Tag Archives: birds

owls.

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 Meet the owls that lived in the Smithsonian Castle

These barn owls used to live in the Smithsonian Institution Building, AKA the Castle, in the 1970s.

The Smithsonian Secretary in the 70s, S. Dillon Ripley, was an ornithologist and thought the owls could hunt the rats attracted to the new garbage cans on the National Mall. He named them Increase and Diffusion—a nod to the Smithsonian’s mission of “the increase and diffusion of knowledge”—and they lived in the building’s west tower.

The pair hatched three owlets in the spring of 1977. One of those new owlets fell out of the tower, but was recaptured and brought safely inside by a staff member. After raising their family, the owls departed and never returned.

This Smithsonian Institution Archives photo shows one of the pair refusing to take a message.

(Not to be confused with the previous Castle owl residents, who were known to crash into windows and swoop down on guards on the National Mall at night, and whose extensive droppings caused the collapse of the floor of a tower. They remain nameless.)

In honor of International Owl Awareness Day

The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders at our quaint spirits.
-William Shakespeare

Read the full history of Smithsonian Castle owls from Smithsonian Institution Archives

Credits: Hannah S. Ostroff, Smithosonian

woodpecker.

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today at the toledo zoo

 so many beautiful animals

the birds – stunning

even

the very curious and friendly woodpecker

hanging on the screen following us around

staring and blinking

so cute and cheery

 reaching over to touch it

quickly reminded me

how it got its name

when it pecked my finger

 with the memorable touch of

a sewing machine needle/jack hammer

decided right there and then

to just admire each other from afar in the future.

“all bad jazz sounds like woody woodpecker.”

-leo kottke – musician

 

 

image credit: Woody Woodpecker – Walter Lantz Studio, Universal Studios

chatting.

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friends meet under the bridge

and relax into an after-dinner chat. 

“I’d be smiling and chatting away,

and my mind would be floating around somewhere else

like a balloon with a broken string.”

-haruki murakami

 

 

 

 

Ann Arbor, mi – summer 2019

moving.

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starlings come together and move into the shape of a giant bird.

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kinders come together to see if the birds are eating the food they’ve left for them

“do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?”

-marcel marceau

 

 

 credits: guy benson, attenborough nature preserve, bbc news east midlands

audience.

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walking through a park

on a beautiful day

 looking up to the sky

and 

quietly sitting way up there

was a very polite and interested audience

it was standing room only. 

“ive never had any idea that what I like would resonate with the audience, and i’m pleasantly surprised when it does.”

-tom petty (r.i.p.)

 

 

south pond park, ann arbor, michigan, usa

chicken or the egg?

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today, mr. roger, our snowplow driver

came back to our room

and brought some of his favorite birds to meet us

these two are chickens named marco polo and maranella

and they are married.

his granddaughter has a chicken for a pet and reads with it

and he really loves birds

even more than snowplowing.

mr. roger even showed us some of maranella’s treasures – her eggs

and we had the chance to gently touch everything and ask all kinds of questions.

it was amazing because he knew all of the answers.

he sure knows a lot about a lot.

“if I hadn’t started painting, i would have raised chickens.”

-grandma moses

wingspan.

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at the nature center for grandie v’s 6th birthday celebration

the scientist helps us to measure our wingspans

before we take a stroll outside to find this beautiful bird

rescued and healing a broken wing

 whose wingspan we hope will return one day

and we are grateful to have our wings.

“happiness makes up for height for what it lacks in length.”

-robert frost