June 2009

What kind of parrot is this?

This parrot/bird/parakeet appeared in my carob tree last Thursday. He comes by every morning and eats from our birdfeeder, then comes back at night to hit it for dinner. I have no idea what kind of bird this is but I must assume since this isn’t South Africa or the Amazon, that this is an escapee. Like the Parrots of Telegraph Hill. He has a bright orange bill but is otherwise entirely green. He makes lots of bird noises, including his favorite, which is a loud sqwawk. He terrorizes my dog too. He arrives bright and early, gives a loud shriek causing my dog to spring to life from under the covers at 6am. She then proceeds to whine until we let her out and then they yell at each other for ten minutes.

Teen Hoards Baby Birds in Bedroom

Most teenagers have something they don’t want their parents to find hidden away in their rooms—porn, birth control receipts, pot, porn, weapons, brochures for Mime College, porn. But I think it’s a safe guess that when you’re snooping around through your kid’s diary or secret under-the-floor-planks-stash, you really don’t expect to find a helpless, shivering baby bird.

Let alone 53 of them.

Ikea Chicken Tractor

Several people have sent me a link to the Ikea hacker blog, which is featuring a chicken coop made from Ikea furniture.  It's so clever!  I notice that they don't detail how much it cost, but it looks like it would be a lot easier to put together than making your own from actual lumber, like I am.

I'm about two thirds finished with the third chicken tractor.  To recap, the first chicken tractor that I built was really lousy.  It was kicked apart by the big dogs on its first afternoon.  Fortunately I happened to be looking out the window at the time, so I was able to catch it before any of the chickens escaped.

The second chicken tractor is in use right now.  I built it with a two story design, so that the coop is directly over the run.  Unfortunately, it turns out the chickens do not like to go up and down through a hole in the floor.  Who knew?

Help Save Migratory Birds

I don’t know about you, but when I think of songbirds I think about pretty, bold colors, beautiful spring and summer music…and that’s pretty much it. Sure, we put birdseed and water out every year (ever watch Backyard Habitat?) and enjoy it when these feathered friends come to visit, but we don’t really put much thought into where they come from—or how they get to our houses.