Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Yesterday TBO had a seasonal Open House, unfortunately a lot of people couldn't make it due to other plans or travelling, but all that did come had a great time. We got to watch the capture of Christmas on video and of course see Christmas in person!

And we would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Some different visitors

Well it's been exciting in High Park the last few days, I wasn't there for about a week, and then I went for some birdwatching both yesterday morning and this morning. I was feeding the Chickadees, Nuthatches, Downies, and Blue Jays, when a very nosey and noisey visitor showed up. The Red Bellied Woodpecker!

Update* I thought that the red bellied was a juvenile male, but it has now been identified as a female

She was flitting around and being quite vocal, she did not come down to the food but sure was talking a lot. Today I was joined by some other guests, the Juncos came, and a Wren and a pair of Sparrows, also the Northern Cardinal couple flitted back and forth. I swear the Blue Jays are stealth Blue Jays they sneak in quietly without a sound grab a peanut and disappear! The Red Bellied came back again today and stayed at the very top of a tree having a conversation with the Blue Jay. A Flock of about 50 Robins started twittering and the dozen or so Downy Woodpeckers answered them. All in all it was very noisey in the meadow. Until the Red Tailed glided overhead then there was dead silence!

As I was leaving (because it was snowing (amazing I know, finally) because I'd been observing for about two hours and had gotten pretty chilly I hear a very loud woodpecker noise! And yes there was the Pileated. Yay! Too far away to get a decent shot of him, but here's the "Yes there really is a Pileated in High Park" shot! This was from another time, but my camera battery was dead so not the greatest of shots, but proof! LOL

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Seasons Greetings!!

Whatever it is you celebrate we at TBO hope you have a safe, enjoyable relaxing time with family and friends (and birds too of course!) Happy Birding if you get out to do some!

Not much news to report, a Jay trap has been built to catch the errant lovebird, but has not been successful yet, the budgie is still running with sparrows and Christmas is still doing well. He has a slight infection at the moment. He and Richard appeared on Global news again last night-quite briefly!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bird Busters

We spent some time this week at Dog Hill in the Park this week collecting signatures for our petition
(and yes I know I've said it before but please sign if you haven't done so already by clicking on the word petition, thank you :D) and I was struck by this dogs quite royal outfit, a bit reminiscent of Romeo?

I was joking that we should start calling ourselves BirdBusters, as in Ghostbusters? We still have not caught the elusive budgie, but we have left a mist net up there (furled of course) and I actually saw him fly in and immediately out-the only way I could have got him was if I had been right next to him when he did it. We also received a call about a Peach Faced Lovebird on the loose in the East End who is also running with the House Sparrows. We are working on getting him as well. Fortunately for these guys the weather feels more like Spring than December. I passed a Magnolia tree that is budding today!

Christmas is getting friendlier and friendlier but still will not step up onto your finger. And there is still no word from an owner, and I guess we will not be hearing of one.

While waiting to try and catch the budgie the other day I had the opportunity to get some photos of the Blue Jays in the Meadow.

Hopefully I will have some new updates for you before Christmas (the holiday, not the parrot ;)

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Christmas STAR!

Christmas, Richard and I are in Joe Fiorito's column today, here's the LINK

And a few more photos of mine of Christmas

He likes toast!

And those honey millet bars

And he's got such glorious colour in his wing!
Please don't forget to sign our petition HERE if you haven't done so already. Thanks!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Petition, Budgie and Sunsets

First off Christmas is still doing well. I expect to have new photos of him tomorrow or the next day, and he will be featured in a update column in the Toronto Star on Monday.

Today we were at the park getting support for our Petition, please sign HERE if you have not already done so, we need your support to continue our work. We did pretty well today, collected about two dozen signatures, there were lots of dog owners out this morning. I also watched a Blue Jay scold a squirrel for stealing his peanuts, and it worked the squirrel scampered away.

After the rescue of Christmas being on Global-the TV station received a call from a lady who reported seeing a budgie flying around her neighbourhood with a flock of birds, and wondered if we could help her. We said we would come and take a look and see if there was anything we could do. It was very strange seeing this bird in the cedar.

There was at least 30 House Sparrows, there were also six or eight Mourning Doves, a Red Winged Blackbird, and a Mockingbird! (and no I wasn't able to get a shot of the Mockingbird, sorry) At one point the flock flew off in a panic as a Coopers Hawk glided by overhead.

