Tuesday, May 23

The local wildlife

Texas apparently has more bird species than any other US state or province, and not just because it's so big but also because of migratory paths from Mexico etc (listen to me sounding like an expert...Ha! Thanks google) I found a bird checklist for my county (Bexar, pronounced bear - I'm still not over that) which means now I really do need to get myself a bird book. I've been saying that for ages but buying a bird book also means buying binoculars at some point, hence the hesitation, but I guess I could get them later. There's also the fact that I can't pick which guide is a good one. There's a national geographic one that has photos instead of drawings so perhaps I should check it out. I've seen all sorts of cool birds just off my deck, including the bright red northern cardinals, hummingbirds, some kind of pidgeon that looks like it's wearing a t-shirt (a white-winged pidgeon I think) and even what looks like some kind of vulture! There are other big birds of prey but I can't make them out too well, and some small, green bird that I really like but haven't come close to identifying.

Texas also has some pretty cool looking mammals, but I'll probably only get to see most of them in some kind of park or zoo. I would like to see a pocket gopher though! There are nine different kinds!

It turns out that my squirrel friend is an Eastern Fox Squirrel. I've calmed down on the feeding front but it's hard not to feed him when he looks so cute! He's been doing acrobatics for me, hanging upside-down off my deck railing or climbing up and sliding back down, over and over (perhaps he's loopy too!) The other morning he was sitting on the edge of my potplant looking through the door at me.

And on further study of the fox squirrel I've discovered that not only can you hunt them (why??) but in my county there's no closed season and no bag limit :( I'm going to try and pretend I didn't read the hunting section.

Ok, after some consideration I figure we eat kangaroo and wallabies, and non-aussies get upset about that, so I perhaps I shouldn't pass judgment on the whole squirrel hunting thing (but they're smaller than rabbits...what's left after you shoot them??) I tried to find out what squirrel tastes like and track down some recipes and I found this incredibly funny if slightly off colour list of squirrel recipes. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Rennie said...

Ghost faced bat = one ugly looking critter.