The Blue Jay Story

Saturday, August 22, 2020,


I was visiting the Rehab Room at Sweetbriar back in August of 2017 when one of our resident Blue Jays decided to perch upon my head. This was not an unusual occurrence as she would often perch on our heads or shoulders, or backs or pretty anywhere else she pleased. The only unusual thing about this was that she could find purchase on my bald and freshly waxed head.

I took a photo of the Blue Jay – I think it was Marguerite – and posted it on Facebook. One of my friends commented, “Looks like she laid an egg!”

And that is the Blue Jay Story.  JK.

A Red-bellied Woodpecker and Some Musings Concerning Photo Procrastination

Friday, April 19, 2019,

This is a pair of photographs of a Red-bellied Woodpecker. I took these pics last December and I just never got around to posting them. This happens much more often than you would think. Actually, it happens more than even I realize. This is a case in point. I was looking for another photograph – the one I used in the previous post – when I came across these two pics. I had forgotten all about them and I even had to check to see if I ever used them. I had not and that is the reason that you’re seeing them here today.

I take a lot of photographs and, sometimes, a few are actually in focus. Unfortunately, I often find it easier to take the photographs than finding something witty or informative to write about them. And sometimes I’m just too darn lazy. I don’t recall the reasons that I never posted these pics till today, whether it was brain freeze, laziness, or maybe even forgetfulness – I’m no Spring Chicken, after all – but time and chance have finally combined to give me something to say about these pics. There are no pearls of wisdom here, and certainly no information about Woodpeckers, but maybe, just maybe, you’ve gained some insight into the less than brilliant mind of a guy who takes too many pictures. JK



Fish Rides!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


These photos show an Osprey giving fish rides. This rarely documented behavior was exhilarating to see. There is a small man-made waterfall and a fish ladder separating the Upper and Lower Carmans River. Fish ladders, while very accommodating, are still hard work. The Ospreys, sensing this, will often pick a fish up from the surface and ferry it upriver. These rides may not be entirely altruistic, however. Perhaps the birds know that the fish need to spawn upriver and that a little help now will reap benefits for the Osprey in years to come. The fish pictured here may be an Alewife but I am really not sure. My lack of knowledge doesn’t stop with birds. I’m not an ichthyologist either. JK

Not so tight! Not so tight!

I Am Not A Birder #3

Monday, June 9, 2008

I am not a birder and here’s the proof. On May 9th I posted this same pic and identified these birds as Common Terns. I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

These handsome fellows are actually Least Terns. I was looking for Piping Plovers Sunken Meadow Park and I thought a pic of one the signs that marks the protected nesting areas of the plovers might make a nice addition to a post. That was when I noticed that the signs also included Least Terns. The illustration on the sign looked suspiciously like the birds that I thought were Common Terns out of breeding plumage.

Uh oh. I could feel an embarrassing moment coming on. So I emailed my friends Janine and Nancy at Sweetbriar Nature Center and asked them. Janine originally wrote they were penguins in disguise, but I think she was just putting me on because then she identified them as Least Terns. Nancy was unsure so she forwarded my email to Birder X, another Sweetbriar educator, who also confirmed that the birds in question were indeed Least Terns. Birder X also informed us that these terns are threatened but that they nest here.

When I was writing the original post I was concerned that I might be confusing Common Terns with Forster’s Terns. I was so busy looking at tail and wing lengths that I missed what should have been obvious. One turned page in my Sibley’s shows that distinctive white forehead. Here is a pic of the sign that helped show me the error of my ways. JK