Time for some more grackle love – bath time

I promised to upload this video from a while back of two grackles having a great time in a fountain, sorry it has taken me so long. This was taken earlier this year while I was on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

See how lovely and charismatic these birds can be! I adore how their calls and how their whole body changes depending on what type of call they are making. They certainly love the water as you will see! Continue reading

Always an opportunity for birding in Saskatchewan

With over 350 species of birds, Saskatchewan is a solid destination for birding activities. That seems to be ringing true throughout the chilly winter months and is evident even in my backyard. As I learn more and more techniques for attracting certain types of birds into my yard, they seem to come a ‘flocking’. And they bring their friends.

I think I have even been able to get my neighbors on the bird train and there may even be some friendly competition going on for the most attractive yard for the feathery visitors.

At any given time I can see large families of sparrows can be spotted nestling contentedly in the pine tree; juncos cleaning up the fallen seeds in the snow; a downy woodpecker rapping on the maple tree; house finches hopping along the fence link; beautiful red polls who pose for me; and of course nuthatches and chickadees who have fierce speed competitions through the branches. Those are the most common yard visitors this year but certainly not the full extent. Winter birding in Saskatchewan has not disappointed.

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Take a lesson from the birds

So after a couple of days in Uganda I know a couple of things to be true:

1. It is hot here and I hear we are just coming off of the winter season.
2. There are a lot of people here, albeit, friendly, warm people (35 million-ish, comparable to the population in all of Canada in the space of about 1/2 the province of Saskatchewan).
3.On a journey to discover how highly functional co-operatives can be in a country such as this I have I already learned that even the Ugandan birds co-operate.

Yes, I have found a way to sneak the birds into my Uganda stories. But there is a point, I promise.
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As they exit …

Fall is clearly upon us. Leaves turning and landing on the ground, brisk mornings and the absence of my fine, feathered friends have been noted.

This will likely be my last bird post of the season as the steady exit becomes more noticeable each weekend I go birding around my cabin area.I plan on doing a provincial bird tour next year so that I can expand my birding horizons, so stay tuned!

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Lake life is good. But good birding is even better.


This gallery contains 43 photos.

Here are a bunch of sweet little tweets to view ~ enjoy!! Oh and be sure to look out for the Northern Yellow Shafted Flicker – my first time seeing one!

Saskatchewan Birding as a New ‘Birder’

Ok, it’s official, Saskatchewan birding is awesome!! I love being a new birder and learning all about neat birdy behaviours! There is so much to learn though. I was told today that I really need to travel up north and do some birding in the Prince Albert area. Also, that if I had a naturalist as a tour guide that would be helpful. I would love to do that in the future as I do love that area of the province, but I have to say that I think what we have going on in the immediate region around Regina is pretty darned awesome.

I think a full fledged birding tour should be in my future. I am already assembling my wish list of birds that I want to see. One day, one day… Continue reading

My love for grackles and why it all makes sudden sense

So, this is kind of interesting, at least to me. Recently, while doing some bird research I stumbled upon a note about grackles. For anyone that knows me, I have had an odd fascination with these birds for some time now.

We have many grackle visitors in the back yard during the spring-fall seasons and I sometimes can’t help countless hours watching them. Besides their obvious intelligence, they have outright personality and are very social. I love the way they call – flailing their heads back and squawking with authority.

And, they really are truly beautiful birds. Their plumage has a simply radiant sheen and shades of blues, purples and greens can often be seen in their jet black feathers.

When I chat with bird enthusiasts about my love for these birds, it is most definitely not well received. In fact, most ‘real’ bird lovers have nothing nice to say – which surprises me.

They scare all the other birds away!

Grackles are a nuisance!

Mmm, I guess I never seem to see what others see in these birds. We still have many other types of birds in the yard and I don’t find them a nuisance at all. In fact, they all seem to get along just fine so I don’t really buy into the bullying characteristic that’s often associated with these misunderstood birds.

Anyhow, regardless of what others say about my bird friends, I feel a connection to them. When I came across this grackle write up it made sense to me in more than one way. It said:

Grackle - Grackles are very happy birds that look past the emotional turmoil and find joy in the smallest of things. Black is the color of the inner and the feminine and the purple and bronze coloring about the head especially usually indicates that emotions are coloring the thinking process. Situations are not always what they appear to be; particularly when dealing with emotions. Emotions that are not dealt with can even go on to produce physical congestion in the body. Grackles love to live in pine trees and the essence of pine can be used to help alleviate strong emotional states, particularly feelings of guilt. The grackle showing up is a sign that it is time to clear away emotional congestion and to deal with your emotions.

What do I deduce from this? I feel I may be grackle like in spirit too – finding joy in small things. Or medium, grackle sized things at least. And, I think this may explain why they visit me so often – must be trying to get me to deal with stuff. Again – smart birds.

Point taken. I will get to work. In the meantime though I hope they keep coming by to keep me in check!

Excerpt taken from: http://www.spiritwalkministry.com/spirit_guides/bird_animal_spirits

For more beautiful grackle images – click here.
Image above from – http://www.redbubble.com/people/van049/works/3265453-flight-of-the-grackle