Saturday Surprise — Birds, Birds, Birds

Hey friends!!!  It’s finally the weekend and I bet you all have some really fun things planned, yes?  Me?  Oh, who knows … I just rather go along with whatever the girls decide on for the most part … as long as it includes a meal and a trip to either the library or the bookstore, I’m happy.

I get daily emails from a site called ThoughtCo.com, and each day is something new, fun and different.  I usually give them a quick scan, then delete, but sometimes one warrants a closer look.  This particular one definitely deserved a closer look, and I thought it would be perfect to share with you for our Saturday Surprise!  Now, I admit I felt a bit cheated, for there were supposed to be 10 … the subject line of the email read “The 10 Most Adorable Birds You’ve Ever Seen”, but when I opened the article, there were only 8!!!  What happened to the other two?  Did they become extinct between the time they sent me the email and the time I opened it a day later?  Still, it’s fun and I wanted to share it with you.

The people at ThoughtCo ranked these guys in a slightly different order than I would have, but I will stick with the order in which they presented them, and you can pick your own favourite.

#1 – Eurasian WrenEurasian wrenAt the top of our cute bird list is the Eurasian wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), a charismatic “little brown bird” that can fit in a teacup. Eurasian wrens are found throughout Europe and North America as well as in parts of Asia. Their cuteness is in no small part due to their slight stature and their plump body shape, which is further emphasized when they fluff up their feathers. Eurasian wrens are light brown and have a delicate, dark brown pattern of bars on their wings, tail, and body. Eurasian wrens weigh a mere one-quarter to one-half an ounce and full-grown birds are just 3 to 5 inches long, from bill to tail.

Personally, I thought this one was a bit ‘average’ looking, but perhaps their cuteness lies in their tiny size.

#2 – Atlantic PuffinAtlantic PuffinNext up on our list of cute birds is the Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica), a charming seabird that nests in large, gregarious colonies along the rocky coastlines of the North Atlantic. Outside the breeding season, Atlantic puffins spend their time at sea, hunting for fish over open water. The Atlantic puffin owes its cuteness to its small, rotund stature and distinct coloration. It has black plumage on its back, wings and tail, and bright white plumage on its belly and face. Its bill, its signature feature, is large and triangular in shape. It is a bright orange-yellow color with a blue base and groves at the base.

Now this one I really adore … reminds me a bit of a junior penguin!

#3 – Black-Capped ChickadeeBlack-capped ChickadeeThe black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) is the next species on our list of cute birds. No such list is complete without this little charmer. Black-capped chickadees are often regulars at backyard feeders throughout North America. They are hardy little birds that remain residents throughout their range, even during the coldest winters. To cope with the extreme cold they often must endure, black-capped chickadees lower their body temperature at night, entering a state of regulated hypothermia and saving lots of energy in the process. As their name implies, black capped chickadees have a black cap, bib, and white cheeks. Their body plumage is more subtly colored, with a greenish-gray back, buff colored sides, and dark gray wings and tail.

Definitely pretty … but I’m not sure about ‘cute’ so much.

#4 – Northern Saw-Whet OwlSaw-Whet OwlNo list of cute birds is complete without an owl. And northern saw-whet owls (Aegolius acadicus) are arguably among the cutest of all owl species. Northern saw-whet owls are small owls that have a round facial disk and large golden eyes. Like many owls, northern saw-whet owls are secretive, nocturnal birds that hunt small mammals such as deer mice and white-footed mice. Northern saw-whet owls occupy a range that stretches from coast to coast in North America. They breed in the boreal forests and northern hardwood forests of Alaska, British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest, and the Rocky Mountain states.

Now THIS little guy has my vote for #1!!!  Isn’t he just adorable?  Look at the intelligence in that cute little face!

#5 – Adelie PenguinAdelie PenguinFor the next bird on our cute bird list, we travel to the world’s southernmost latitudes, where we find the Adelie penguin, a species that like the black-capped chickadee, pairs its cuteness with toughness. Adelie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) inhabit a circumpolar region along the coastline of Antarctica. Adelie penguins are the classic penguins, with black plumage on their back, head, and the topside of their wings and white plumage on their belly and the underside of their wings.

I adore penguins, but their cuteness comes from seeing them walk … er, waddle … so I am including a short video clip … watch the little guy – what a little bully!!!

#6 – Costa’s HummingbirdCostas HummingbirdAny list of cute birds is lacking something if it does not include a hummingbird. Here, we include the Costa’s hummingbird (Calypte costae), a small hummingbird that lives in the deserts of southwestern United States and Mexico. Costa’s hummingbirds are nearly as light as a postage stamp, with an average mass of just over one-tenth of an ounce. Costa’s hummingbirds feed on the nectar from flowers such as those of the desert honeysuckle and the saguaro cactus.

