Aby-a-Day – 13 Maj: Watch the Birdie! (Thursday Things)

Yesterday, I showed you our new neighbours, Randall and Beth, a pair of European Pied Flycatchers. They are very interesting little birds. And not only have we never seen them in our område before now, but we have had that little birdhouse up for three years and no bird has ever shown any interest in it until now.

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But Beth and Randall have moved right in.

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They appeared on Tuesday, so we named them after the characters on This is Us.

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They rarely, if ever, land on the ground, so they are fairly safe from cats. But that didn’t stop Randall from doin’ a heckin’ concern when we went outside with the cats this afternoon.

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The cats, however, were mostly oblivious to the bird couple above.

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Mostly.

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Izaak noticed their movement at some point whilst we were outside.

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He watched them flying around for a bit.

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But I think he knew there was no chance. We will have to be careful when we take them out after the fledglings emerge.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Maj: Wordless Wednesday (Let me introduce you to my little friend)

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Aby-a-Day – 1 Maj: A bird in the paw (Swedish Saturday)

Because of Covid, I have not had the energy to clip the cats’ claws on our regular schedule (it takes a LOT of energy to clip five cats’ claws and do all the other necessary grooming).

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That turned out to be a good thing when we took the cats out for the first time in forever last Thursday.

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Because Lorelai ran right up a tree with the intent to catch a wood pigeon!

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She actually got wicked close, too.

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She was also fearless and überconfident up in the tree.

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Rory was in complete control up in that tree.

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And when she decided to come down out of the tree, even that was deliberate and measured.

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I mean, look at the focus on that face. She’s in complete control.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Januari: Wordless Wednesday (Magpies and cats in the snow)

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Aby-a-Day – 21 Oktober 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Extreme birdwatching)

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Aby-a-Day – 15 Juli 2020: Wordless Wednesday (I’ve looked at birds from both sides now)

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Aby-a-Day – 25 Juni 2020: More magpies (Thursday Things)

The other day when we went outside, poor Alfred was the target of magpie harrassment.

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He ran down the hill and the magpies were ON him.

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Look at this in close-up.

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I don’t think Freddy even noticed the angry birds attacking him.

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Here’s a close-up of the second magpie attack.

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After that second attack, they stood down, but remained watchful.

Aby-a-Day – 17 Juni 2020: Wordless Wednesday (“Kill no more pigeons than you can eat”)

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Aby-a-Day – 15 Juni 2020: More Magpies (Movie Monday)

I know I posted about magpies just yesterday, but by sheer coincidence we had another magpie encounter this afternoon.

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Björn and I were outside with the cats, when the magpies started yelling. We looked over, and sure enough, they were yelling at Alfred.

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Freddy noped out, but Izaak was very interested in what was going on up in the branches.

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The magpies yelled at Zak, and Zak yelled right back at them.

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Lorelai, of course, was also interested in the screeching birds.

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She looked like she wanted to go up after them, but she didn’t go any higher in the tree.

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Zak, on the other hand…

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…I think even Rory was impressed with how high Zak was willing to climb.

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Zak is a deceptively good climber.

Here is a video of the entire encounter with the magpies. It’s sometimes hard to see them in the leaves, but you can certainly hear them!

Aby-a-Day – 14 Juni 2020: Lorelai and the Magpie (Swedish Sunday)

One thing I missed whilst living in New England was magpies.

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I grew up in the Northern California valley, the only place on the planet that is home to Yellow-Billed Magpies, and they are my favourite bird. The ones we have in Sweden are the usual Black-Billed sort…but it’s stlll nice to have them around.

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When we go out with the cats, the resident magpies keep a sharp eye on us.

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Mostly. When we went out the other day, this magpie brazenly decided to watch the cats from the ground.

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At first, Lorelai didn’t see the magpie.

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Until she did.

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Rory stalked the magpie for a while.

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And then, oddly, she just stopped. I am not sure why.

