Bird ID + Sunday Funnies

I’m unsure how to identify this visitor to my feeder:

I took it for a female cowbird at first, but I think the beak is too long and curved for a cowbird. Maybe a female common grackle? If you know, please share.

Here are some Twitter funnies y’all might enjoy. The first one features my poor Daisy, who doesn’t understand why she has to endure such an indignity for a lousy piece of cheese:

Next, some conspiratorial cats:

And finally, a dead-on description of pretty much any opening statement on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine” program:

So true. There’s a Judge Jeanine-type Trumpster lying in wait in virtually every bar in my ZIP code, eager to drunkenly slur Fox News talking points at the slightest provocation and bray endlessly about political correctness. The desire to avoid such assholes is one reason we built a tiki bar in our backyard.

Open thread!

Angry Birds (Open Thread)

Remember my squawky, tantrum-throwing blue jay nestling from a while back? Looks like he’s in his angry adolescent phase:

Here he is in profile:

I’m not sure why he’s so pissed off. Maybe even the birds know about Trump.

Is anyone having trouble with the site? I ran into a problem on the backend on the laptop, but it seems to be working on the mobile. I’ll report it to the proper authorities.

What are y’all up to today? We’ve been hiding from the heat most of the day but are about to grill some hotdogs.

It’s stupefyingly hot here — walking outside is like being enveloped in a steaming towel. I fucking hate summer.

Open thread!

Duck & Cover (Open Thread)

I took a road trip to the northern part of the state this weekend to visit my old grandma. Along the way, I saw this lovely wood duck:

Such a fancy head and markings! Here’s another shot of him, this time paddling toward me:

Interesting piece by Rebecca Traister: Can the New Activist Passion of Suburban White Women Change American Politics? She spent some time in the Georgia 6th with the women who are trying to get Ossoff elected. Here’s an excerpt:

Ann White, 63, is a former speech pathologist, the mother of teenagers, and a Democrat married to a Republican; she’s never been active in electoral politics before. “I just assumed that Hillary would win,” she said of the 2016 election. As the realization that Clinton had not won began to sink in, she felt herself changing. “The profanity filter on my mouth totally went away,” White said, describing a phone call days after the election with a like-minded friend from California. “I lost it, and my kids turned around and went ‘Whoa!’ Because they’ve never heard me say the F-word before.” White began to weigh the responsibility of taking a stand, “for people of color, for those who cannot afford health insurance, who are lesbian, gay and transgender, for immigrants. I’m a white older woman. There’s a lot of old white people that are [on the Republican] side right now. Well, I’m an old white person and I can be vocal too.”


Women, said Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s House Minority Leader and a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, “understand that this has to be the beginning of something, regardless of what happens on Tuesday night. Because they’ve seen, for the first time, the real consequences of inaction. So you have women who are waking up and seeing that they don’t have the luxury of going back to sleep.” Abrams, who if elected in 2018 would be the nation’s first African-American woman governor, continued, “Among African-American women there’s been a long consistency of action, which has moved our communities closer and closer to political power over time. What you’re seeing in the suburbs now is a version of that. It is louder and more vibrant [right now] because there’s an election to circle around, but it’s not unlike black women who fought for civil rights, and women throughout the South who have pushed back on narratives about who we are and what we’re capable of accomplishing.”

The whole thing is worth a read. I’ve heard folks here and elsewhere express pessimism. Ossoff can’t win. We’ll never take back the House. Plutocratic influence and the conservative propaganda machine are too strong to counter. The election of Trump means all is lost.

I’ve succumbed to that brand of pessimism myself occasionally. It’s okay to lose faith from time to time; that’s what separates people who are capable of considering new information and imagining a variety of possibilities from closed-minded zealots.

But regardless, we’ve got to keep fighting. The people dragging us backward want us to feel dispirited and helpless. If that makes you angry, the best way to give them the bird is to keep resisting.

PS: I made my daily call this morning to Senator Bill Nelson to urge him to oppose the super-secret Obamacare repeal bill, which he will. Also called Lil’ Marco to register my objections to his upcoming cave on that same bill. All lines were busy. That’s a good sign.

Rainy Tuesday Open Thread

Well, it’s raining where I live, anyway. Here’s a pair* of lovely pelicans photographed by faithful reader cope on Sanibel:

I love pelicans. Open thread!

*More like 2.5 — the ass end of a third is visible!

O Mighty Ibis!

These birds are as common as pigeons where I live. They work the neighborhood yards in small flocks, methodically crossing roads and getting the points of their beaks dirty stabbing at the lawns to flush out bugs.

They look goofy as hell when perched on lines. It’s like they’re always struggling to maintain their balance. I like that about them.

What are you up to this weekend?

Kids Today (Open Thread)

A blue jay couple that lives in our yard hatched the whiniest chick in the history of the universe this year. The nestlings fledged 24 days ago. I know this because of a photo date stamp: One chick crash-landed in the yard and subsequently failed to achieve air, and my husband rescued it and placed it back in a tree before our dogs could make a snack of it.

Jays aren’t known for their dulcet tones, but this bratty little shit is particularly shrill. It stands around under the bird feeder, flaps its wings, screeching all the while, while the parents frantically shuttle food into its open maw. You can tell the parents are goddamned exhausted by the little bastard. Here’s a shot through the window, with the fledgling throwing an ear-splitting tantrum on the ground while a parent looks on from the top of the gate:

[Dialog supplied by me.]

Sometimes I want to tell those parents that it’s time to cut the damned cord already. Their offspring is perfectly capable of flying now, shaky start notwithstanding. There are bird feeders all over the place. Let it paddle its own canoe! But I try to refrain from intervening in the personal business of other families, so I just complain about it here.

Open thread!

Circle of Life in Action (Open Thread)

Here’s a great shot of an osprey and its prey from faithful reader cope:

As cope pointed out in the email that accompanied the photo, if you look closely, you’ll see a bug on the unfortunate fish. In the great food chain of life, sometimes I feel like I’m that bug. Or maybe a mite on that bug. Or a bacterium on the mite on that bug. Anyhoo…

Open thread!