Cute, but I like seeing the in action best … hovering in front of a flower while they devour the nectar.

#7 – Blue-Footed BoobyBlue-Footed BoobyThe blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is equal parts cute and awkward -looking. Their most notable feature is their turquoise webbed feet. Like many seabirds, blue-footed are rather clumsy when moving on land, but they are graceful when flying over open water. The blue-footed booby belongs to the same group of birds that includes pelicans, cormorants, and tropicbirds. Blue-footed boobies are found along the western coast of Central America and South America and various coastal islands in that region, including the Galapagos Islands.

Now what’s not to love?  I adore those eyes, the expressions … they almost look like a toy or a drawing!

#8 – DunlinDunlinThe dunlin (Calidris alpina) is a widespread species of sandpiper that inhabits a circumpolar region in the Arctic and Subarctic. Dunlins breed along the coastlines of Alaska and northern Canada and over-winters in more southern coastal regions around the world. The species is quite diverse, with some 10 recognized subspecies. Dunlins feed on clams, worms, and other invertebrates. During the breeding season, dunlins have a distinct black patch on their belly, but outside of the breeding season their belly is white.

I’m still not sure what happened to #9 & #10, but that’s okay, for it’s getting late and I know you’re eager to start your weekend!  So, which bird was your favourite?  I hope you enjoyed the birds and maybe even learned something new!  Have a lovely weekend, my friends!

67 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Birds, Birds, Birds

  1. Dear Jill,

    All these birds are gorgeous and fun to look at. My favorite is the the blue-footed booby bird.
    I had a friend at the local aquarium who let my granddaughter in where they care for the Penguins. One kept trying to sit on her lap. She/ he finally made it. I found out that visitors can pay to have this opportunity to get close to them.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Jill, and friends,
    Birds are beautiful, as are most things in nature, including mice and cockroaches and spiders. My favourite bird was actually the victim in your video, the Emporer Penguin, so stately, so serene. When I was a teenager Vancouver had a Penguin House in its zoo, with 3 different kinds of penguins. I only remember the Emporers, the other names lost in the annals of time. I would sit and watch them for hours.
    Now, living in far northrrn Canada, we have a huge home-made feeder on our back deck where many different birds love to eat, bare inches and two glass paneis away from the cats as they try yo hunt the birds, but cannot get through the glass. The birds know this, and taunt our felines, walking right up to the window and looking the cats right in the eye. We call it “cat television” for it entertains them for hours each day.
    Gail knows all the species of birds that use our feeder, but my mind doesn’t have room for them all. My favourites, not on your list, are the Evening Grosbeaks who come to see us each spring and fall on their way to and from their breeding gtounds. The medium sized birds with the green beaks are full of colours, black, yellow, white, sometimes orange, but the top of my list are the colour-mutated birds. Evety second or third season a bird is born that looks nothing like its parents. They generally are missing one of the three main colours, and and their patterns are nothing like the parents either. One was top half bright yellow, bottom half bright white, with a yellow beak. I named him Badugi, but he never came back after his fledgling season. I think the mutations are either kicked out of the flock, or killed. They never come back from their winter homes…
    During winter we often get Pine Grosbeaks, which are mainly burgundy and black, but those colours covering different sizes and areas of their bodies. All their beaks are a faded yellow.
    Until I moved up here I had never heard of a grosbeak, now I love them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I adore the penguins, though I don’t know one species from another,but I love watching them and their antics. Our cats do the same! They sit in the front window and chatter at the birds that come to visit our sunflowers (of which we have been robbed this summer 😥 ) and paw viciously at the window, hissing and spitting, while the birds just look at them as if, “Oh yeah? What ya gonna do about it?” Needless to say, I have to wash the windows weekly!

      I have heard, I think, of a grosbeak, but know nothing about them and wouldn’t know one if it landed on my head, but you have piqued my curiosity now, so I will Google them. I’m impressed at your knowledge of birds!!!

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      • What I know, which is not much, is a by-product of my partner, and our choice of where to live. The north doesn’t have as many species as the south, but we still get lots of travellers and off-coursers.
        Bet you’ve never heard of an “orb-weaver spider”? It is tropical. I got bit by one in the Northwest Territories last year. My usual luck. Only one in 100 million square miles, and she bites me. What are the odds?
        But we have even seen hummingbirds up here. Not often, but they at least last a summer.But never any wild penguins. What I wouldn’t give to see a wild penguin at my feeder. I would even go buy him a dead fish, which I would not do for any human being.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No, I’ve never heard of an “orb-weaver spider”, but now you know I will have to Google it to find out why it is so-named! How do you know it was a ‘she’ that bit you? Always blame it on the woman! ‘Tis kind of you to be willing to buy a dead fish for the penguin … I’m rather surprised that you don’t have any, being so far north. Wolves?

