Mar 31 2013

The Great Peacock Roundup – Part I

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Outsmarted again! A family on our island agreed to take our peacocks and came over today to try to catch them. They spread a large net on the ground, on top of which they put a black tarp and seeds. The peacocks circled the netting warily for a bit and then left the property without venturing onto the tarp. It was clear they knew something was up. They may have small heads but they are very, very clever birds. We’ve left the netting wrapped up near a pile of seeds, hoping that they’ll get used to the netting and ignore it after a while. At some point, when they are feeding, we will try to pull the netting over them. If that doesn’t work, perhaps the attempt to catch them might be enough to dissuade them from coming back!

Speaking of clever birds, earlier today a hummingbird flew to Doug’s office window – in the basement! – to notify Doug that it was back and missing its feeder. Naturally, I was given the immediate task of finding and filling the hummingbird feeder, which Doug then hung up in a new location. Yet another bird smart enough to get us to do its bidding! Since it is so smart, I’m sure it will find its feeder the next time it flies by.

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Dec 26 2010

And Then There Was One

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

lonely goose on Gabriola

This lonely gander has lost his gaggle

During the past four years, this gander and his two male gaggle mates have terrorized our road.They staked out the intersection in front of their house and attacked anyone who ventured by: pedestrians, cyclists, even motorists. I gave up walking in their direction unless I was feeling particularly brave. Armed with a long stick to keep them at bay, I learned never to turn my back on them. That was the signal for an all-out attack. With necks and wings extended, honking furiously, they would fly up and try to bite as I ran screaming down the road.

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Feb 11 2010

Pet for a day. This smiley rough-skinned newt stole my heart

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

On my walk, I rescued a torpid rough-skinned newt from the road, warmed him up in my hands and carried him home to identify. I named him Newton, rigged up a temporary terrarium with moist paper, pureed cat food and a water dish for drinking and dunking. Despite his ever-present smile, he wouldn’t eat, so the next day I released him in my neighbor’s small pond across the street. He took to it immediately. His ear flaps opened as he swam happily away.

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