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She didn’t chase the magpie, but the magpie didn’t fly away, either. They just sort of looked at each other.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Juni 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Izaak sees a Wagtail)

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Aby-a-Day – 4 April 2020: The Maltese Magpie (Swedish Saturday)

Dashiell loves to go outside with the other cats…once he gets outside. He doesn’t go running for the door like the others, and I have to catch him and carry him out.

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But once he’s outside…he loves to fly!

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Usually, Dash hangs out with Izaak or Alfred…but the other day, he ran down the hill to play with Lorelai.

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And, while they were down the hill, a magpie flew over and landed nearby!

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Of course, they both froze and watched the bird. I don’t know if the magpie just didn’t see them camouflaged in the grass…

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…Or if it was just incredibly foolish. Luckily, Rory and Dash were too surprised the magpie was there and just stared at it.

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They were even more stunned when a second magpie landed near the first one.

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I was holding my breath, wondering if they would charge the magpies…

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…they didn’t, but they did move, and the magpies flew away.

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I think Dash actually looks a little disappointed.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Mars 2020: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SuperFreddy! (Thursday Things)

As you saw yesterday, Alfred went a little bit crazy running around in the snow when we had it. He was the last one who wanted to come in from the cold.

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He just wanted to run and run….

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It was a little frustrating. I was only wearing a hoody so I would be as cold as the unclothed cats, and I was ready to go in, too.

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He broke away from me at the door and made a beeline for the swing set that is always so popular in summer.

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He was wicked hard to catch.

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And he was super naughty! First, he peed in the snow. AGAIN.

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Then he moved on and started digging. I thought he was just playing with the snow…

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…And it looked like that was all it was, at first.

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But no. And, yes, that is exactly what it looks like. He pooped in the snow, too! I feel a little bad about leaving it there in the play area, but I guess kids won’t be swinging anytime soon.

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Soon after, he ran back towards our house. Guess that’s why he didn’t want to go back in. But I have never seen him go to the bathroom outside anytime except in snow. Weirdo.

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While I was out there in the “backyard,” I saw some things that I wouldn’t have had Freddy not run back there. Like hare tracks.

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And bird landing/take-off prints. This is probably a magpie.

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I love bird footprints in snow.

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I also love wingprints.

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I think this is a jackdaw picking something up.

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I am guessing this is another magpie.

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Walking and then a take-off. Magpies make tailprints, so this is either a crow or a jackdaw.

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Of course, there were also some cat footprints.

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As snowy as it looks, it was also melting fast.

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Crocuses are already blooming!

And, as you can see, a large area at the back of our building was all green grass. I think we’ll be lucky if we get any more snow this year.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Februari 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Lorelai and the magpies)

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Aby-a-Day – 22 August: Alfred the mighty hunter (Thursday Things)

Ever since Alfred found that dead bird, he has been obsessed with birds when we go outside.

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Freddy’s figured out that birds are in bushes. So he rushes at every set of bushes in the område. It makes him easy to find, though. Just follow the angry chirping.

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After rushing the bushes, Freddy sits and stares at the bushes, looking for birds.

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The funny part is, the birds were all up in the tree behind him, watching him.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Augusti: Catch the birdie (Thursday Things)

One of the comments on Monday’s post was, “Well, I’m waiting for the day when one of them has a whole bird!”

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Well, the other day, Alfred came out of the bushes with…a dead bird!

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After a little examination, it was a young thrush. I am not entirely sure if he caught it himself; I did hear some squawking and a couple of adult birds flew out from the bushes.

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But the fact that it didn’t have a head, and he didn’t try at all to eat it. He just sniffed it and played with it a little.

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And…

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…he was pretty protective of it when Lorelai and Izaak wanted to look at it.

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Eventually, he either got bored or went to see if he could find another one, and Rory got a chance to investigate it. But she didn’t try to eat it, either.

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Cats don’t eat spoiled meat or carrion…and it wasn’t warm, so I’m pretty certain Freddy just found it. She just sniffed it. She didn’t even touch it the way Freddy did.

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Zak was the least interested in the bird of the three.