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          • Wolves we have. Penguins are not native to the north, as many people think they are. That some love Antarctica makes them seem like bi-polar birds, but really they are quite sane. Humans are new to Antarctica, while they have lived in the Arctic right back to pre-history. If you were a non-flying bird, where would you live? Around people? Or where no people dare to go?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, sorry, I have no idea if the spider was male or female, but I think most spiders are female, are they not? One male can germinate the eggs of hundreds of females. Spiders survive through numbers more than through the fittest to survive, I think. I don’t see why Orb Weavers would be any different.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Well … um … have I mentioned before that science is NOT my strong suit? I flunked high school biology because I refused to attend class on days that any critter would be dissected. Soooo … I always rather thought of spiders as monogamous and … I simply assumed they gave life birth to a baby or two at a time. Who knew? I generally like spiders, but have been bitten twice this week, so at the moment I think some form of spider birth control may be in order! 🕷️

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              • Were the bites infectious, or just annoying? And what were you doing when you were bitten? They have the right to defend themselves too, especially if you were the interloper.
                Meanwhile, going back a few months, in light of your biology confession (a subject i did not take at all), plants do not survive on oxygen. They actually take in CO2 and breathe out O2 for our use. Another partnership we have with nature a lot of people choose to ignore.

                Liked by 1 person

                • The bites were merely annoying. I did have an infectious one several years ago that still acts up sometimes, but yesterday’s were only annoying. Now, rawgod, you know I have rescued many a spider in my lifetime, and frequently save them from the jaws of death in the name of Boo, who loves eating anything small and crawly. So, while I may have been the interloper, I meant them no harm. In one case, I was retrieving the cat bed from the back patio where I had put it to dry, and didn’t realize there was a little spidey on it. In the other, it just found my arm and liked the way it tasted, I guess.

                  Ahhh … thanks for the enlightenment! Hmmm … a friend once told me that I had too many plants in my house, and that they would “suck out all the oxygen”. Guess she was wrong!

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                  • Very wrong. The more plants you have, and the more leaf area, the more oxygen you are getting. Someone didn’t pay much attention in biology or chemistry.
                    And please don’t let that friend be in charge of jungles or arboreal forests. What few places we have left are what is supplying us with the air we breathe. The more trees we cut down without replacing, the less oxygen we will have to survive.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Unfortunately, many of the trees no longer produce oxygen, for they are dead, which is part of the reason the fires in CA are so hard to contain … deadwood makes excellent fuel. And why are they dead? Because we are killing them with our ignorance and unwillingness to accept the scientific facts of climate change.

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                    • And building in areas where we should not be. It’s all a money grab. Where I used to live was an area thst flooded every year, so the city would not allow building there. Thrn the construction companies offered them incredible amounts of money to change the laws. After the next seasonal flooding, the people who bought those homes, knowing they were risky, sued the city for sllowing the homes to be built. The cases were settled out of court, so noone knows what happened, but in my mind if people were crazy enough to buy dangerous homes it was their own fault they got flooded out.
                      Knowing many areas of California are prone to wildfires, people should be responsible for making them fireproof. You mentioned you cannot stand stupidity. These are examples of the height of stupidity. Build where the odds are less than 50/50 your house will go up in flames,or be flooded out.
                      What more needs be said?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The height of not only stupidity, but also greed. Where there is a buck to be made …

                      You’re right about building where we should not be, but there is a lust for putting ugly buildings where the beauty of nature once ruled. It would be, I think, impossible to build a house that could be immune to the intense heat of those forest fires. California is also prone to flooding and therefore landslides, but people who lose their home one year, rebuild in the exact same spot the following year. Make sense to you? Nah, me either.

