Category Archives: Alaska Outdoors

Animal’s Daily For The Birds News

Fortunately none of these are still around.

There are a lot of birds around.  Excerpt:

Through a combination of citizen science and big data analytics, researchers have estimated the entire global population of birds. There are roughly 50 billion individual birds chirping and flapping across the world, about six birds for every human.

“Humans have spent a great deal of effort counting the members of our own species – all 7.8 billion of us,” says Associate Professor Will Cornwell, an ecologist at the University of New South Wales and co-senior author of the study.

“This is the first comprehensive effort to count a suite of other species.”

And:

There are over 9,700 different bird species that we know of, and the eBird catalog covers 92% of these species. The remaining 8% of species are very rare species that are rarely sighted, meaning their numbers are very low so their exclusion from the analysis shouldn’t have much impact on the overall estimate.

While some species are threatened with extinction others are incredibly abundant. In fact, four bird species are in what researchers call ‘the billionaire club’, due to having an estimated population of over a billion. These include the house sparrow (1.6 billion), followed by the European starling (1.3 billion), ring-billed gull (1.2 billion), and barn swallow (1.1 billion).

Having been brought up by parents who were involved in the local Audubon Society, I’ve always been a bit of a bird nut.  I like having them around, and now here, in the Great Land, we have a wide range of avian residents ranging from chickadees to eagles.  Their presence adds a lot to the landscape.

And here’s the thing:  I occasionally have occasion to raise the eyebrows of non-biologist types when they refer to something being “as dead as a dinosaur” by telling them that dinosaurs aren’t extinct; there are more dinosaurs alive today than mammals.  We call them birds, and while it’s the general practice among paleontologists and biologists to refer to “non-avian dinosaurs” as a distinction, the clade Aves (modern birds) are part of the larger group Theropoda, which includes most of the bipedal predatory dinos like allosaurus, the various raptors, and the infamous tyrannosaurs.

While that’s cool to reflect on, mostly, I just like having birds around.  At this time of year, every morning when I leave the house to walk to the office, I’m surrounded by a concert of morning bird song – another reminder of why we chose to move to this wondrous place.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

On Saturday afternoon last, I was out on my deck with an ice-cold beer and a fine cigar, enjoying a fine, sunny Sustina Valley afternoon.  After a bit, I heard a motorcycle stop on the road out in front of the property. Then I heard someone’s voice calling to something, and heard him crashing into the brush. So I went down to see what was going on.  The motorcycle rider had seen this guy, whose left wing was broken.  Near as we could figure, he had made to drop on some prey critter and had clipped the power line.

One of the neighbors came along, said they had a big dip net and a wire kennel. So they went and got it, then motorcycle guy and I managed to get the bird calmed down, into the net and then into the kennel. Meanwhile, the neighbors made some phone calls, and found they could take him down to Houston to the rehab center.

So off he went. Motorcycle guy and I both petted him on the head and told him everything was going to be OK.

And I really, really feel like I personally helped America.

He probably won’t fly again, they almost never do once a wing’s broken, but if not, he’ll have a comfortable career as an ambassador bird for the Matanuska-Sustina Borough schools, teaching kids about raptors.

Just another weekend in Alaska.

And so…

On To the Links!

Lumber prices are skyrocketing.  Because supply chains are a thing, and the Imperial and local governments have wrecked them with the Moo Goo Gai Panic.

Ninth Circuit panel lifts ban on ghost gun blueprints.

Why do the big nuts rise to the top of the bowl?  Metaphor for government?

Begun, the pizza wars have.

Well, I’m glad that’s solved.

Cancer may have been more common way back when than we thought.

Well, here’s one of President Biden(‘s handlers).  Plenty of folks are wondering who is pulling the old fool’s strings, and here’s one of them.

No, Biden Doesn’t Have a Mandate to Remake America.  No shit.  They lost seats in the House, barely maintaining control, and managed a 50-50 tie in the Senate – only technically a majority because Heels-Up Harris holds the tie-breaking vote.  Dems got roundly trounced at the state level.  That, True Believers, does not a mandate make.

Speaking of, it looks the the $4T spending plan proposed by President Biden(‘s handlers) will be going into the trash, where it belongs.  We hope.

Racist!  President Biden(‘s handlers) impose racist travel ban on India.  I mean, travel bans were racist when Trump did them, right?  Sauce for the goose, baby.

Texas mulls over Constitutional Carry.   Predictable pants-shitting from legacy media ensues, even through several states already have this (including our own Alaska) and somehow the predictions of bodies lining the streets haven’t come to pass.

Do you want real racism?  Because this is how you get real racism.

Hypocrisy, thy name is John Kerry.  What an asshole.

April gun sales continue to shatter records.  Good.

So, where is everybody?

It’s probably a little too late for that.

This Week’s Idiots:

Man, it’s a bumper crop of idiocy this week.

Newsweek‘s Meggie Abendschein is an idiot.

Vox‘s German Lopez is an idiot.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

These people are idiots.

John Podesta is an idiot.

Salon‘s Jon Skolnik is an idiot.

