May 1, 2013

Our goldfinches left several weeks ago.  The cedar waxwings came through in at least three big waves, starting in February (and the last just over a week ago).  House finches moulted, and the breeding males have bright red heads. Migrating robins left us by the end of January, but a lot more residents stayed with us.

We have at least one, and maybe three cardinal families.  A black-capped chickadee family stuck around.  Haven’t seen a titmouse in a month, but I think they’re still in the neighborhood.  The black-chinned hummingbird family is back, and maybe a few other hummers.  The resident blue jays and white-winged doves duke it out every day.  Carolina wren stayed, and may have already fledged; but there are too many wrens for one family — is that a Bewick’s wren?

What’s THAT?

White winged dove and rose-breasted grosbeaki

White-winged dove, left, can’t scare away the rose-breasted grosbeak from the songbird feeder. Photo by Ed Darrell


Look closer. Photo by Ed Darrell

It’s a rose-breasted grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus.  It seems late for migrating birds, but only because so many migratory species migrate earlier these days.

Haunts of the rose-breasted grosbeak, from Cornell University's ornithological laboratory.

Haunts of the rose-breasted grosbeak, from Cornell University’s ornithological laboratory.

Would love to have a grosbeak family, but the Cornell ornithologists say this is fly-through territory.  Maybe that explains why it won’t scare by the white-winged dove, Zenaida asiatica.  Dallas is the western edge of the grosbeaks’ migratory path, but the eastern edge of the dove’s territory.  They probably don’t see much of each other.

We don’t even advertise clean restrooms.


Meanwhile, back at the rice paddy, global warming holds families hostage . . .

May 1, 2013

See this United Nations Development Program ten-minute video that, to the wise and concerned, lays out the stakes of delaying action against human-caused climate change.

Without enough funding, NGOs work to help farmers getting hammered in the Southern Philippines, and other places.

In the Southern Philippines, farmers’ lives and the weather are intimately interwoven, but something is changing, now that the rains in Agusan del Norte are too heavy, the sun shines too fiercely. Now there’s hope for poor farmers with the community-based approach monitoring and Weather Index-Based Insurance packages, to warn people when heavy weather is on the way.

Though, I do weary of the astonishing abuse of acronyms in this work-of-the-angels. “WIBI?”

Incidentally, though the phrase doesn’t appear anywhere in this material, this is exactly the sort of work carried on by the UN’s Agenda 21 project.  Doesn’t look subversive to me.

Tip of the old scrub brush to the UNDP and ILO Tweet:


Map of the Philippines with Agusan del Norte h...

Map of the Philippines with Agusan del Norte highlighted. Wikipedia image

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