Snowy Egret is a regular visitor to our backyard. He’s usually on a food-finding mission and woe betide any unsuspecting frogs or lizards who happen to catch his observant eyes. He makes short shrift of them, grabbing them mercilessly in his beak and swallowing them whole, never to be seen again. He is distinguishable from the Great Egret by his bright yellow feet, plus he’s somewhat smaller.
In the late nineteenth century, this majestic bird was hunted for its soft, pure-white breeding feathers which were used to adorn women’s hats. These much sought after plumes sold for thirty two dollars per ounce, twice the price of gold at that time. This practice almost led to their extinction. Thankfully, they and many other birds are now protected by the ‘Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918’ which makes it unlawful to hunt, capture or sell nearly 1,100 birds listed in the treaty.
Wishing you all a splendid weekend. We are expecting 30 C today, so I think I’ll stay indoors and play my piano.
My sister Yvonne in South Africa, sent me this photo of a juvenile crowned eagle in her back garden.
In its unusually large talons is one of the baby dassies whose family lives under the garden shed, so no happy new year for him. When my sister first saw a couple of these furry little rodents in her garden, she thought how sweet they were, so started feeding them. After a very short while they sent word to their family and friends that there was a kind human who was giving out free food and that they were all invited. It didn’t take long before the whole tribe arrived in her garden and they very quickly discovered a thriving vegetable patch with lots of juicy morsels just there for the taking and started to strip it bare. Then the eagle arrived and provided a solution to the problem.
Wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy new year. Thank you so much for your visits and comments. I appreciate each one of you.
Back in 2016, I posted photos of a great-horned owl looking at me from a palm tree outside my bathroom window. I named him Bubo, short for his fancy name which is ”Bubo Virginianus’. Apart from the two sightings four years ago, i haven’t seen him since, but this week I heard an unmistakable hooting coming from a palm tree in my backyard, “Hoo Hoo Hoooooo” he called, as distinct from Santa who says, “Ho Ho Hoooo”.
I’m sure it must be the same owl and he looks much more mature now. The oldest great-horned owls are known to have lived to twenty-six years. I love that wise, unflinching stare of his. I think he was telling me to hurry up and get the photo before his patience ran out. Ah yes, wisdom and patience is something we have all needed this year for sure.
Yesterday we were driving merrily along behind another car, when it suddenly came to an abrupt halt, seemingly for no reason. We waited a few seconds before seeing why. A gaggle of Egyptian geese having decided that the grass was greener on the other side, bravely waddled out into the road, obviously having faith that they’d be seen and given safe passage. It was their lucky day.
American film director Abraham Polonsky once said, “If you don’t get killed, it’s a lucky day for anybody.” I guess that’s one positive way of looking at life.
Mervyn Muscovy scooting past without stopping to greet anyone. Well, I guess that’s what neighbours do these days.
We have a delightful elderly couple living next door and this morning, they called to ask if they and their son can come round on Sunday to sit outside in our lanai and listen to me play the piano. Apparently it’s something they have really missed during lock-down. So, we’ll put up the sun umbrella, open a bottle of Prosecco, socially distance the seating and tell the goldfish not make a noise. I’m really looking forward to our first visitors in almost three months.
Miss Rosie is a very infrequent visitor to our backyard, so it was such a delight to see her again. When I first spotted her outside my bathroom window, she was socially distancing with the Great Blue and the Tricolored Herons. The trio were scanning the lake for a fishing opportunity.
After a while the others got bored and wandered off further along the bank, leaving her alone and before long she obviously saw what she was looking for.
Here, she looks quite pleased with herself, don’t you think?
Wishing you all a splendid weekend, whatever you have planned. Our country club started to open up a bit from the lockdown and we booked to have a meal outside on the covered patio with a couple of friends. Before it could happen though, we got a message that one of the wait-staff had tested positive for the Coronavirus, so they were having to close down again. I can’t imagine when this is going to end as the numbers in Florida are way up again.