Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bird Brains

WindowI say "bird brains" with the utmost respect because I believe most birds are pretty darn smart. Unfortunately, we humans are in the habit of putting windows in places they don't belong. If you look closely at the photo (click to enlarge), you'll see the outline of the crow that flew, with great force, into my living room window. I'm sure he was a little stunned, but he did fly away. He must've seen the sky through the dining room window, at the opposite end of the room from this one, and headed for it. I now keep the dining room drapes closed. Poor guy.

And, last week, I saw a robin do something unexpected. He was eating the shelled peanuts I'd put out for the chipmunks and squirrels. The bird chomped on the peanut with his beak, then gobbled down the tiny pieces . I've never seen robins eat anything but worms. Perhaps the lack of rain has affected the worm supply, or I've just never paid enough attention.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Raiding the Henhouse

Eggs on vintage tableclothUntil last year, Brazilian howler monkeys were believed to have been strictly vegetarian. That's when researchers spotted the primates investigating birds' nests and chicken coops. Although some of the howlers ate the eggs, most simply examined then returned them to the nest. Now, as interesting as the diet change is, I think it's even more interesting that the monkeys put the eggs back where they found them. I wouldn't have been surprised if the researchers reported that the monkeys tossed the eggs or played with them. Replacing them shows some kind of understanding and consideration I didn't expect. Perhaps by returning the eggs, the howlers were ensuring a new generation of egg-layers, and food for the future. Or maybe they were just being nice. Whole story here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Break Time is Just About Over

Black cat
I've been a bad blogger, lately, haven't I? My only excuse is that my mind is mush and I needed a break. Is it possible that, after almost three years, I've simply run out of animal-related ideas? No, couldn't be. Until I get it together, here's a picture of my cat, Meeko, in our backyard. Doesn't she look shiny and sleek?