Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Groove Me, Ani

It's all groovy here in Englishtown, and some days are groovier than others, such as when the Groove-Billed Ani pays us a visit and stays for a photoshoot.  (Listen to the groove of Etta James by clicking here.)  The Groove-billed Ani is an easily overlooked medium sized black bird.  It is surprisingly snazzy when you catch it in good light.
Groove-Billed Ani - Crotophaga sulcirpstris.  The short fluffy feathers on its head are rather mane-like.  Take a look at the iridescent gold-green edges of the feathers on its shoulders.  
It was making some rather sweet sounds, which is what caught my attention at first, because it sounded different from the Great-Tailed Grackles with whom it was keeping company.  The grackles are very vocal, verging on raucous.
Great-Tailed Grackle - Quiscalus mexicanus.  This female emerged from inside the canopy of the tamarind long enough for me to get some good shots.  Their eyes are a startling yellow. 
Other excitement, at least for Barnie, was Joy cleaning fish out on the dock.  Barnie was beside herself, just waiting for fish guts and trimmings.  I am amazed that she didn't jump up on the dock, but she managed to behave.
Waiting for an escapee.
The dawns continue to be beautiful.  The sun rises so quickly, I have to be on the ball to catch these images.  No time for do-overs!  Until tomorrow, that is.
White ibises (Eudocimus albus), flying north from their roost on Little Monkey Cay.  5:58am.
A lone Great Egret (Ardea alba), also heading north from Little Monkey Cay. 6:01am.
Homo sapiens, heading south. 6:05am.
We have a little construction project going on.  I call it the upside-down roof.  We are putting a roof under the decking of the sunset balcony.  Too much rainwater was winding on the ground under the cabana, and that is space that we use for an outdoor workshop and storage area.  Our hope is that this will keep the rain out of the area.  The new roof will have gutters, so we can direct the water into collection vats.  I will post more as it progresses, but here is a shot of today's work.

The underside of the sunset balcony. The balcony tapers at the north end.  The crew have put up some of the boards that the roofing metal (aka "zinc") will be screwed into from the the underside.
The light colored horizontal piece is a metal flashing that is secured behind the ledger board of the balcony.  We have one small section remaining to install.  It has to have a hole cut out of it for the whitePVC vent pipe on the right to go through.  The rafter and some lapboard equivalents are already screwed into place on the tapered section. It will be literally (in the true sense of the word) groovy when finished!

12 comments:

  1. Great sunrise photos again Wilma and lovely to see that Barney is greatly enjoying his new home and parents. I remember when I used to holiday in the Caribbean how noisy the Grackles used to be.

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    1. Mornin', Derek. The grackles are a rowdy bunch, but I do enjoy them. They have an amazing repertoire of calls, whistles, and songs - all with the same loud setting on the volume. Right now they are just recovering from their highly mortifying molt when they loose their namesake tail feathers and look rather truncated.

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  2. What a lovely bird with his gold-tipped feathers.
    We once encountered a whole flock of grackles in the trees outside our hotel room somewhere in the US. They kept us awake long into the night because the street lights were on and it was really light. But I must say we loved them.

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    1. The grackles greet every day with loud enthusiasm. They preen and prance and pose all day long, giving us hours of entertainment.

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  3. You've always got a construction project going on and you've always got such spectacular views and wildlife.

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    1. My life is a construction project, Mitchell! There are more projects waiting in the wings. No escaping the projects or wildlife; fine by me. Cheers.

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  4. Lovely Sunrises. They always seem to last for a much shorter time than Sunsets, here anyway.
    The Groove-billed Ani is a fascinating looking bird with that chunky beak. I guess it has a fairly specialised food source to need that strength of bill.

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    1. Thanks, John. I agree - the sunrises do seem more sudden than the sunsets.
      I had to look up what the anis eat, and it is not as specialized as that chunky bill would indicate. They are ground foragers and eat mostly insects and other arthropods. Perhaps our tropical arthropods are particularly tough!

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  5. The woman who bought my house says she will keep feeding the birds. I need to go leave my well thumbed copy of Ohio Birds on the mantle for her to use.

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    1. That must be a relief that she will keep feeding the birds you have carefully tended for so many years. That was one of the concerns we had when we sold our house, too, but I don't think the new owner cares about birds very much. Makes me sad.

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  6. Very good shots of the bird!
    Good Luck with your construction project!

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    1. Thank you! The construction is going well. Should finish next week.

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