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I wonder if the bird flew into one of the apartments’ windows. It happens around here; a couple of years ago, a jackdaw flew into our living room window – wicked hard. We were sitting right there and the bang was so loud it scared the crap out of us. That could explain the head.

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After I took the above close-up of the bird, Rory’s interest was rekindled.

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It may look like Rory’s making a “tasty-tasty yum-yum” face, but I think a feather tickled her nose.

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I tried to toss the bird’s body back into the bushes, but that made Freddy go back to try to find it.

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So I went and fished it back out, mainly to get Freddy out of the bushes (it had landed in the top branches). He wanted to look at it again.

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This time, he studied it like a scientist. Eventually, when he wasn’t looking, I took the bird farther away and left it a ways down the hill. Maybe the fox will find the little snack.

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It was a bad day for birds, though. In another spot in the grass, we discovered the aftermath of another bird-predator encounter. This time, I think the bird was eaten.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juli: “Just like birds, hunters know no borders” (Cinema Sunday)

As I have mentioned before, Lorelai is our little huntress. She especially likes to hunt birds when we’re outside.

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But she also likes to hunt birds when we’re inside. We have these bird feeders that attach to the window with suction cups, and Rory in particular really loves to “watch the birdies.”

I wanted to capture her banging into the window on video, but I failed. You can hear her fearsome chatter, though…

Aby-a-Day – 22 Juni: “Keep your eye on the prey” (Swedish Saturday)

On one of our outside adventures, Lorelai saw a pigeon perched in a tree.

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It’s kind of hard to see, so I’ve marked it in this photo.

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Rory was so intent on hunting it.

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(Here it is marked again)

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You could see her brain working out how to catch that fat bird.

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The pigeon was hard to see up in the branches, but Rory never lost her focus.

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At one point, I thought she was going to give up.

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The pigeon was still watching her, though.

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But suddenly, Rory climbed even higher in the tree!

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She was actually as high up in the tree as the pigeon!

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I think her idea was to get higher than the pigeon, and then drop down on it.

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I couldn’t believe how high Rory climbed!

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She really wanted to get that pigeon. I honestly don’t know why the pigeon stayed there so long. Maybe it was curious about the small predator.

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I think this may be the closest Rory’s ever gotten to a bird. Impressive.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni: The birds and the bees (Cinema Sunday)

When we were outside with the Kittens a while back, they found a bumblebee.

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Izaak seemed more interested in it than Lorelai was, at first.

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They were adorable, studying the little insect. Zak went so far as to pat it with his paw, but luckily neither cat got stung.

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When it didn’t move, Zak got a little bored, but Rory knew it had potential and studied it intently.

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Finally: the big payoff! The bee started to fly!

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Rory is incredibly agile and athletic when she is chasing a bug. She actually catches flies (and eats them) in the apartment without knocking over anything.

Here’s a video of Zak, Rory and the Bee.

Later that day, Rory went to the area behind our apartment…I could tell because the birds were going crazy with their “Cat!” warning cries. It was really loud…I took video, but I don’t know if you can hear them. I worry about the bigger birds dive-bombing her; when I was a kid we had outdoor cats (not my idea), and one got a massive abscess on his head from either a scrub jay or a mockingbird. Rory’s only 2½ kg, our smallest cat, and your average crow weighs around half a kilo…but they have force and gravity on their side. One peck from a crow or jackdaw’s bill could do some serious damage.

That being said…Rory really wants to catch a bird someday.

We’re trying to teach Alfred to go outside with us offleash…but in the meantime, sometimes he joins us via the balcony. Here he is complaining about being left out.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Maj: Keep your eye on the birdie! (Swedish Saturday)

Lorelai envisions herself a mighty bird hunter. Whenever she sees one, she chatters and starts to stalk it. I have even seen her run after a low-flying jackdaw or pigeon, eyes locked on the feathered prize.

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When she sees one up a tree, she stares up at it.

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I am not sure what she thinks is going to happen.

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Maybe she’s hoping it will just fall off its branch and into her waiting claws..?