Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pardon the Interruption

Today should have been another peaceful day at the Celery Bog nature center. The eight inches of snow and frigid temperatures usually keep all but the most intrepid visitors away. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the chance to share info about the natural world with visitors but I also look forward to the long stretches of meditative silence on days like today.

The problem is not boisterous children but a mob of nasty, constantly squawking birds. We have a bird feeding area set up at the corner of the building that attracts a variety of feeder birds. An enviable viewing area is set up inside the building where visitors can view the birds, squirrels and bunnies dining through one-way glass. There are two mics set up as well. On most days, I get to enjoy the birds singing and woodpeckers cackling. This morning was especially nice with about two dozen doves cooing and feeding outside.

Now, however, we have apparently entered one of the levels of hell. An invading squadron of European starlings has run off all the other birds and are constantly screeching and fighting each other for the suet. Did I mention that the commotion is constant? And deafening? My kingdom for a volume control. Even the Cooper's hawk changed his mind about grabbing a meal after doing a couple of flyovers. (Of course, he could have changed his mind after knocking himself silly against the glass the last time I was here. The photo above is of the feathers he shed on impact. I didn't photograph the other evidence he shed on impact (you're welcome).)

Usually I don't like when people talk about "good" animals and "bad" animals but if I could catch all of these little minions and send them back to Hades, I would do it in a heartbeat. If there is an afterlife, I hope I can meet the twit who introduced these birds to the US so I can thank him properly. Seriously folks, this is a good example of why introducing non-native species to an ecosystem is a bad idea.

Who'd Have Thought...

... that I would ever post a blog? Certainly not me. Davo assures me that I should and, apparently, whatever he says must be true. Hmm...

I'm not at all sure I will have anything interesting to say as my life is fairly average (read boring) but I'll give it a shot. Maybe I'll be inspired to do something exciting or at least new. We'll see what happens.