Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Farewell SEFI Crushes

I feel the need to post a final installment of Crushes obtained on the Island of Farallones.  The quality of the birding increased pretty dramatically at the end of my stay. October was quite decent. There was one bird wave that produced about a thousand landbirds. They were all common western migrants, except for the first island record of Williamson's Sapsucker. A juvenile Sandhill Crane spent at least a week on the island. We dubbed her "Craney", we fed her mice, and taught her to forage in the dirt and under rocks for inverts. Then there were some other decent birds here and there to finish off my fifth fall on SEFI (Brown Thrasher, Great-crested Flycatcher...none were Crushed). Here are some memorable highlights that I did Crush:

Craney would walk up to anyone and chirp incessantly, begging for mice. The sound of her cute chirping induced strong parental instincts in all humans on island, and everyone totally fell in love. That was when I stepped in and Crushed her face just after she took a drink from our bird bath. 

In bright sunlight, Rufous Hummingbirds often squint to shade their tiny eyes from the harsh solar glare. I like to take this time to Crush while their guard is down.

Generally speaking, you know you are dealing with a Crushed bird when a molt limitis as obvious as on this Tree Swallow.

I have heard that certain ex SD listserv owners become very upset when a banded bird ruins a potential Crush. They think it makes the Crush less Crushey, I guess. Certainly doesn't matter to me. I think that this banded Brewer's Sparrow looks just fine.

This Blackpoll Warbler knew his time had come. He bravely stared into the perfectly circular and endlessly black void of my Crusher lens as the relentless Crushes battered him in the face.

Another brave bird. Boldly facing down the Crusher, full well knowing its flattened fate. Short-eared Owl.

Bottom line, this bird = Crushed. But what species is it? I know what I think it is, but there are some out there who disagree. Please chime in with your opinion.

After Craney finally left, and after I stopped crying over the loss of my dearly adopted Crane foster child, Goosey (an Aleutian Cackling Goose) showed up. Goosey was still hanging around the houses when I left the island and I haven't asked if she stuck around. Significantly less charming and charismatic than Craney, but still good. Especialy for Crushing.

These are the guys that make all the Crushing possible out there. Castañeda, Tietz, Musher, and Rutt (Curry not pictured due to height. Couldnt fit her in the frame without fetching a ladder.) Thanks guys, and sorry for crushing you so hard in black and white.


  1. Those are some crushy crushes. I particularly like the goosey all crushed up like this. Goosey is more appealing this way. However I can't believe how hard you crushed we humans.

  2. Great crushing Dan! Nice and entertaining post.