By - 1/12/06 - 4:33 pm

Granted, they're no Eurasian wigeons, but they'll do. The Urban Pantheist reports:

A lone female bufflehead has been hanging around in the Muddy River this week. This morning I saw a pair of buffleheads, so perhaps a lost mate was found again. ...

Speaking of Eurasian wigeon, I was heartened to see in Wednesday's Sidekick bird report that two were spotted on Nantucket. Unless it was a typo, the plural of wigeon is just "wigeon."

By - 1/9/06 - 6:51 pm

Will reports his Internet service went out when squirrels chewed through the insulation of his cable line, letting it fill with water:

... The frosting on the cake was when (the cable tech) came inside and said, "Yeah, so squirrels chewed on the line and then it filled with water. There's nothing we can do about that because we can't kill all the squirrels."

By - 1/4/06 - 7:22 pm

Say what you will about the Globe's Sidekick section (quick: What comic strip did "Spiderman" just replace?), I have to admit I've become an addict of the Wednesday bird-sightings report - in part because I've become convinced that every week, the Audubon Society puts in one whopper just to see if anybody's actually reading it. Take today's column:

A black rail was found on Saturday during the Nantucket Christmas bird count, and among the 133 other species seen were 2,876 Northern gannets, 1 American bittern, 28 redheads, 13 harlequin ducks, roughly 342,000 long-tailed ducks, 1,858 black scoters ...

By - 1/3/06 - 8:07 pm

The Urban Pantheist explains how Canada geese ceased to be exotic:

... Between the changing of the landscape to resemble their feeding and breeding grounds, and the interbreeding with sedentary live decoy geese, eastern cities have year-round populations of millions of Canada geese. Few urban animals are capable of preying on an adult goose (though a bald eagle took one on the ice of Jamaica Pond a few years back), and so they continue to multiply unabated. ...

By - 12/29/05 - 7:36 pm

I went out for takeout tonight and the winter moths were EVERYWHERE. Feh! But as bad as they were tonight, look for really gross conditions this spring as their caterpillars hatch, eat all the leaves on every tree around and then drop to the ground, gorged beyond belief and ready to pupate. Just like last spring, only worse. Where'd they come from? Europe, from which they probably hitched a ride on some unsuspecting cargo ship or plane a few years ago.

The University of Massachusetts's winter moth fact sheet has plenty of fun facts, such as: Female moths don't fly, but instead attract the winged males to their boudoirs with plenty of moth perfume.

How many are out there? Childs said, "Probably billions."

By - 12/4/05 - 11:37 pm

WaveOfModulation takes photos of the remains of a falcon snack:

These pigeon wings (and partial spine) fell out of the sky in front of me on Friday afternoon, near the corner of High Street & Battery March in Boston.

By - 11/12/05 - 7:15 pm


Raptor perched on the weathervane atop Needham Town Hall today; while it was there, a flock of pigeons, escorted by a couple of crows and seagulls, kept flying around, no doubt outraged that its normal perches atop Town Hall had been usurped. Can anybody tell from the photo just what sort of bird that is?

Below the weathervane is a large clock that proves the old adage about every clock being right at least twice a day:

By - 10/30/05 - 11:52 am
By - 10/24/05 - 10:32 pm


The Framingham rest stop on the turnpike is topped with a fake owl to try to keep birds off the roof. Surprise! It doesn't work.

By - 10/19/05 - 2:46 pm

OKDad and his wife have a charming tradition: They put pieces of paper with state names in a Ball jar on their anniversary, then reach in and see where they'll be going for their next anniversary. This year, they got our fair Bay State. He chronicles his observations, including amazement at the number of Dunkin' Donuts. Also:

By - 10/18/05 - 12:51 pm

Dan reports he's now advertising on craigslist for somebody willing to lend him a cat for a month.

If somebody agrees, let's hope the cat isn't named Tom.

By - 10/17/05 - 8:07 am
By - 10/10/05 - 5:22 pm

Alyssa is walking in the Public Garden near a young kid with his parents:

"Mommy, that squirrel is naked!" the boy exclaimed.

The squirrel in question was scrawny but average size - and totally bald below his neck. Devoid of all fur. In his birthday suit. ...

By - 9/24/05 - 8:29 am

The Urban Pantheist discusses the tiny beetles that seem to be getting into his cereal and rice these days:

... They look like plain brown-black bugs until they're under the microscope, and some interesting details are visible.

And yes, of course, he provides a microscope image of one.

By - 9/20/05 - 9:45 am

Janet posts a photo of a giant spider web in her yard.

By - 9/20/05 - 9:31 am

Frecklegirl reports:

I walked into my kitchen today to refill my mac and cheese from a pot on the stove and I was greeted by the sight of a wriggling mouse butt squeezing into one of the burners. (cheap gas stove) ...

By - 9/19/05 - 5:33 pm

You'd yell it, too, if you were biking around Jamaica Pond and you suddenly saw one of the Jamaica Pond white squirrels. Fortunately the Urban Pantheist didn't yell it loud enough to scare away the squirrel - letting his companion snap a photo of the wee beastie.

By - 8/24/05 - 4:23 pm

When a couple of pigeons divebombed from across the street into their fifth-story windows this morning, some of the people in Spatch's office taped pieces of paper to the windows to try to warn the birds off:

... I was one of those people, but my Post-It note has a target drawn on it and the words PIGEONS! AIM HERE! WIN A PRIZE! ...

By - 8/23/05 - 3:09 pm

What do you do when a woodpecker keeps pecking the wood of your house?

... I know that they often go after food sources, so I'll be investigating that with the Orkin Man. However, the odd thing is that it appears to be pecking along the cable lines that run along the side of the house. (Maybe the cables are giving off a hum that sounds like bugs are underneath?) ...