We watched to learn the Budgies pattern of flying, and did not try to put up a mist net today. We are going to try something over the weekend and perhaps go back on Monday.........will keep you posted. As we were leaving the most amazing sunset was happening, just gorgeous to watch on the way home.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Xmas Snaps

For some reason I couldn't add these to the other post, just one of Christmas in his cage (kindly lent to us by Elaine-THANKS Elaine!)

and a close up of the feathers that remind me of a Golden Pheasant!

and during his checkup Dr. Regan and Bozena Gawron giving him the once over at the Animal Hospital of High Park

Need more Christmas snaps? Click here

And So This Is Christmas

And so this is Christmas
Originally uploaded by makeupanid.
Not the best of all shots, but there will be more coming, at the moment Christmas is staying with the President of the TBO. He will eat out of his hand and today when we took the bird to the vet for a checkup you could see that Christmas is already bonding with him. He obviously has been handled by humans and was pretty amiable. We took him to Dr. Karen Regan, the same vet I use for my pet cockatiel, and she kindly did the work pro bono for us. Thank you so much Dr. Regan :D

Christmas is continuing to eat well, Dr. Regan was quite impressed with the shape he was in considering one bystander told us that he had been loose for at least three possibly four weeks. We (and he) are so lucky we caught him yesterday as this morning the temperatures went down to -15C with the Wind Chill. Not the best of climates for an Oz native! Rosellas are originally from Tazmania. In an article from The Society for Conservation in Aviculture they liked this reasoning behind the name Rosellas-" The second is the story that I like best. This is from a simple spelling mistake made in the middle of the 18th Century. It would seem quite likely that the name of "Rosetta Parrots", may have been given to the birds, being named after the Christian name of the wife of George Fife Angas(1789 - 1879), a pioneer of Southern Australia. Several place names are still to be found in Australia named after his wife such as Rosetta Harbour a small town on the coast. In a diary from John Gilbert(? - 1845) a slip of the pen - forgetting to cross the "t's" may have resulted in the name being used right up the present day." Though I kindof liked the first story he was refering to they were named after the area of Sydney where they were first discovered thus the "Rose Hill Parakeets"

Christmas seems to be in very good health, they did do several tests on him the results of which we will not know for several days. Birds often can be sick even though they do not appear to be and there was some slight discharge around his nose.

Joe Fiorito who wrote the article that brought Christmas to our attention, also came with us to the vet as he is planning to do another story in the Toronto Star in Monday's column. I will continue to update stories about Christmas here.

Oh and now we have been asked about helping a budgie flying with a flock of chickadees....oh my what have we started? LOL At least we'll get to band the chickadees too :D

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Christmas Present

Eastern Male Rosella
Originally uploaded by bluemist57.
Today was quite the interesting day for the Toronto Bird Observatory. It started off with me at my "day job" as usual, where I read an article in the Toronto Star about an escaped Australian parrot in downtown Toronto. I immediately called Richard-well okay not immediately since I saw it at 6 am I waited till a little later :D

So we headed down there. When I first called the Church to obtain permission I talked to a very helpful member who told me a lady was already there trying to lure it into a cage. She was thankful when we showed up because she had been trying for awhile and was cold and tired. So we took over and tried to get the bird to come to us, along with one other lady (a soon to be member of TBO I think) it looked very close a few times, but being a typical parrot (contrary) NO LUCK. One of us snuck up on it with a butterfly type net and almost got it but then the parrot changed its mind and flew to a nearby tree.

So we unfurled one of our mist nets, recruited several passersby and six of us headed towards the parrot holding the net while two others herded the bird so it would fly straight into the net-which it did all according to plan! YAY SUCCESS!. Then we had to get him out of the net......that part was fun, both of us got some nice bites which immediately bruised and mine was bleeding too, but we got him out and my goodness all of us involved were so, so happy! A Global TV news crew also taped the rescue and I just saw it on the tv a little while ago I have no idea if they will replay it on the later news show but possibly. We have named the bird Christmas, appropriate don't you think?

Here is a later follow up article about Christmas the original no longer seems to be available online

Thank you Bluemist57 for letting me use your wonderful photo.

Check for updates here!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Have you heard the news?

The Toronto Bird Observatory is looking for the publics support in our efforts in High Park.

The TBO have positively influenced hundreds of people from school children and their parents, to teachers, business people, and professionals with our message of the importance of birds in the city to the preservation/restoration of a healthy urban environment and our quality of life.

Our work is very important to the future of High Park and to green programs across the GTA. Our educational/training activities, public presentations, and work in the Park and elsewhere in the GTA are an inspiration.

Our activities to date include public demonstrations on Hawk Hill, banding programs in Spring Creek Meadow (with its beautiful naturalized fence), participation in Park activities, and public service across the GTA. Our work represents a tremondously positive approach to environmental education and conservation in our highly stressed environment.

Please help support these efforts by signing this petition so that the Toronto Bird Observatory can continue its programs in High Park.