Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's Been a Couple Days...

...since I bonded with that dying squirrel. Boy... It still tears me up thinking about it... Nearly a week ago I found another dead bird from a window collision, a female House Finch. For some reason it didn't really hit me that hard or get me too sad, but still a tragedy nonetheless. It's the second bird that's died like that. The first dead bird, the Tufted Titmouse, hit me the same way the squirrel did: very hard and days of sadness and reflection on it, and the way both died, the bird still holding onto a seed in his bill and the bonding with the squirrel before his death, was heartbreaking. Both experiences changed me and continues to evolve my thinking on how precious animals are and deserve the utmost respect.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Red-bellied Woodpecker Video Captures

I took the first video yesterday. The second and third I took some time ago on my low-quality, built-in camera on binoculars. The fourth video I took a few days ago. Near the end I believe a second Red-bellied Woodpecker enters the video. I'd assume male and female mates.

Young, Dying Squirrel in His Final Hour

I witnessed something I hope I never have to witness again. I saw a cute, sweet, young, little squirrel slowly die, for reasons unknown. I will tell you the story now.

I went outside my front door for something. I noticed a small squirrel run under a bench on the porch. I assumed it was eating sunflower seeds and had ran off the porch and onto the ground. After a few minutes I let my outdoor/indoor cat, Mister Kitty, out. He went straight for under the bench, so I grabbed him and put him back inside. I looked and the squirrel was still there, facing the house and staying still. I'm a little confused. He eventually moves around a little again, then gets into a resting position, where he's laying on the ground. This is where the videos I took start. He just moves very small amounts from here on out, moving an arm or leg briefly. After the last video I took he did something. He stretched both his arms out and wiggled his body left to right slightly. It almost seemed like he was reaching out to me. I'll never forget it. I put my gloved index finger under his left paw when he did that. He had the sweetest, cutest look on his face.

Less than an hour later he died. I was with him when he took his last breath.

I can be comforted in knowing he didn't die a violent, more painful death by my cat. He wouldn't have been able to get away from the cat in the condition he was in. This was a very sad thing for me to go through, bonding and comforting him, then seeing him slowly die. I didn't really know he was going to die until it actually happened. It was heartbreaking to see him finally die.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My First Starlings

I saw two black birds with greenish-purple accents together and thought they were Common Grackles. Then I looked with binoculars... Saw all of those dots and knew exactly what it was from reading about them. They are really something to see up-close. Here's a picture from the 'net:

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Migrants

I've been seeing a bunch of new birds and recently found out why. They're migrants, here for winter only! Most notably, the precious-sounding Red-breasted Nuthatch and the White-throated Sparrow. I'm really gonna miss 'em when the time comes for them to go back "home." I'm not sure of any other migrants that I currently feed, but it's still only late fall now, so there still might be more to come. It's always nice to see new birds around, but I'll sure miss 'em...

As for the birds that have left their "home" here, I only know of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Boy, do I miss that one or two that hung around the house all day in the summer, and I even accidentally caught "her" sleeping in a small birdhouse in the morning. I went to move it or look in it and it poked her head up at me. I left it alone then, but was still pretty excited there was a bird in there. It eventually left in mid-to-late-summer, but I didn't know why. Later, I found out that it migrants South for the winter, like some or a lot of birds and animals do. I still remember some of it's favorite spots to perch on on the little tree in the front.

I've just discovered a few minutes ago the migrant White-throated Sparrow, when the sun went down, sleeping and nesting in a small tree on a branch, not in an actual nest, even though I have two empty birdhouses less than a foot away from this sleeping bird. Hm, interesting. This might be the one of the first birds confirmed to be nesting and sleeping near my house! Exciting! Bird nests are still new for me since I haven't been through a full spring yet where all the birds make nests for them and their young since I got into my bird hobby. I know there must be other birds nesting nearby, but I just can't find them yet, or they must have a nest nearby in another yard or in the forest, like the two or three Northern Cardinals and the Blue Jays. I can always hear them coming in the morning from the forest, doing their morning calls and songs. I'm wondering where the Carolina Wren is nesting. It must be nearby, because I see it quite often and I think I've seen it go under my deck after getting a peanut from the feeder. Not sure if there's a nest under there or not. I guess we'll find out.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Anne Frank Tree

I just finished watching the premiere of the sixth season of Gene Simmons: Family Jewels, called "Face Your Demons." It was quite sad and touched on a lot of the Anne Frank history. It was a very sad and touching episode, and I found myself tearing up a little. It was interesting to hear (and later reading more online) the part about Anne Frank's thoughts on the only freedom she could see: the tree outside her attic window, seagulls, birds, the sky, wind, and nature, in general. While the episode was still on I looked up more about the tree. It was sad to read that it was blown down in August of 2010, just a few months ago.

The whole thing is just so sad. Nearly tearing up again right now while reading about the fallen tree online while listening to "Heroes" by David Bowie...



Passages from the diary Anne Frank wrote about the tree in her diary three times.

"23 February 1944"

"The two of us looked out at the blue sky, the bare chestnut tree glistening with dew, the seagulls and other birds glinting with silver as they swooped through the air, and we were so moved and entranced that we couldn’t speak."

"18 April 1944"

"April is glorious, not too hot and not too cold, with occasional light showers. Our chestnut tree is in leaf, and here and there you can already see a few small blossoms."

"13 May 1944"

"Our chestnut tree is in full bloom. It’s covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year."


Anne Frank: I know what you mean about the beauty of nature. Other people are now enjoying and discovering the same beauties of nature just like you did at one time, and I definitely won't forget your story or diary, and neither will the world. I can only imagine what you would write about if you could have lived and had a blog or something. I'm sorry you didn't get to make it outside to sit under that tree, your tree, and to write further about nature. That's truly sad.