Blog Thought #1

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

Feed readers work better for full text feeds like enplaned or The Cafes that contain the real content.

Essentially headline feeds like the Cafe au Lait Recommended Reading or Memorandom work better in a browser. In fact, a feed like Memeorandum’s that forces you to visit their site first just to get the real link is almost completely pointless. The Cafe au Lait/Cafe con Leche recommended reading feeds are much nicer (though of course the real difference is in the content).

The Cafe au Lait/Cafe con Leche story feeds are sort of in the middle, but they probably run more to the headline end of the spectrum because the individual stories, even when syndicated as full text, are usually pretty small.

A Macworld Prediction

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

It’s about an hour to go until the keynote address so I thought I’d toss out one random prediction I haven’t heard anywhere else:

A Bluetooth Wireless Mighty Mouse

Monk Parakeets at Brooklyn College

Monday, January 9th, 2006

Saturday I went on a tour of the Monk Parakeet nests at Brooklyn College led by Steve Baldwin. He estimates they’re about 70 parakeets living in the near vicinity of Brooklyn College. City-wide they’re probably a few hundred. They’re additional nests at Greenwood Cemetery, Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, Marine Park and vicinity in Brooklyn, and a few other locations. No one’s sure where they first came from, but the most common hypothesis is that they escaped from a dropped crate at Kennedy airport in the 60’s or some such. Likely escaped pets have also contributed to the population.

Monk parakeets near Brooklyn College


#325: Long-eared Owl

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

Friday, Rob Jett found a Long-eared Owl in Prospect Park. I went looking for it yesterday afternoon without success, but this morning with the help of Steve Nanz I found it in the same tree where the Great Horned Owl roosted over Thanksgiving 2004. I’m going to have to keep an eye on that tree. There must be something about it when seen from the air that’s appealing to owls.

Long-eared Owl in pine tree


Two More Year Firsts in Prospect Park

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Yesterday Peter Dorosh found a Grey Catbird, possibly the same one that had been seen several times in December; and Arleen O’Brien heard a Fish Crow. She also saw an American Tree Sparrow on Wednesday. So far I’m not being very successful at predicting the next bird to show up. I think I’m going to try to keep track of when the individual birds have shown up. So far, here’s what we have:

A Winter Day at the Beach

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Yesterday the heater in my building was on the fritz, so I decided that if I was going to freeze anyway, I might as well go outside and see some birds while doing it. (Plus I can’t easily type when the temperature in my office drops below 20°).

I headed out out to Jacob Riis Park to track down a pair of Harlequin Ducks that had been reported there. The Q35 bus dropped me off at Fort Tilden, where I quickly started my day list with Mallard and American Crow, as well as the usual wintering flock of hundreds of Brant.

Brant at Fort Tilden