Archive for: August, 2009

Talla

Aug 31 2009 Published by under Helsinki, Finland, My Pictures, Nature

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Talla (Bridge).
Photographed on the way to Tarvaspää Café at the Gallen-Kallela Museum
near Tarvon Salmi in Helsinki, Finland.
Image: GrrlScientist, 2 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

Here's a look at the floating wooden bridge that I walked across on my way to visit the Tarvaspää Café at the Gallen-Kallela Museum near Tarvon Salmi in Helsinki, Finland. I saw a pair of Great crested Grebes and their half-grown chicks on this body of water -- a new species addition to my life list!

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Helsinki Daisy, 2

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Daisy.
Photographed at Tarvaspää Café at the Gallen-Kallela Museum
near Tarvon Salmi in Helsinki, Finland.
Image: GrrlScientist, 2 July 2009 [larger view]. (raw image)

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NYC Area Cricket Crawl

Aug 31 2009 Published by under Education, Environment, Insects, NYC life, Zoology

The cricket sang,
And set the sun,
And workmen finished, one by one,
Their seam the day upon.
The low grass loaded with the dew,
The twilight stood as strangers do
With hat in hand, polite and new,
To stay as if, or go.
A vastness, as a neighbor, came,--
A wisdom without face or name,
A peace, as hemispheres at home,--
And so the night became.
~ Emily Dickinson
This is the cutest event I've heard of for NYC: a night spent counting crickets and katydids.

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Birds in the News 182

Aug 31 2009 Published by under Birds in the News

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Sandwich Tern, Sterna sandvicensis, photographed at the Bolivar Ferry, Texas.
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 4 August 2009 [larger view].

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Antarctica: Others Think I'd do a Helluva Job, Too

Aug 31 2009 Published by under Uncategorized

Since I have recently developed quite a history of visiting cold and snowy places, often during the winter, I wish to preserve that tradition. I am competing for the opportunity to go to Antarctica in February 2010 -- a dream adventure that I've always wanted to pursue (and almost did pursue when I was an undergraduate researching Fin Whales and Crabeater Seals at the University of Washington). To enter, all candidates must publish a picture of themselves and write an essay explaining why we think we are the best choice, and solicit votes from the public. Whomever receives the most votes wins the job. Of course, I think I am the best candidate to share this adventure with you, but I am not the only one who thinks this. Below the jump is a list of other people who are also supporting my bid to become the official blogger on this Antarctic expedition;

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Mystery Bird: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus

Aug 31 2009 Published by under Birding, Education, Mystery Birds, Ornithology, Teaching

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[Mystery bird] Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, photographed at High Island, Texas. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 19 May 2009 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/500s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

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Wild Parrot Safari in NYC

Aug 31 2009 Published by under Nature, NYC life, Pets

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Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Image: Magnus Manske, 10 May 2008, Wikipedia [larger view]

Even though NYC is located in the armpit of hell where, during the summers, the air is a humid miasma of fetid human sweat and decomposing dog shit, and the winters possess the cold and wind of Antarctica with none of its natural charms, there is a brave group of illegal aliens who not only live here, but are actually thriving. Who are these illegals? They are Quaker parrots, also known as Monk or Grey-Breasted parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus.

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Happy Birthday to Tangled up in Blue Guy, Mike!

Aug 31 2009 Published by under Uncategorized

Happy Birthday to the Tangled up in Blue Guy, Mike Haubrich! Mike is a good guy who is involved with all sorts of media-related things, ranging from writing articles for the Los Angeles Times and directing the Atheists Talk Radio Show in Minnesota to helping the HMS Beagle Project in the UK. Besides being my friend, Mike also has endorsed my own bid to be the Official Antarctica Blogger. In short, the world is a better and richer place because Mike is here. Many thanks, Mike, for the many kind and selfless things you do for so many people. Here's my gift to you.

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Amazing Basketball Playing Parrots

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This amazing video of parrots playing basketball is fascinating watching because it shows the results of patience combined with excellent animal training techniques. This video shows clips from "1 on 1" and "2 on 2" basketball games, starring parrots, Bo and Yoda (Congo African Grey parrots, Psittacus erithacus erithacus) and Hannah and Gustav (Solomon Islands Eclectus parrots, Eclectus roratus solomonensis).

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Update: Antarctic Vote Count

Aug 31 2009 Published by under Uncategorized

The current Antarctic Trip Vote count is as follows; 5481 - 1819 - 1575 - 1205 - 1117 out of 534 candidates registered. I am in third place and sloooowly creeping up on second place. With less than 6 weeks remaining (especially if the Quark site crashes), voting is changing rapidly as previous voters reassign their votes and new voters cast theirs for the first time. Many tens of thousands of votes have already been cast in this competition, so if the people who have cast their votes already decide to change them, they can significantly affect the outcome of this competition. The top four vote-getters are receiving most of these votes, so I need your votes more than ever to recapture first place, so please ask your friends and relatives to vote for me now!

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