Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Botched Bird Count

Hi: 32°F
Low: 21°F
Conditions: Winter Weather Advisory posted until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. 14 inches of snow and considerable drifts expected.

This weekend marked the 12th annual Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count. You may be familiar with the event from past blog posts here, including our send up of Audubon and our daily tally contest last year. You may even remember our urgent and enthusiastic reminder about the count issued in December, after we completed our Christmas count.

You may, in fact, remember all of those things. You would be perfectly reasonable in assuming, then, that the authors of those postings would remember the actual Backyard Bird Count. If you made such an assumption, you’d be right—but only partially so.

It seems that one of us (and in spite of what the caninaturalist thinks, I really don’t think there’s any reason to mention names here) blithely flew to Chicago to attend a conference and completely forgot about the much-anticipated count. She met with publishers and authors, listened to poets read their work, and dined at great restaurants. She reunited with old friends, made some new ones, and even got to see a team of huskies race down Michigan Avenue. In other words, she had a great time. And it never, never, NEVER occurred to her that she was supposed to be counting birds.

That is, until she received an email from Marigold, Goat Philosopher asking how the caninaturalist count was going. I’m not going to lie: she felt shame. You may recall Marigold was our bird counting champion last year, besting humans and dogs alike. You may remember a few gauntlets were thrown down as a result of this victory, and promises were made that DWB members would have the last word this year.

It seems those bold assertions may have been made in vain. But not for lack of trying on the home front.

While that certain someone was living the life of letters in the Windy City, the rest of her pack was making a valiant (and unbeknownst) effort to complete the count at home.

Leila Tov led the charge, staking out prime real estate at our feeder window. It’s tiring work hanging from a window frame, though, so Ari offered to spell her after a few hours.

She was soon joined by Mouse, who also agreed to lend a paw.

The husband kept their tallies each day.

And when the delinquent certain-someone returned home, one very brazen (and smug) cat made sure she saw the list.

I’m not proud. And I am embarrassed. I’d say better luck next year, but at this rate, who can say for certain I’ll get my act together by then?


Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

Maybe a certain Siberian needs to remind woo?




Hugz&Khysses to the bird khounters in the house!


Marigold said...

That's okay. I had fun anyway...counting...snacking on Peanuts...counting...snacking on Peanuts....snacking on Peanuts...sna...oh, you get the picture.

YD said...

We think you should just resign from that counting position and let the real experts(aka Ari and the cats) take over that task. :)

Sam & June

The Army of Four said...

It looks like Ari and the kit-cats did a FINE job!
Play bows,

Tracey and Huffle said...

The cats to the rescue! They always come through with the goods.

Hi Leila Tov and Mouse!

Huffle Mawson

Mary said...

The cat looks as if she is reading the restaurant menu!Our Bird count is the last weekend in January and I did remember this year!

Southbay Girl said...

Hi Ari and Kathyrn, Ari can come out to california anytime but we'd have to go to the park with my petsitter since mom seems to be working all the time!!!

You guys look like great bird counters! I don't help my kitties count birds!!


Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

I hope Ari put you in your crate for a time out after that! Horrible! Good thing Ari was on the job.


PS. Wilbur says the real work was done by the felines.

Naturegirl said...

Kathryn this was an amusing post..I did not realize that we were counting...darn..I just admire..listing is an idea.
LoVe the two standing watch together!
pur-r-r-fect friends! =^.^= NG

Eve said... least YOUR critters remembered to count for you....

John Theberge said...

Bummer you missed the bird count. Glad you're enjoying the bird photos I'm posting, I haven't had a pileated yet in the backyard but a sharp shinned hawk attacked the songbirds one day last week while I was standing out there photographing. It came up empty handed but I thought is was pretty brazen to attack wile I was ten feet away.

Kess And Her Mama said...

Oh dear, Good thing the folks (dog, cat & hubby) kept count. Never mind, there's always next year.

umekotyan said...

Good evening Ari
The cat is faithfully observing the bird.
And, it is an observation of the bird with Ari.
There is trust there.
Of course, it is a wonderful weekend.
It enjoys strolling while listening to bird's song like music. :D

from loved ume tyan

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

So how many have you seen Ari? Do you have a list too?

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

JB's Big World said...

So cute, all of you looking out the window counting birdies. I hope you saw a lot!

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