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                    • And life goes on… Without thought, without change. It wouldn’t take much to build a safer world, but humanity’s right to be stupid and greedy exceeds their right to be sane…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Hi, Jill,
                      To be totally honest, I feel like life has been sucked right out of me. I used to durvive on 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night, since the time I was a teenager. Suddenly I am sleeping 16 hours a day, and napping in between sleeps.
                      I am usually thoroughly buoyed up by talking about life, arheism, spiritual atheism, and such-like things. Right now it’s like my mind has been turned off. I spend msybe an hour or teo on wordpress a day, and when I do make comments they no longer inspire passion in me. Mostly I don’t even comment anymore, just read, and go on to the next post.
                      This isn’t me. Where have I gone? I think I left myself on the surgery table, and came home without me. Need something to inspire me to live again, lol.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Awwww … I am so sorry to hear that! I suspected something might be amiss when I didn’t see more than one comment a day from you. You did, however, just have major surgery, and your body needs some recovery time. Go easy on yourself, my dear friend. When your body says “rest”, listen to it. Eat healthy, rest, get some fresh air when you feel up to it, and you’ll feel better soon. When do you go back to the doctor for a check up? Surely they will want to make sure all is well? I hope you don’t have to go all the way back to the hospital for that? Please keep me posted, or if you don’t feel up to it, ask Gail to drop me a quick email so I know how you’re doing. Don’t worry … you’ll be back to your usual ornery self soon. LuL!

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                    • I was really ornery to Gronda today. And though I felt bad about that I felt good I at least got PO’d about something. Did I do any good? I doubt it. But at least I tried…
                      I saw mt GP yesterday, he was pretty happy with everything. Yes, I go back to the city on the 28th to see my device doctor and my cardiologist, but I don’t expect much from them. I’m thinking I really need to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist. I think I am depressed beyond the norm.
                      Meanwhile, I am awake when my body says awake, and sleeping when my body says sleep. Air quality is bad so fresh air is not available right now. They say maybe on Sunday.
                      LuL.
                      Jerry

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                    • Gronda is like me … she can take it, but she may toss it right back at you, too! 😉 I’m relieved that you got your ire up about something, for after reading your earlier comment, I admit I was getting worried.

                      I’m glad your GP is pleased, for I’m sure if anything was seriously wrong he would have spotted it. I think you and I are a lot alike in this … I am not content to just lie around and “rest & recuperate” … I either push myself, else I fall into a funk, feeling that I am useless and sick and tired of feeling sick … and tired. Grab a copy of Omarosa’s expose’ on Trump … that’s certain to stir you from your funk!

                      Okay, skip the fresh air, but at least eat some nice fresh fruits and veggies! And please, my friend, remember that I care … and I mean that, I’m not just saying it to be nice. I DO care and you’ve got my email addy if you want to vent or just chat. Please take care of yourself! Thinking of you tonight, my friend!

                      LuL … Hugs!!!

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                    • I know you care, and that is helping immensely. But tjings are not coming easy, not the wsy I like, and usually operate. But I will not hive ip. Nevrr have never will…

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    • Close enough … I like all of the above, although I’ve never seen a puffin other than in pictures. There was also a video about how to care for a budgie that I would have included had it not been too long. 😉

      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Perfect post for my Benjamin Binge Weekend! Benjamin is having a 3 day weekend here since yesterday. He is delighted with “Miss Jill’s” Saturday morning post. The penguin video brought squeals of laughter 2 times already! Benjamin is a nature enthusiast, from the tiniest bug to the largest critter, from the ugliest lichen to the prettiest flower, from the wee pebbles to the humongous rocks…everything captures his attention, nothing is dismissed. Benjamin is a birder, most often from his favorite spot in my kitchen sink as he watches out the window for visitors to the feeders. That also includes the squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and occasional deer that pass through the backyard. He is having a difficult time trying to choose a favorite bird, he’s seen all of them on numerous other nature blogs that we visit. Benjamin says : “They are all my bestest favorites!” Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A ‘Benjamin Binge Weekend’!!! Lucky woman!!! Enjoy! I smiled when you said he squealed with laughter over the penguins … I thought of him when I decided to include it. It is encouraging to hear of one so young already enthralled by all things in nature! I hope he keeps that interest — he may do great things for this planet when he grows up! Hugs to both you and young Benjamin! Enjoy your weekend together!

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      • Benjamin has just returned from an outing with his Auntie “H” to the aquarium and lunch. I thought that they needed an Alone with Auntie Time, she doesn’t often have him 1:1. He is standing at my elbow, pestering to “watch the penguin video that Miss Jill sent” to him. Benjamin has been a nature lover from his first days of “sink sitting” to peer out my kitchen window and watch the “munks”, “quirrels”, birdies and bugs. Dragonflies are high on his list of favorites. Benjamin placed a smeary kiss for you on your picture and sends you his “neck-buster” hug…as he says “it’s a doozy!”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Awwww … I so love that little guy!!! Tell him thanks for the neck-buster hug and the smeary kiss!!! 🤗🤗🤗😘😘😘💕 Also … tell Benjamin that while I was out shopping today, I saw dragonflies everywhere! It is their mating season,and we even saw a couple … ahem … well, perhaps you might not want to explain that one to him. 😀

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    • Indeed so … I am usually more attracted to furry critters, but these birds captivated me. I’ve often dreamed of a log cabin in the mountains, with no neighbors, just surrounded by nature. I could live happily like that, I think.

