Saturday, August 27, 2011

This has almost NOTHING to do with birds (but its relevant)

For the past few weeks I've been in a state of worry for well being of sharks. Today I felt that I had to share. This is because I have a copy of the new Town and Country magazine, with the lovely Mariel Hemingway and Langley Fox on the cover. WHAT does T & C have to do with sharks? Well, turn to page 103 and you will notice a full page ad with Oceana and January Jones explaining how shark populations are crashing around the world and that "healthy oceans need sharks". I was happy to see the ad because ever since I watched an episode of Tavis Smiley with Don Cheadle as a guest.

Don Cheadle went on vacation to the Baja in Mexico. His daughter, who is about 14 went snorkeling. She wants to be a marine biologist whens she grows up... when she went snorkeling, she noticed not a lot of the beautiful coral dwelling fish. Why was this? Well...........
Apparently, Chinese fisherman paid people in Mexico to hunt and kill as many sharks as possible (not sure of the exact number but A LOT) so that they could fish for the fish that they like, since the sharks were eating them. This messed with the coral reefs delicate ecosystem. Suffice to say, the colorful tropical fish can't survive with out the big time predators that sharks are.

Plenty of questions came up after watching this, one: Is this ethical? Do people take morals and ethical practices serious in world-wide business today? On the other hand, has that ever been the case? China and Mexico seem like a dangerous duo and I mean that with the utmost respect. Does China really put such a high value on fresh caught wild fish that they are willing to wantonly destroy the beloved shark population? Do they have a problem against farm raised fish. answer to this one: I had a taste test with farm raised and wild caught grilled salmon. one of the salmon fillets had the traditional salmon color to it and the other had more of orange hue. Both tasted great, although there were quasi-remarkable differences. Adaptation. I had to adapt to the farm raised flavor.
I'm curious if Oceana will confront the Chinese fishing industry (the president ? their pr people?) and/ or Mexico's HR and talk to them about how we need to keep our sharks swimming around eating their prey. They could have a nice conversation about this and see where it leads. Open water territory is fishy in general. Also, how high of a value do you place on coral reefs? Sharks? There are many, many different species of sharks. Especially in the pacific and its a real shame to waste them away.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jamie Wyeth Self Portrait

The Congo: viva la African Grey

The African Grey

The Congo is full of emerald mystery, deep intrigue, and of course the most i n t e l l i g e n t bird of all. The African Grey. Supposedly the African Grey is hand in hand with the highland gorilla. Both have shown on the record to be able to communicate to people either through sign language (gorilla) or actually talking (the grey). Think about Koko the Gorilla and Alex the Grey.

I think it's important to visualize the African Grey in the wild, because of its rare color combination. Grey and red. Is gray a color? Ask artist Jamie Wyeth and he will probably say yes.
The African Grey
Peeping out of a forest of green is
I could get into.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bird Confrontation

This afternoon I took a walk on a nice bit of property at a quaint private school. In the backyard of the art building was a comfortable deck with a few tables and chairs- places to have lunch and gaze out at the small vista. I walked past this area and there I was ASSAULTED WITH LOUD SQUAWKING!!! A family of robins was protecting their young. They were completely freaking out- all out. This means that the robins were puffed out, and making fake-out attempts to dive bomb me with their pointy beaks and sharp bird feet. The young baby bird fell out of the nesting area and onto the ground/ I was scared. I was frightened of the situation in general and I put my keys and cell phone on one of the tables because I was so startled. Then I ran away. BUT....a few minutes later, after calming down, I went back. I had to get my belongings back. THE baby bird made a bee-line, and took off in a straight direction in a violent manner. The adult robins started freaking out AT ME and once again I was frightened and so I left. Before I went back that second time I did see a the dead corpse of a bird. This upset me further and made me stay in the back (the porch wraps around) and took heed from my cool, calm, and collected inner voice.

(please excuse the fervent manner in which this is written, as I am attempting to make the frenzy that I faced come through in this hectic dialogue).

Monday, August 8, 2011

In this picture here, Goethe is gazing out the window at the Roman street. Seemingly unaware of the intense scrutiny.

I like this picture because it looks like a snapshot. Same with the fact that he's so relaxed.

Observation while being observed

Today I saw a robin sunbathing with its wings spread out. I was looking at it for a while, because it looked cute. Then it noticed me and reluctantly hopped away. I felt a little bad, because I was watching it like a weirdo. But I moved on as usual, and went to the backyard to grill some chicken. Then I felt like I was being watched and there in the corner of the yard was another robin. This robin was perched on a fallen branch and casually observing me. I stared back for a staring contest. All the robin did was brush me off, it looked in the other direction. I looked back to where the other robin had been sunbathing earlier, and it was still there but hiding in the bushes.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


here's bedrock.. maybe the beak is not too bad, but that foot - ooof!

Tropical Birds At the Zoo

Last week I took an excursion to the Central Park Zoo. There, I visited the Tropical Zone. I got acquainted with the birds. For one thing, this part of the zoo is not a strange place for me. Which is why it has taken me a whole week to actually write. I'd really like to write about fresh perspectives, new takes on bird watching and "outdoorsing" in general. So writing about this part of the park is a challenge.

1. For the first time in years the Scarlet Ibis now is nesting with chicks.

2. The wild-crazy peacocks still fly out of their given diorama habitat area and go on the path for people.

3. I didn't see the Kookaburra, but I'd like to.

4. I made acquaintanceship with a very special West African Long-tailed Hornbill (Bucerotidae) called Bedrock. Bedrock was given to the zoo under questionable circumstances. He arrived with one of his feet gone, his beak broken a little and without being scared of anything.

Seems like the zoo is doing better than ever.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Driving in cars and dealing with animals

Its come to my attention that while I drive, more often than not a squirrel will suddenly dash in front of the wheels. I've seen chipmunks do similar stunts, as well as different birds. What's disturbing about this is that these woodland creatures are playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse. I don't want to play this game with them, but they instigate and initiate it without my consent. I know that the squirrel sees my car. I know that it knows that you shouldn't do that.
Birds like to fly almost into the dashboard so that they can gain momentum from the wind the vehicle creates and get to ride on the current. ok.