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Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting blown to pieces today

Yep, the wind sure is blowing today.  A front is moving through with some rain forecasted, but I’m sure glad I’m here rather than up north a ways where there could be a foot and a half of snow.  I accomplished very little today, but have enjoyed the down time.

_MG_4986 _MG_4984Finally got a few pics of this female belted kingfisher the other day.  She has been taunting me for a couple of months. 

It was a slow day at the VIS yesterday.  I only had three people stop in, and they were all in one group.  That was my last stint working there this tour of duty.  Can’t say that I’ll miss it very much.  It’s pretty boring at this time of the year.

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Thank goodness there were a few little birds flitting around just outside to keep me awake.  (common yellowthroat)

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Amazingly, I had about $65 in sales.  That sure beat the paltry $1 I had last Sunday.  It’s always rather windy along the coast, but today is even more so.  My little outside table took flight a while ago, and the slide-out awning has been flapping all day._MG_4990A feral hog got hit by a vehicle on the entrance road the other day, so the clean up crew has flown in to take care of things.  I know you’re just waiting for some more trivial facts to liven up your lulls in conversation, so here goes.  Vultures don’t have feathers on their heads because their trade is sticking their heads into decomposing bodies.  What a mess that would be if they had feathers on their heads!  I also want you to notice how white their legs appear.  That’s because they defecate on their legs.  It is very acidic.  So acidic in fact that bird banders learned early not to put bands on vulture legs.  Their poop got stuck between the band and their legs, and the result was a bunch of one legged vultures.  These two little facts could really liven up your Christmas dinner, don’t you think?

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I just think this is the neatest entrance sign to the elementary school in Winnie.  Just had to share it with you.

Okay, enough rambling.  Tomorrow is chore day (boring) so I probably won’t post anything.  Then on Wednesday I’ll be doing the local Christmas Bird Count, and in the afternoon a Big Duck will be flying in.  More about that later.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

29 comments:

  1. You do know the most fascinating facts. Now I'm trying to figure out how to fit them into the Christmas dinner conversation.

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  2. I agree, who would have ever known that about vulture legs. I did have the head part figured out though. Loved the crayon sign--so creative.

    http://travelinglongdogs.blogspot.com

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  3. Just love your blog Judy. Always so entertaining and informative. And the greatest photos!!

    I did know about the vultures' heads but not the legs. Don't think I'm going to try to work into conversations though. LOL

    Sherry
    www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com

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  4. $1 in sales is disheartening, but at least you didn't get skunked!

    Now whenever I hear of someone referred to as a vulture I will think about their legs and probably laugh out loud.

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  5. Thanks for sharing that school entrance sign. As a child I always wanted one of the big boxes of crayons. I think that may be the biggest box. Wonder if it's the biggest in the world.

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  6. This latest knowledge imparted from you is especially attention-grabbing. I am thinking that I can bring up these newly learned facts during quiet moments at holiday parties. Of course now I am having painful thoughts about going bald and having skinny white legs.

    John
    connectedtothevinephotography.blogspot.com

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  7. Nice facts, good starting conversation for sure, will start thinking of how to word that now... :)

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  8. Those turkey vultures always seem to follow MacGuyver around on our walk..makes me nervous..Do they know something I don't?? It doesn't surprise me why they are bald and why they poop on their legs...They are the nastiest bird I know of...with the exception of The Bashful Buzzard in the cartoon..Now, if you don't remember that one, Google it...loved it!!..By the way, oh Birdlady of Blogland..Are buzzards and vultures the same nasty bird??

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  9. Never know what kind of unusual fact I'm going to learn from you. Now I know that Turkey vultures are poor shots! ;c)

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  10. Never know what kind of unusual fact I'm going to learn from you. Now I know that Turkey vultures are poor shots! ;c)

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  11. I knew why vultures did not have feathers on their heads, but the rest of the facts ... well, I'm guessing if the question comes up on trivia, I am now well educated.

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  12. Well gosh thanks! Now how am I ever going to NOT bring these Vulture facts up at the dinner table! I suppose, if that doesn't get the conversation going I could always quiz the gals on HLS (hairy leg syndrome!). Always a fun conversation up North this time of year!

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  13. When I saw the wind blowing around today, I decided to just stay in and get caught up on paperwork and internet banking and all of that boring stuff.

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  14. Watching Belted Kingfishers hover over water to fish is fascinating to see...they are such cool little birds!

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  15. Love the school sign. As a kid I loved to get my hands on a box of 64 colors. That was the only one that had burnt sienna. I would grab it and color every dog and bunny I could find in any reachable coloring book. I still like burnt sienna.

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  16. you are just such a wealth of information!!!

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  17. I'm sure you know that the 'pooping down the legs' serves an important function - to keep the bird cool. Vultures have a very important role to play, and we thank them for that! Thanks, Judy, for your always interesting posts. Wonderful photos of the kingfisher.

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  18. Only one big duck that I can think of...lets see if I'm right.

    Interesting about the vultures. I wonder why they defecate on their legs...there must be a reason for that too.

    I love the new header picture.

    I'm jealous of your Kingfisher picture. I've been trying for years and the little buggers always fly off right as I'm ready to snap the photo. I'm usually in a kayak though.

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  19. I love Kingfishers - they have the most amazing "laugh."

    You are doing exactly what Hub and I want to do when we go full-time...volunteering at interesting places.

    Good luck with the Christmas count - I hope the birds aren't too elusive.

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  20. Always interesting, I knew about the feathers on the head but the poop down the legs is a new tidbit of information. Love the kingfisher picture.

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  21. WE ahd those winds the other day. I sure wasn't going anywhere. I thought for sure I was going to lose my awning and my roof. But all was well in the end.
    Nice picture of the kingfisher, pretty colors. I knew about the vulture head not the naster part of the poop. yuck. Little yellow throat is cute too.

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  22. As usual great photos. as w/ everyone else the bald part I knew but not the leg thing.
    easy way to get that in the conversation? well as you all sit around your holiday turkey, just inform everyone that unlike this turkey, the turkey vulture poops on his legs...then see how many people opt for white meat.
    Donna W, of sam and donna

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  23. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

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  24. Your performance rating should really jump with that much increase in sales!

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  25. George Stoltz said...

    No doubt, you will soon be doing stand-up comedy at volunteer dinners. You had me laughing out loud. So loud, I woke up my wife from a nap. another good blog.

    Thanks, Judy.

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  26. QUACK! Incoming!

    This is fascinating vulture trivia! However, we would like you to talk more about Ducks, please. Like, how we don't poop on our legs, and how we have feathers on our heads because we don't eat bad meat.

    We are approaching Winnie ...

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  27. Just found your delightful blog! I knew about the vultures but only because I am a docent at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Keep up the fascinating blog, I'll be following you!
    Pam
    http://worldcruise12.blogspot.com/

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