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Welcome to the Pine River Review. Our sight is dedicated to our little homestead located along the Pine River tucked inside the Chippewa Nature Center's 1400 Acres of wild in Michigan's lower penninsula. We love to share our pictures, video, comment, and our own homespun music. Step inside our world as we celebrate this beautiful nook!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XXX

                              A Good Thrashing



This last Thursday my chum Joe was up North visiting me at my Pine River digs . He's an avid follower of WBW so I suggested we travel over to Fish Point reserve where I could show him the levee's and wetlands that have been my recent photographic stomping grounds. Joe is a bird whistler. He tweets out these short little musical phrases that coax in birds from surrounding trees and bushes to come nearer, perch close by and join in with his whistling. It's akin to Tarzan calling in the jungle animals to help him out of a jam. Joe is a handy guy to have around if your looking for birds as his mere presence seems to attract the unusual. The weather was overcast and threatened rain. The temperature had gone from the upper nineties and dropped like a meteor in a matter of a few hours into the fifties. Rough winds had blown through and many a tree lay toppled over or broken to pieces along the back roads of Bay County. One such tree was resting half submerged in a creek that held close to the side of the road before escaping into Saginaw Bay. I caught a quick glimpse of a brown shape glide up and over the embankment where this Oak lay flattened. "What was that?" We said simultaneously. Joe had worked his mojo once again. I grabbed the camera and took a few steps over to the bank and as luck would have it a Brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) was frolicking there, leaping from trunk to limb to trunk again. Georgia's state bird, on furlough to Michigan gave us a solid minute of photo op's. Here are some of the moments we enjoyed and came away with.

 


The intensity of this eleven inch bird shocked me a little. The yellow/orange eye that stares madly from an otherwise drab countenance gives a clue to the more complicated personality wrapped tightly inside. Firstly, the Brown thrasher is a diva, a native singer of profound talent with thousands of melodic phrases at its beck and call. It's virtuosity is legendary among birders, a singer who saves its song for wooing a tree top lover in the spring of each year. The thrasher then remains strangely silent and elusive inhabiting the inner sanctums of it's hedge row and thicket hermitage. It is not heard from again except for a subdued whisper song, rarely experienced, and sung quietly to itself in the autumn.
For a Utube taste of Thrasher music click here.



One would be wise to use a little caution when examining a Brown thrashers nest as these birds have a long standing reputation for violently protecting their home turf. Accounts from researchers abound with harrowing tales of quick retreats as these warriors put their sharp beaks to good use stabbing at the eyes and temples of those who would dare to interfere with the nestlings. Here is one such reminiscence from a 1910 photographic expedition taken from Familiar Birds.
  "She (the Brown thrasher) left and then set up a loud cry of protest and defiance, which soon brought her mate to join in the attack. As I attempted to examine the young, both birds flew at me and attacked me savagely; they flew at my face, once striking a stinging blow close to my eye and drawing blood; within a few seconds I was struck on the side of my head, and we decided to withdraw from the scene of the battle, leaving the brave birds masters of the situation."
Even the revered Audubon painted a stirring picture of his experience seeing a Black snake foolishly attempting to rob a Thrasher nest of it's eggs. A complicated singer/assailant, the Brown thrasher more probably gets its last name from it's habit of threshing through leaf debris looking for insects rather than it's reputation as the welterweight champion of the underbrush.



Now it's time for World Bird Wednesday!
  
This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most diverse and beautiful treasurers, the birds.

  
 World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.
   You are invited to link your blog with other bird photographers in a weekly celebration of these most diverse and intriguing of Earth's residents.

                                                         CLICK THIS PICTURE!

#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry. It contains a link for your readers to share in WBW. Or you can copy this link on to your blog page to share W.B.W. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/



#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with Linky.


#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!


You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in--just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature.The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compadres!


The thumbnails below are links to our contributors blogs. Click on them and view their beautiful posts.

                                             Come on it's your turn!

Okay the heck with linky, let's try a new service. Carry on!

48 comments:

  1. I tried and tried to join your meme but could not open the page, drats!

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  2. Tried again, Mr LInky is really playing up. I click on enter here and it just goes round and round like a carousel. Funny that I can access your comments easily enough.

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  3. Hi Springman the page is not opening!! Boom & Gary.

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  4. Having problems with linky this morning. Stay tuned, I'm on the job!

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  5. Great post! Love the details about the Brown Thrasher. Very interesting and wonderful crisp photos.

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  6. I tried too to join the meme, but without success... Wonderful Brown Thrasher shots!

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  7. She doesn't look drab, you've done a wonderful job of bringing out her color.

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  8. LOVE your title!
    For me he's not brown but more of a lovely strawberry blonde. :)
    Beautiful captures!
    My post is up so I'll be back to sign in.
    Carletta's Captures

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  9. Great shots of the thrasher, Springman! And the stories of their aggressive nest defense is really interesting!

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  10. Awesome images, Springman! Great composition,detail and color - I love the juxtaposition of blue-gray and reddish brown. This spring again we had a BT in the green embankment behind our supermarket. Everytime I went shopping I took a turn around the back to listen to the BT. Over the last 3 or 4 weeks it has fallen silent though. Now I know why. Thanks for the info in your post.

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  11. Stunning photos!

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  12. Springman, great shots of the Thrasher! I really enjoy your photography and your narratives as well! Great job!
    I love WBW too!

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  13. Another awesome post by Dave the Springman! I'm reading your post on my iPhone and can't wait to get to my computer to see these excellent photos. Does Joe hire out for birding trips? ;-)

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  14. Stunning images Springman.
    They've certainly got a mean looking beak!

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  15. those are absolutely fantastic shots of this great bird! i used to see them as a kid in Wisconsin but have never seen them in Texas...

