Saturday, April 30, 2011

Red-breasted Mergansers and Other Cape Cod Ducks

These pictures were taken on my birthday weekend, back at the end of March. I went down to see my parents on Cape Cod and my two birthday requests were:

1. I want to go Charlie's Place in Wareham for dinner. I've been going to Charlie's since I was a little kid and I have a lot of fond memories there. We're friendly with the owner, the prices are cheap, and their pepper & onion pizza is my absolute favorite.

2. I want to go birding. So, my parents took me to Bourne Farm in West Falmouth, and then later in the day I went for a walk on the Cape Cod Canal with my mom and my Aunt Marylou.

Here are the duck pictures from the Canal.

Red-breasted Merganser:

Female Red-breasted Merganser:

Common Eider Flock:
I really enjoyed our earlier walk at Bourne Farm. There are walking, biking and horseback riding trails there that feature cranberry bogs, ponds, and an old herring run. Too bad I couldn't get very close to the ducks there since they were in the middle of the ponds. I saw buffleheads and ring-necked ducks.

Ring-necked Duck:

Old house foundation we came upon in the middle of the woods. You can see the chimney to the left and the stairs in the middle.

This is called the "Cattle Tunnel." How in the world can cattle fit through here?? It's very low, and I hit my head misjudging just how low the ceiling was.

Great birthday weekend! Glad I finally got around to posting these pictures because I have some Mt. Auburn cemetery warbler photos I just took today that I can't wait to post.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Google Doodle Celebrates John James Audubon

Have you noticed today's Google Doodle? It's in honor of John James Audubon's 226th birthday! Yay for birds :)

What is a Google Doodle? It's the picture on the Google Home Page: On special days like Earth Day, Christmas, and interesting anniversaries Google switches out their usual Google logo with an image that still spells out "Google."

If you ever see a Google Doodle and are unsure what it means, just hover your mouse over the image and a tooltip will show up explaining what it's for.

And, if you click on the Google Doodle it will show you all results for that topic.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Infographic- Is the Internet Killing the Planet?

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Here's an interesting Earth Day infographic put together by WordStream. It's about how energy and CO2 generated by the Internet is affecting the Earth.

Click the thumbnail to enlarge:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Large-billed Crow pictures from Japan

These large-billed crow pictures come courtesy of my work colleague Phil who lives in Japan. He told me he had some great Japanese crow pictures, and the first thing I noticed about the bird was the large bill. I started doing some research to come up with the correct crow name. First I thought it was a carrion crow since those are a common type of Japanese crow, but the bill wasn't big enough. Then I found pictures of the large-billed crow and those were a match! Duh- "large bill"- it couldn't have been any simpler. These crows are also called jungle crows, but most of the birding sites call them large-billed crows.

Phil said they can get really big, which I believe since American crows are huge sometimes. I have vivid memories of standing my in my parents Cape Cod kitchen doing dishes and getting spooked by something huge in my periphery on the deck. All it ever was was a giant crow, but really they can be scary when they get so big!

Here are some interesting things I learned about the Japanese crow:

Japanese word for crow: karasu
Japanese crow myth: According to Japanese mythology, the karasu tengu is a supernatural being with the head and wings of a crow who serves the tengu, who are depicted as tall men with big noses and red faces who carry fans made of feathers that they can use to stir up winds.
Crows in Japanese culture: They're seen as pests in the cities since they're large and aggressive. They've started coming into cities more to scavenge rubbish. Their numbers in Tokyo are estimated to be around 150,000. Here's a great blog post I found about it: