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  • December | 2011 | Birds and Words
    We continued onward to Thickson s woods and saw a tremendous Mockingbird sitting atop a tree a few minutes later we caught the same delightful Mockingbird chasing a fat Robin And a Downy and Chickadees and Starlings and a Tree Sparrow I think I forgot to mention the exquisite Buffleheads Bucephala albeola and Red Breasted Mergansers Mergus serrator We stopped for a delicious breakfast at Scrambles Where Ajax meets for Breakfast and you should too located across the street from a rather unfortunately named diner called Daddy s Little Grill Happy New Year everyone May 2012 be a happy healthy bird and word filled year Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on December 31 2011 by Julia Zarankin Snowy Owl Schnee Eule by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on December 31 2011 by Julia Zarankin Search for On the Coyot es Network Some reasons I have been called a radical environmentalist Coyote Crossing Published on September 19 2015 by Chris Clarke My Hit Single Are Warblers Less Important Than Tigers Reconciliation Ecology Published on September 12 2015 by Madhusudan Katti Making Friends With Crows The Corvid Blog Published on August 2 2015 by The Corvid Blog The Heart of Freedom Cecil the Lion Wild Within Published on July 29 2015 by Jennifer Molidor There s Gold in Them Hills Dispersal Range Published on June 28 2015 by Meera Lee Sethi California note 1 Slow Water Movement Published on July 7 2015 by slowwatermovement Joe Eaton calls Fowl A Review Toad In The Hole Published on July 4 2015 by Joe Eaton The other invisible hand View from Elephant

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/birdsandwords/2011/12/ (2015-09-25)
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  • November | 2011 | Birds and Words
    was early May and they were in the midst of hoarding food Speaking of Robins my favorite non avian who goes by the name of robin the writer Robin Spano is launching her second book in her fun crime series Death Plays Poker and though eschews writing about birds it s still a great read and you should check it out I also saw the cutest Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens who looked exactly like this and I thought to myself hey where is that red patch on its head What happened to the Downy I used to know and love And lo and behold the Cornell Lab of Ornithology tells me that it s a FEMALE hence less flashy Nevertheless a fabulous woodpecker There SHE is I m pretty sure dear female Picoides pubescens also thought it was spring time She kept looking up at the sky in utter confusion After all it was close to FIFTEEN degrees celcius my friends yesterday which is virtually unheard of in November Other sightings on my walk included sparrows of all stripes and colors and a murmuration of Starlings In other bird news Rick Wright linked to a fabulous book on his blog which if you re a birder I m sure you already know read and memorize http www archive org stream cu31924000188999 page n0 mode 2up Ms Adelia Belle Beard wrote a tremendous book in 1912 with instructions about how to make life size standing birds out of paper with adjustable wings Just think you could make your very own American Robin She even instructs you on the correct coloration of the bird In her introduction Beard emphasizes that the book can be used as a teaching and mnemonic tool for adults and children alike No binoculars needed Included are endorsements from the Audubon Society and the New York Zoological Park What would possess anybody to let such a gem go out of print Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on November 16 2011 by Julia Zarankin downy woodpecker 2 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on November 16 2011 by Julia Zarankin Murmurations by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Did you know that a group of Starlings Sturnus vulgaris is called a Murmuration Thanks to a dear friend out West I learned that The Washington Post recently linked to a Sophie Windsor Clive s fabulous video that captured a murmuration of starlings The Post also informs the curious of other collective nouns used to describe birds A parliament of owls A nye of pheasants An unkindness of ravens Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on November 9 2011 by Julia Zarankin Nostalgia Tour by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Birds and Words has just returned

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/birdsandwords/2011/11/ (2015-09-25)
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  • October | 2011 | Birds and Words
    He bites HARD And being the diligent child I was I believed them She took one look at the elk and then turned back to inform me that it was a harmless deer What can I say I m new to the animal world She also asked me where I was from to which I could think of no other answer than I m an artist Our conversation went no further I ll spare you my other misdemeanors in the realm of animal IDs In other news the wondrous Elif Batuman has a fabulous article in this week s New Yorker complete with stellar podcast all about a conservationist in Turkey and birds and words and Pushkin in the Turkish town of Kars on the border with Armenia I was quite taken with her analysis of birders In certain respects the lives of birders resemble the lives of the saints the early portents the moments of revelation the physical mortifications the miraculous apparitions and violent ends I don t know about the violent ends which I hope to eschew but I ve certainly witnessed many a miraculous apparition What a novel idea of think of birders as types of saints I rather like that Batuman seems to be a font of knowledge in any subject matter I also learned from her a fascinating tidbit about Ian Fleming author of James Bond Ian Fleming both a secret agent and a bird watcher borrowed the name James Bond from the author of a manual called Birds of the West Indies Who knew Ian Fleming had birds on his mind perhaps in this very photo Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on October 26 2011 by Julia Zarankin IMG 1080 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on October 26 2011 by Julia Zarankin ianflemingDM0102 468x440 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on October 26 2011 by Julia Zarankin A New Favorite by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Delightful Birders I m in the Canadian Rockies for a few weeks and just managed to ID a fabulous new bird BY MYSELF For those of you who know me you ll appreciate this monumental feat The Black Billed Magpie Pica hudsonia is a regular in these parts of Western North America the Cornell birding site calls it common and very conspicuous but it was still a tremendously exciting sighting for me I guess that s the beauty of knowing very little about birds everything is both rare and wondrous to me Here it is I love the fantastically long tail and the metallic blue on its wings That blueish coloring reminds me of tree swallows another super common bird which I can t get

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/birdsandwords/2011/10/ (2015-09-25)
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  • September | 2011 | Birds and Words
    but pretty close Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on September 26 2011 by Julia Zarankin yhst 83994635520088 2176 6564380 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on September 26 2011 by Julia Zarankin long billed dowitcher 1 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on September 26 2011 by Julia Zarankin PalmWarbler0LR by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on September 26 2011 by Julia Zarankin Bird Miscellanea by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply If you live in Canada and aren t aware of the existence of Canadian Bookshelf edited by the brilliant Kerry Clare you ought to be You ll be glad to know that today s feature called Put a Bird on It is a superb compilation of some of the greatest bird book covers this country has to offer Not all of the books are specifically about birds but all of them are inspired by things avian In any event the stream of covers is both artistically stunning and also gave me a few new titles to add to my growing Avian Bookshelf I ve been wanting to link to the Porlandia video of Put a Bird on it for a while now so here it is Thanks Canadian Bookshelf for reminding me of it The more I go out birding and think and read about birds the more I find myself wanting to put birds on things too I ve already admitted to starting up a bird stationary collection the thank you card fanatic in me always needs at least a dozen different cards at my fingertips lately most of them are bird oriented I recently stopped myself from purchasing matching bird mugs for my husband and myself I own bird stuffed animals alas I regularly overdose on Peeps because what could be more gastronomically pleasing than consuming a pink yellow green or purple marshmallow chick when Easter rolls around and sometimes before I have a bird calendar and I have no idea where this will all lead me Here are them peeps So yes I fear that I am turning into one of those people who puts birds on things Since we re on the topic of birds and books I ve just finished reading Ellen Litman s superb linked story collection The Last Chicken in America Don t pick up this book expecting an exploration of the avian world Instead Litman brilliantly portrays lives of people living in a Russian immigrant enclave in Pittsburgh Many of the stories are filtered through the lens of Masha a college age emigre from Moscow struggling to make sense of

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/birdsandwords/2011/09/ (2015-09-25)
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  • August | 2011 | Birds and Words
    it s good to be reminded We also had Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs which I never would have been able to tell apart had they not been standing side by side You guessed it the Lesser Yellow legs is slightly smaller than the Greater I m certain I ll confuse them for the rest of my birding career lest I witness them side by side again but it s nice to know they really are different I think I can finally ID a Caspian tern bright orange bill black patch on its head I think I get this bird In the end what began as a dismally foggy drab seemingly unpromising day turned out to be most rewarding Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on August 30 2011 by Julia Zarankin 791px Turdus migratorius 002 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on August 30 2011 by Julia Zarankin 800px Molothrus ater1 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on August 30 2011 by Julia Zarankin Paradise on Georgian Bay by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply I spent the weekend in paradise On an island 50km or so north of Parry Sound Right here The beauty of the place was so arresting that I didn t miss the lack of electricity one bit We felt like we d stepped into a Group of Seven painting for the weekend tilted pine trees and all I wasn t expecting a particularly birdful weekend but we saw about a dozen Common Loons convening on the water for what was either a rowdy party a sincere and earnest gossip session or a political gathering They intoned their distinctive high pitched call repeatedly If I were more musically inclined I might have been able to discern a harmony If I were Olivier Messaien I would have gathered enough material to write a whole new symphonic poem They were louder than I ve ever heard loons but because this was the first time I ve seen so many active loons so close up I was captivated Here are the last two loons after the party had pretty much disbanded making plans for their next rendez vous I even saw a Black and White Warbler chirping away in a pine tree He was deeply engaged in a singing contest with the local Chickadees Given that I tend to judge primarily by appearance embarrassingly shallow birder that I am I d say the Black and White Warbler won hands down I didn t even need binoculars to make eye contact with him Just when I thought I wouldn t see another warbler until Fall when they d all be a uniform shade of brown and I wouldn t be

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/birdsandwords/2011/08/ (2015-09-25)
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  • July | 2011 | Birds and Words
    connoisseur which explains why I m perfectly comfortable admitting that I choose wine based on the label the birdier the better but this one was fairly decent The bird is deliciously yellow with grey wings I can t wait to see one in the field but in the meanwhile I ll have to enjoy the wine Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on July 18 2011 by Julia Zarankin 6 Blanc de Blanc by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on July 18 2011 by Julia Zarankin IMG 0257 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on July 18 2011 by Julia Zarankin IMG 0267 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on July 18 2011 by Julia Zarankin Ode to Summer Vegetables by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply I think I m falling in love with summer vegetables Helplessly What started out as a crush last summer the first time I subscribed to an organic foodshare with a Plan B Organics a fabulous farm near Hamilton has now turned into desperate love the kind I shudder to think how I ll be able to live without once the winter months hit Last year I even endured an eternity of spinach 5 weeks worth and survived We had omelets frittatas spinach soup spinach quiche spinach salad and my dreams were set against a spinach backdrop I m the kind of person who easily gets into a vegetable rut when left to my own devices I tend to resort to the same seven foods I ve always eaten even though I m tired of them Routine and familiarity sadly trump my desire to experiment and my fear of culinary failure Subscribing to an organic food share has changed the way I eat and I love it for that very reason I look forward to picking up my box of vegetables every Thursday afternoon mainly because I have no idea what it will contain It adds a level of spontaneity to my cooking that I never knew I craved My meals now revolve solely around the veggies in my box During the summer I eat only what s in season I ve discovered garlic scapes kale swiss chard white radishes yellow carrots and beets freshly picked crispy green beans that taste absolutely nothing like grocery store waxy beans salad greens of every persuasion garlic so fragrant it s almost sweet It feels like I m learning a new vegetable language with its own grammar of possibilities Where are the birds in all this Well I m sure they enjoy flying over and dropping by for

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/birdsandwords/2011/07/ (2015-09-25)
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  • June | 2011 | Birds and Words
    is an account of her relationship with North Dakota a home she can never fully escape no matter how far away she moves Marquart s account of North Dakota is so vivid so vibrant so teeming with life that I immediately told my husband that we re headed to the Great Plains for our next vacation He was less than thrilled with that suggestion I m fascinated by wholly unremarkable places such as North Dakota and even more fascinated by writers who manage to render them sublime Marquart seamlessly entwines historical accounts of the Midwest elegy family history personal anecdotes and popular culture Her story is a deeply personal account of her family s land her identity as a farmer s daughter along with its complicated expectations implications and the endless wheat fields and enormous sky that define her In the end even though she leaves North Dakota for the academic life in Iowa via a career as a rock musician much to her parents horror Marquart is never far from the arduous work of the farm that she so desperately wished to abandon Her realization that writing and farming are in a sense both lives of toil is startling and beautiful How strange it seems to me now an adult woman so far from that life on the farm that the struggle I face each day when I approach my writing desk to bring to language the stories pushing up beneath my feet feels so much like the hard labor of unearthing those half exposed rocks in my father s fields And no matter how fiercely I struggled to evade my fate as a farmer s wife becoming a writer instead how strange it is to realize that writing the act of arranging language in neat horizontal furrows is a great deal like farming The Horizontal World is about the impossibility of escaping one s formative geography And it s the impossibility of her true escape that Debra Marquart renders extraordinary I read parts of the book twice I ve been dreaming of North Dakota It s that good Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 16 2011 by Julia Zarankin the horizontal world large by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 16 2011 by Julia Zarankin 41nsSG49OXL BO2 204 203 200 PIsitb sticker arrow click TopRight 35 76 AA300 SH20 OU01 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 14 2011 by Julia Zarankin Home Birding by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply I was struck down by a virus this past weekend the kind where you re neither sick enough to garner proper sympathy nor well enough to do much other than lie in bed

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/birdsandwords/2011/06/ (2015-09-25)
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  • May | 2011 | Birds and Words
    you can purchase on Diana Sudyka s Etsy site Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on May 6 2011 by Julia Zarankin il 570xN 238869480 by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply Share this More Email Press This Share on Tumblr Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on May 6 2011 by Julia Zarankin It s Warbler Time by Julia Zarankin Leave a reply You wouldn t believe how excited I am Yesterday I identified a YELLOW WARBLER OK this is about 80 factually accurate Someone had heard the yellow warbler s song but I was the first to find it And if it s the case that you re having trouble believing that trust me you are not alone Everyone in my group was more or less stunned that I had actually managed to be of birdful use It was a first on many counts Yesterday was a dreamy day for Spring birding Most trees in Toronto are still bare so this made finding the birds all that much easier Though I can t yet recognize and identify most of what I see unless it s a yellow warbler obviously I m getting much better at pointing my binoculars I did have a few mishaps yesterday where the striped swiftly moving cackling animal turned out to be a chipmunk rather than a sparrow of one sort or another but these accidents are bound to happen Please don t think less of me We began our day in Thickson s Woods in Whitby world capital of unabashedly cute owls and also the birthplace of Jessica Westhead awesome Canadian writer whose short story collection And Also Sharks you should all read where we were greeted by copulating chickadees Apparently the female likes to shake wildly and do a little feverish gig to attract the male who then basically responds by pouncing on her The whole scene was a little x rated but quite educational and it is breeding season after all So I wish them all fruitful reproduction For all you exacting readers you might remember that Thickson s woods was where I caught sight of a winter wren shouting vigorously and couldn t believe that such a tiny bird could sing at such mind numbingly high pitch Not for the faint of heart After the chickadee action we saw countless Yellow Rumped Warblers Dendroica coronata Since the trees were bare they weren t that hard to locate in the trees and after about fifteen minutes of staring up at the heavens I developed my first neck pain of the season otherwise known as warbler neck and immediately felt like a professional birder The yellow rumped warblers were exciting until we realized they were ubiquitous every single bird in every single tree turned out to be a yellow rumped warbler and we began to get a little restless We also saw an apparently stunning panoply

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/birdsandwords/2011/05/ (2015-09-25)
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