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Old 2020-03-30, 08:00   #78
xilman
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We have blue tits!

Not because of the cold weather, I hasten to add. We have them because it is now getting warmer.

A pair of Cyanistes caeruleus are building their nest inside a box we set up for them in the garden.
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Old 2020-03-30, 16:08   #79
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
We have blue tits!

Not because of the cold weather, I hasten to add. We have them because it is now getting warmer.

A pair of Cyanistes caeruleus are building their nest inside a box we set up for them in the garden.
Any Great Tits? Like coconuts?
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Old 2020-03-30, 17:48   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Any Great Tits? Like coconuts?
Not nesting where we can see them.
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Old 2020-03-30, 17:56   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Like coconuts?
Yes, I do like coconuts. Thanks for asking.

Speaking of (semi-)tropical fruits, I harvested our pineapple today.

Up here in the sub-arctic pineapples are exotica (almost typed "erotica" there) and a couple of centuries ago the aristocrats vied with each other for their gardeners to grow them --- this being long before the days of air-freight.

Anyway, about two years ago I planted a pineapple top. It's easy and fun to do and they make nice foliage plants as long as they have plenty of space and no-one feels the urge to cuddle them (SWMBO eventually learned about that constraint).

Last July it put up a flower stalk. Development was slow (vid. sup. re sub-artic) and the fruit was somewhat small by Costa Rican standards.

Now chopped up and about to be turned into a daiquiri. It isn't very sweet (again vid. sup.) but smells and tastes good.

Its top will be planted in the hope that a second generation will turn up in another couple of years.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2020-03-30 at 18:02 Reason: Hit stumbit too soon.
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Old 2020-03-31, 04:17   #82
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Don't trash the plant. I had one in the same conditions (planted from a top, first in a jar with water till it got roots, then in a ~6 liters pot with old soil from another plant, so not very rich anymore), the only difference it was that it stayed outside in the hot Thai climate, I watered it now and then, and it gave my 3 fruits before completely dying. First came after about 2 years, and I only kept it and continue watering it because the foliage was still looking nice, but then to my surprise, it got another stem with another fruit, and the 4th year repeated the performance, after which it dried completely and it was gone. I had no idea that they can repeat the performance after you harvest the first fruit.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2020-03-31 at 04:19
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Old 2020-03-31, 04:58   #83
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Google "pineapple pups"
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Old 2020-03-31, 08:09   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axn View Post
Google "pineapple pups"
Good tip, thanks.

Very close examination of the plant reveals what might be a tiny pup growing between the leaves. I will leave the plant for a while to see what develops.

If all this was happening in La Palma the plant would live happily out of doors (they grow them commercially on El Hierro, the next island along) but would need watering occasionally. In Cambridge providing water is easy but heat and sunshine are more problematic.
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Old 2020-03-31, 18:30   #85
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Ex wildlife chief: Trump rule could kill billions of birds
Quote:
<snip>
The 1918 migratory bird law came after many U.S. bird populations had been decimated by hunting and poaching, much of it for feathers for women's hats. Over the past half-century, the law also was applied against companies that failed to prevent foreseeable bird deaths.

However, the Trump administration says deaths of birds that fly into oil pits, mining sites, telecommunications towers, wind turbines and other hazards should be treated as accidents not subject to prosecution. And an Interior Department proposal would cement that into federal regulation.

State officials and wildlife advocates who are suing the administration in federal court say birds already are being harmed under actions allowed by a 2017 Trump administration legal memo that signaled the rule change.

Most notable was the destruction last fall of nesting grounds for 25,000 shorebirds in Virginia to make way for a road and tunnel project. State officials had ended conservation measures for the birds after federal officials advised such measures were voluntary under the new interpretation of the law.
<snip>
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Old 2020-04-02, 13:56   #86
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Yesterday I saw a Pileated Woodpecker. I suspect I may have heard it a while back -- I heard a call that reminded me of a kookaburra, and one of the Pileated calls at All About Birds was a closer match that other woodpecker calls.

No mistaking the sighting. Pileated Woodpeckers are approximately crow-sized. The bright red crest helps too.

It is said that Walter Lantz and his new bride were bedeviled by an Acorn Woodpecker on their honeymoon (besides the noise it made, the holes it chiseled out for acorns caused the roof of their cabin to leak), and that this was the original inspiration for Woody Woodpecker. But Woody looks like a Pileated, and his laughing call sounds more like a Pileated than an Acorn Woodpecker.

The Pileated, like the (now long-extinct) Ivory Bill Woodpecker used to be, is sometimes called the Lord God Bird or the Jesus Christ Bird, because of the exclamations inspired by seeing one of them clamped to the side of a tree, hammering away. It's quite a sight!
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Old 2020-04-02, 15:12   #87
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I thought that the Ivory Bill was possibly not extinct. If I am remembering right, there have been calls and sightings spread out over the years.
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Old 2020-04-02, 16:36   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
I thought that the Ivory Bill was possibly not extinct. If I am remembering right, there have been calls and sightings spread out over the years.
There have been sightings reported in the SE US, in swamps, I think.
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