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  16. Terrific shots, Springman! Great information too and very interesting painting.

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  17. Wonderful images of the Brown Thrasher Springman! We have a family of these birds living in the thicket near the edge of our cove. Hoping to get photos of the fledglings.

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  18. Really gorgeous images of one of my favorite birds!

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  19. A beautiful bird to see.
    Great info of a bird I was totally unaware of.

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  20. Great photos of the thrasher Springman! I hear that thrashers will now be found in Winnipeg instead of Atlanta during the hockey season.

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  21. He is a prankster...He is also a bit of a mockingbird, repeating his imitation 3 to 4 times a Mockingbird usually one twice! Excellent shots of very handsome bird!! Now to give the new linky tool a spin--

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  22. I love your photos as usually, but the painting is my numero uno this time, sorry:)

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  23. Fantastic post on the Brown Thrasher! Your photos are just awesome. The Brown Thrasher is a great bird, I love those eyes.

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  24. Wonderful post. Your photos are unbelievable and I love the addition of the old book page. We had an active thrasher near a place we stayed in Tombstone AZ. it was the best thing about our visit there (b/c the town is really hokey). I know exactly what you mean by the intensity of its eye and stare.
    If you get tired of your friend Joe and his special talent send him our way ;>)

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  25. These are wonderful shots of this elusive bird!

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  26. Great shots! Those eyes are a little intimidating! Thanks for the link to hear a Thrasher singing.

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  27. Fantastic shots and wonderful post!

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  28. I enjoyed reading your post and as always...great photos!

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  29. Beautiful and ferocious little fellows it seems. I love your description of their personality :)
    And having a bird whisperer around, wow,.... that's quite a treat.
    I wouldn't mind a drop in temperatures over here. But I can't complain. It hasn't been too bad over the last week :)

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  30. An apt name for a courageous bird!

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  31. Nice set of pictures - I wish I had a bird whistler as well!

    I often wonder about the names of birds - so glory in "Paradise Riflebird" or "Superb Lyrebird" - but then we get rather splendid looking ones tagged with "Brown Thrasher"! I'm not sure it's equitable!

    Stewart M - Australia

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  32. Those eyes still strike fear in my heart. As a kid I tried looking into a thrasher nest and both members of the pair attacked me, actually striking me in the head. The fire in their eyes was more threatening than their aggressive actions. I kept far an away from their nests after that! Here is a link to an old blog about the eyes of the thrasher.

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  33. We have a lot of thrashers here in Virginia as well. They are the comics. I have seen them fly to the feeder, miss the landing and look around as if to say... "I meant to do that." They love the sand box and have tried to crowd in on the bluebirds getting their treat of mealworms for their babies. We have more than enough insects to go around... I wish they would do a bit of grub hunting.

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  34. Great images. Very beautiful. Wonderful work.
    Do not think I said it, but your header is stunning. Perfect.
    I am very sorry that I could not take part in WBW this week. (none of my images deserved a place on this beautiful web site)
    I will do my best to be back next week.

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  35. You did the State Bird of Georgia proud! Stunning images to go with the very interesting script!
    I am thrilled to learn they are thriving in your area.

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  36. Hi there - I know what you mean about the monkey butts - but that’s even less flattering than "Brown thrasher"!

    Cheers Stewart M

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  37. Great photos of an interesting bird. Very interesting description too of their defense of their own territory/nest.

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  38. Thanks to all the commentators and posters to WBW. Thank you too for your encouragement and making the time to share your stories with me personally. It is everything!
    My best friend/laptop became critically ill last Monday and I am just now figuring out the loses from a potent virus and the equally destructive "cure.". Back up all your photographs!!! all the time!!!
    For those of you wishing to hire out Joe to beg in the birds should keep in mind his late hours and prepare for a bump in your coffee and Vodka budgets. Good luck with that!
    ;-)WBW

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  39. I watch and I read and watch again - as always the most beautiful shots (made with love) and good information to me, new in the world of birds.

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  40. lovely shots of this fella....

    I guess Joe the whistler loved your stomping grounds too

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  41. Well, it's happened again!
    Unbelievable shots on such a cold, gloomy day.
    I felt as if this wonderful Thrasher was Frantically looking for something in the fallen tree and scrambled brush. It's mate perhaps, maybe it's offspring? The wind had brought down a lot of trees.
    That day was just the beginning of a very busy 48 hours. That day we also digitally captured pix of 1) the Egret, 2) the Thrasher, 3) male and female Yellow warbler, 4) an estimated 3 year old Bald Eagle.!!!
    I am also the newest member of the Pileated woodpecker club! Very excited about that!! Am 55yo and had never observed one. We have 3 pics to prove it. Just sitting on Dave's deck in front of the Pine and Bam. Pileated woodpecker! Confirmed!
    Then there's the Green Heron....
    Dave's got a steady hand, I was just along for the ride!!
    What a ride!!!! Thanks, Dave!!

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  42. Now....about that coffee an' Vodka..... ;O)

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  43. Adorei seu Blog, parabéns pelas fotos, são magnificas.

    Parabéns.
    Aproveito para convida-la a conhecer meu blog. http://campechefatosefotos.blogspot.com/,
    espero que goste.

    Abraço

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  44. You thoroughly thrashed me with the beauty of your thrasher photos, one can only think that even Audobon would have approved mightily of your undertakings which produce such glorious results.

    PS glad you enjoyed the horsing around ! Loved your message, hilarious !

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  45. if I am not wrong you wanted to know what the Horned Grebes chicks looked like? I have a post now on my birdblog that shows it. It is posted for BPW. I have another bird for this weeks WBW. But you are welcome to visit if you wish.

    NF Fåglar/Birds

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