Saturday, February 19, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count. Puffleg Hummer. Hospice.

"Join Us, February 18–21.      Top 5 Reasons to Do the GBBC

1. The birds you see will be recorded for all time. Just count for at least 15 minutes on one or more days and enter your checklist at
2. Your counts ensure that the birds in your town or favorite birding locales will be represented in this continentwide event.
3. Scientists and birders alike can see the tallies as they roll in for more than 600 bird species.
4. Now in its 14th year, the GBBC provides data to track dynamic bird populations through time, a feat that would be impossible without the participation of tens of thousands of people like you.
5. Celebrate birds by watching them at your favorite spot. See photos of birds submitted from around the continent or send in your own for a chance to win
birdy prizes.
Please help spread the word by asking your friends and family to participate! They’ll find easy instructions at

Special FeederWatch Offer
Would you like to try Project FeederWatch next season? New U.S. participants who sign up by March 15 will receive this year’s poster-size FeederWatch calendar, filled with beautiful photos of birds.
Your participation will begin in November. We'll send you an instructional kit before then! Join now.

Inside Birding: Bird Behaviors

Improve your identification skills by watching our video as Cornell Lab experts share the insights you can gain from observing birds’ posture, foraging behaviors, and flight style.

Here is a 10 minute video from Cornell:

  Watch now.


Colorful Puffleg
Colorful Puffleg. By: Luis Mazariegos
Banner stats and range map
"Endemic to a tiny area in the western Andes of Colombia, this resplendent hummingbird remained undiscovered until 1967. Unfortunately, the mild Andean climate of the puffleg’s habitat has made it very attractive to human settlers, who have been clearing the cloud forest for crops and cattle grazing. In 2005, ABC and its Colombian partner Fundación ProAves established the 3,341-acre Mirabilis-Swarovski Bird Reserve, to protect a core area of habitat from deforestation, and to ensure that this species survives for future generations. This reserve also protects the critically endangered Munchique Wood-Wren, endangered Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, and other vulnerable bird species."

Colorful Puffleg
Photo: Colorful Puffleg by Luis Mazariegos
The Challenge
"The Colorful Puffleg is one of the world's most enigmatic hummingbirds. Endemic to a tiny area in the northern Andes of Colombia, this resplendent hummingbird remained undiscovered until April 1967, when photographer John Dunning was mist-netting below Cerro Munchique, and caught what he described as a "miraculous" bird. He named it as such: Eriocnemis mirabilis.
The mild Andean climate of the Puffleg’s habitat has also made the area very attractive to human settlers, who have been clearing the cloud forest for crops and cattle grazing. "


Ray, who rents my guest house, and often works for me, is still tied up with his dying father-in-law.  He is in a convalescent home nearby, and the Hospice doctor has him on morphine now, which we understand is a signal that it is near the end. 
It is Shay's Dad, and she is so distraught about it that she cannot be left alone as it has raised her blood pressure to a danger point where she sees double or passes out.    Either Ray, or their grown-up son, who lives on the other side of my house, has to stay by her side.   The FIL's wife of about 5 years, thought that his tools should go to HER son, instead of the FIL's grandson, so the bickering over the FIL's possessions has already started ! 


As we weren't working on the cargo trailer, I used the time to bathe Paco, and bathe and groom Misty.  When she went outside she had to rub all the new clean off !

As the vet had cut a band of hair off one of her front legs for the IV, I copied it, and clipped 'bracelets' on all four of her legs today.


pidge said...

Will be praying for Ray and his family. A very difficult time to go through.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you so much, Pidge.
Any prayers are appreciated.
Not for the FIL, as his quality of life has gone, but for the family he leaves behind.

Kathy said...

Hi Penny, we did have Raider on Frontline, but was lead to believe they don't have fleas here in the desert, which is true. However, he brought some hitch hikers (fleas) from CA, unknown to us! He's back on it! He's also on heartworm medication,too!