CNN’s Clay Cane is an idiot.

Stupid people demand stupid shit.

The New York Times‘ Charles Blow always was and remains an idiot.

Salon’s Chauncey DeVega is an idiot.

Time‘s D. Markovits is an idiot.

Robert Reich is still an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Music is a great vehicle for conveying emotion.  Nobody can dispute this.  And the love song is, of course, a great example of that principle.

But love songs are not all created equal.  In my not-so-humble opinion, the best love song ever written can only be Charlie Rich’s Behind Closed Doors.  Here, have a listen:

Animal’s Daily In The Company Of Chickadees News

One of our local chickadees.

Before we start, check out the latest in my Mystical Child series over at Glibertarians!

Over the weekend I had to run down to Wasilla to take care of a few errands, so while I was there I bought a couple of bird feeders, including a small one to hang just outside our office building door.  That feeder almost immediately attracted the attention of a local nesting pair of one of my favorite birds – chickadees.

The Black-Capped Chickadee is ubiquitous across the northern part of North America.  We have the Boreal Chickadee in these parts, too, although we haven’t seen any at the feeder yet.  We’ve also been visited by a pair of Red-Breasted Nuthatches, and we have Cliff Swallows buzzing around, eating up the early bugs.

Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve generally run a bird feeder.  In our old Colorado home where we lived for so long, we had mostly house finches and chickadees.  As a kid back at Bear Creek, we had chickadees, goldfinches, cardinals, and what I’ve long considered the most beautiful of North America’s songbirds, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, which sadly doesn’t range this far north.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

I like chickadees.  I know I’m anthropomorphizing their behavior some, but to me they always seem so indefatigably cheerful.  Even in temps of fifteen or twenty below, these tiny bundles of feathers are out and about with the sunrise, calling, exploring, looking for food.  They are frequently first at the feeder in the morning and last to leave at night.  It’s fun to have them around, and we’re looking forward to having more of their cousins visit as well.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

There are some benefits to growing older and grayer, and since we’re all bound to grow older and grayer anyway, there is certainly no reason to not avail one’s self of those benefits.  Case in point:

For hunting and fishing purposes, Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. don’t become full-fledged residents of the Great Land until one year has passed since our assuming residency.  That’s as it is in most states, and it’s not unreasonable; it precludes folks from swooping in, renting an AirBnB for a few days, claiming residency and harvesting a bunch of game or fish.

However:  By the time I reach that one-year residency requirement, I will have reached another milestone:  My sixtieth birthday.  That entitles me to a free lifetime general hunting permit, which, in the Game Management Unit where we live, enables me to take small game, fish, one bull moose, one caribou, three black bears and one grizzly per year, and exempts me from the state waterfowl stamp and king salmon stamp requirements.  Mrs. Animal will enjoy a similar free lifetime permit not because of age (I’m an awful cradle-robber, and Mrs. A will not see six decades for some time yet) but by virtue of being a 100% disabled veteran.

Every day reveals another reason we made the right choice with this move.

Well then…

On To the Links!

Will the real President of the United States please stand up?

Tucker nails it.

Kayleigh nails it.

This guy really nails it.  I’d buy him a beer any time.  (Note:  Language!)

Piers Morgan nails it.  Yes, really.

Rush Limbaugh gets in one last troll on the Left.

How a time machine would actually kill you.

How the search for yummy snacks actually shaped human evolution.

The space between life and death.

Gasoline prices are headed nowhere but up.  Did you know, by the way, that food and fuel prices are excluded from most inflation indexes?

Do we even have a Republic anymore?  Well, no, we don’t.  We haven’t for some time.

This was the right decision.

On top of everything else – there is now a shortage of sand.

Why the hell is anyone treating a little teen-aged Swedish loon as though she’s an expert on climate science?

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Jeffrey Sachs is an idiot.

Roll Call‘s Mary Curtis is an idiot.

Bill de Blasio is an idiot.  In a just world the people of New York would have fitted this asshole out with a new suit of tar and feathers by now.  Add that idiot Cuomo to that tar and feather party, as well.

Outlaw?

“Wildly unrealistic” doesn’t begin to cover this piece of idiocy from Oregon.

This genderless potato is still a genderless potato, and an idiot.

CNN’s Josh Bivens is an idiot.

Petaluma, California, is governed by idiots.

Robert Reich remains a sawed-off little asshole, and an idiot.

And So:

Tom Petty was a rare talent, and on the list of folks taken from us (stupidly and by his own hand, candidly) too soon.  He formed temporary partnerships with such other notables in music as Stevie Nicks and, as one of the Traveling Wilburys, with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison.

But much of his best work was done with his own band, The Heartbreakers, including this one from his 1984 album Southern Accents – this is Don’t Come Around Here No More, in which video Tom Petty proves that he would have made a far, far better Mad Hatter than that cheap hack Johnny Depp.  And the story behind the song is kind of interesting, as it involves the aforementioned Stevie Nicks, former Eagle Joe Walsh, and the Eurythmic’s David A. Stewart.  Enjoy.