
A hawk swooped down and snatched the
 cell phone from the kid's hand.
  The hawk flew to a nearby swamp
and dropped the phone
into the water.  An
alligator then swallowed
the phone?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
Nobody wins this round.
Here's what happened.
After the teenager snapped
 the picture, the squirrel leaped
on him and crawled
under his shirt.  The teenager
threw himself on the ground,
drop and roll style.  All the
while, the teenager's mother
 took video.  Finally, the
squirrel escaped
and fled. 


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbirds are found throughout the United States and much of Canada.  They are roughly the same size as a Robin.  RwB have black plumage with a red patch bordered in yellow on each shoulder.  The plumage of the female RwB is brown with lighter streaks and a hint of red on each shoulder.

In early spring, the males fly to their breeding grounds to stake out a territory.  A couple weeks later, the females arrive.  Typically, one male attracts three females to his territory.

Favored habitats of the Red-winged Blackbird are ponds, open fields, marches, shorelines.  The female builds a nest in thick vegetation, in shrubs or among reeds and grasses.  She weaves grasses to make the nest, located about 3-8 feet off the ground.

The female does all the incubation and most of the nestling feeding.  Once the youngsters are fledged the male helps out with feeding.  RwB eat bugs, seeds and plants, especially aquatic plants.

Both parents guard the nest and surrounding area.  They can be quite aggressive about it too, as anyone who has ever wandered remotely near a RwB nest can attest.  Their main predators are Crows.  Sometimes males will join forces to chase away a Crow.

Some Red-wing Blackbird Facts

-  broods per year (females):  1

-  eggs per brood:  3-5

-  incubation:  11 days

-  nestling: 11 days

-  fledgling:  7-10 days

-  length:  7-9.5 inches

-  wingspan:  12-15.5 inches

Around September the birds molt.  Around October large flocks gather, usually segregated by sex,  sometimes along with Grackles and Cowbirds, fly south to their winter territory.

A Red-winged Blackbird dive bombing your head is worth two in a bush.