12/18/2007

Ughs the Barn Owl

A friend of mine sent me a pic that was taken of a Barn Owl that was rehabilitated at the school I went to in SA. Treverton has a very strong focus on environmental studies and students had a lot of hands on experience with wild animals. The school is located in the heart of the Natal midlands which is an absolute magnet for birds. We had Barn Owl, Grass Owl, Marsh Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl and Wood Owl all located on the farm.
As you can imagine I had a great time growing up in an environment like this. I even had the privilege of rehabilitating a Spotted Eagle Owl. Maybe I will dig up a pic sometime and scan it..

BTW, the Barn Owl was christened Ughs because we thought he was soo ugly. Luckily he grew into a handsome adult. Actually looking at the pics of us as kids I think we had VERY little room to pass judgment on the poor little owl. I won't put you through the horror of looking at my pictures as a goofy kid!

Happy Holidays

Well tis the season to be jolly and I want to wish everyone happy holidays and an exciting and rewarding New Year. I hope that all your dreams come true this year.
One of my VERY optimistic dreams for 2008 is that the Packers win the Super Bowl. Yip, like I said VERY optimistic.

To all the folks out in MN supporting the Packers, let's hope this is our year. To the detractors supporting the Vikings (no names mentioned Lynne - oops) may all your dreams except a playoff win come true.......

Seriously, stay happy and safe and enjoy the time with family and friends!

12/17/2007

The birding soundtrack to our life

Is there a song that reminds you about your first kiss or your best summer ever? Do you hear a song on the radio and it takes you to another place? I would say that most of us have that experience on a fairly regular basis.

Can birds create a soundtrack to our lives? Often times when I hear a Blue Jay I have an extrasensory experience that takes me back to my first winter in the States. I can feel the wind on my face; hear the crunch of snow beneath my boots and the bubbling excitement of seeing a beautiful new bird.

I have a similar experience each time I see a Barn Owl and I'm taken back to a defining snippet in time when a Barn Owl circled me twice on a little farm in Rustenburg, South Africa. That was the moment when the birding bug bit me. The Barn Owl will forever have a special place in my memory and on my birding timeline. Do you remember ‘that’ bird that started your obsession with birds? Do remember what you were doing and what it felt like? Does that bird still have that affect on you?

I would love to hear from fellow birders who have similar experiences when they see or hear a bird and it takes them back to a specific moment in time. In a sense, birds become the soundtrack to our life. All I can say is enjoy the music and the memories.

Birding magazines

I need some help! I would like some recommendations on must read birding magazines. I'd like to do more reading about birds in 2008 and your recommendations would be MUCH appreciated. I realize there is probably a myriad of different types of magazines out there and I'll leave it up to you to describe your favorites. Please help!

Owlcam operational

I took advantage of a short break in the weather on Saturday to install the owlcam. Actually the installation is the easy part. The main effort is running the wiring back to the house. Luckily the ground was nice and moeshie so I managed to get the wiring buried underground pretty easily - barring a frozen knee. All the wiring was run into my basement and I now just need to drill the final hole to hook it up to my TV in the living room. I currently have the cables hooked to a DVD player and sadly the box is vacant. Although this is a little worrying I am staying positive that spring will bring me some owls. For all of you out there contemplating installing an owlcam I can highly recommend the Hawkeye. Installation is quick, the camera is hard wired and all you need to do is hook the RCA cables to the TV and plug the power cord in - EZ!
If you shop around you may even be able to get some great deals on the camera.

12/16/2007

You might be a birder if......

In my post Admitting you're a birder I mentioned that I had read a great post about signs that you are a birder. RuthieJ gave me the link to Susan gets native's post You might be a birder....

Weather alert: Wintery mix developing in NW NJ. 12:14 am, time to head to bed-lata.
Incredible photos shared by the Flickr community group - Owls of North America. Click on the play button to begin the slideshow - ENJOY!