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        • Okay, I get the ‘remote’ part, obviously. But why must it be ‘storm-lashed’? I know you guys don’t get much sunshine over there in Wales, but does this mean you don’t like the sun? I’ll take a remote island, but there must be sun!!! 🌞 Poor Sheila … a grumpy man, isolated on a storm-lashed island, not even a puppy for company …😞

          Liked by 1 person

          • Pah! We get toooooo much sun if you ask me! I’ve seen nothing but sun for whole weeks on end. (Hurrrrrrrrrumph!!)😤
            So I’m weird?…Like I cared.🙃
            (Apparently when I was but a babe I was forever sticking my head out of the pram into pouring rain…….haaaah…… 🌧 ⛈ 🌩🌧 ⛈ 🌩)

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                  • Oh it’s alright Boo. Y’see Uncle Roger is what is known in Human circles as A Loon 🤪 😵 😡…now of course you moggies know full well that’s a bird and what is wrong with them? Nothing at all. It’s just that Humans are….odd.
                    (Those villains n Vol II ‘Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Ice’ are going to get such a lot of gratuitous punching and stabbing…someone gotta get the sharp edge of my moods!)

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Yup … Gwammie is weally odd sometimes!!! 🙃 But we wuv her anyway. An’ we wuv you too, Uncle Woger! 😺😺😺😺😺😺

                      Get off the computer, BOO!!! Sorry, Roger … he’s incorrigible. ‘Skirmishers of Lace, Steel & Ice’ eh? I eagerly await!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Aww thank you, you guys 😺😺😺😺😺😺
                      ..’ & Ice’?…..Frib’
                      THAT should read ‘Skirmishers of Lace, Steel & Fire’ !
                      THWACK!
                      ‘Will you kon-cen-trate walnut! Wot the frib’ ‘as Ice’ gotta do wiv’ me!’ 🤦🏻‍♀️
                      (Sorry Karlyn)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Not the way ‘e writes Jill! 💁🏻
                      Message from Arketre….
                      Y’all don’ worry there Jill, sweetie. Ah convinced Karlyn just to use the good ol LifeGuard boot application to the backside. Less injurious to the brain…..Well normally, but ah see y’all got a crew running yore nation who are a-fflicted with brain slippage! Y’ keep fightin’ the good fight there girl…Hear?’🙋🏼

                      Hmm…I’ll try and restrain them🤦🏿‍♀️…..Hugs..Trelli

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • 🤣🤣🤣 Oh MY!!! You girls have your hands full, don’t you! Thanks, Arketre, for convincing Karlyn to apply the boot to the backside! I do worry about ‘is head, y’know! Yep … brain slippage pretty much says it all! I’m trying my best to send the ‘ole lot of ’em off to some desert island, but … they’re a stubborn lot. Thanks for the good wishes, Arketre … I’ll keep on with the good fight as long as I breathe!!!

                      Good luck, Trelli! Methinks it’s an uphill battle and I don’t envy you! Hugs!!!

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. My wife is an avid birder and made me aware years ago how lovely our feathered friends are and how lucky we are to be able to share the world with them. I was mostly the binoculars-bearer and driver for her many trips. But I grew to love them!

    Liked by 3 people

    • What fun! I could watch them for hours … in the winter I always put out seed and any leftover breadcrumbs, then sit by the window and watch them bicker over the treats. And in summer, the hummingbirds and some small yellow birds come to enjoy our sunflowers. Nature is so much more fun than television!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Birds of a feather stick together
    On the move regardless of weather
    Hummingbird Ruby
    or Blue Footed Booby
    They brighten our lives forever

    My favourite bird since I was a small child is the ‘puffin’ and I have a soft spot for penguins… I have been lucky enough to see nesting colonies of Penguins in Australia (Fairy Penguins), Argentina (Magallenic Penguins) and the Falklands (Gentoo penguins).

    Of course, I have a soft spot for little Jenny Wren too…
    This tiny bird darts around a bit like a humming bird. They are territorial and feisty. An iconic little bird in Britain along with the English Robin. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t know if we have English Robins here! So many different kinds of birds, and my knowledge is so limited. My first experience with birds was feeding pigeons in Central Park, and for many years, I thought all birds were pigeons!

      Liked by 1 person

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