About the size of a pigeon, maybe a tad larger but wold just be a tad.
From the warp speed flashes that buzz by me all I can tell for color is buff chest/belly and the head has some dark markings on it. The wings look darker but hard to tell since I usually see the underneath and I've yet to see it sitting still. Looks fantailed and not spike tailed...but again the thing is travelling the speed of light.
Kestrel/sparrow hawk. That's the only one really that small.
My mother has a Cooper's Hawk who is convinced that "bird feeder" applies to him. He'll spend an hour or so every day hanging out in the trees above the feeder, waiting for the other birds to forget he's there. (The usually don't.)
Our barn kitties were actually dive-bombed by the barn swallows this year--literally inches from their heads! We were waiting for the cats to swat one but they just seemed to ignore it. The indoor where we used to board always had what seemed like a million of them in the summer--it was noisy and I always thought one day I was going to "road kill" a swallow while riding!
I was very sad to note that this year the barn swallows did not return to our barn - they have been coming for the thirty odd years we have lived here and I like to think they are all descended from the ones before. Wonder what happened to them. The nest on the light fixture is empty. Sad.
Thanks DanceronIce...I don't know a whole lot about birds. I've been more involved with fur covered critters rather than feathery ones. I do know that bird is fast as all heck though!
Foxtrot...my swallows only nested in my barn for a short time this year but then left to nest outside instead. I hated to see them go, I've had them every year here and this was the first summer I wasn't watching the babies hatch and grow up. I missed them...even though they still were flying around my paddock they weren't inside at night.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
Hmm... you know...my barn swallows weren't in my barn this summer either. I always have 1 or 2 sets of babies. The cats sit below the rafters when they are learning to fly. waiting.... I hope they come back and use the nest next year.
LOVE this thread, by the way. I love the deer in the back seat stories. I think there was a movie with Chris Farley and David Spade that had that plot.
I hope I can do justice to this story from my equine vet - I still giggle just thinking about it...Vet came out for a farm call one day, and I noticed he had a large scab on his nose. I didn't say anything about it, so he finally said, "You're probably wondering what happened to my nose..." So here goes:
Vet was out camping with his wife and kids, and as they were packing up to go home, a large crane wandered onto their campsite, staggering and clearly not doing well. My vet, being a vet, approached the crane to see if there was anything he could do to ease its suffering. Turns out the crane had gotten a huge fishhook stuck in its shoulder, and heavy fishing line was wrapped around its beak and wings. While my vet hold the crane still - it wanted to struggle a little before it finally settled down - his wife carefully unsnipped and unwound the fishing line, and together they wrestled the hook out of its shoulder. Vet said he was surprised at how light the crane was despite its size, and cautioned his wife repeatedly to watch out for his sharp beak.
Once all of the fishing line was removed, my vet thought the crane seemed to be in shock, and he held the crane up near his face to get a good look at it. As my vet described it, he and the crane looked into each other's eyes, and he imagined that the crane was thanking him for his kindness. Suddenly, the crane came to life, opened his huge beak, and grabbed tight on my vet's nose. He was so shocked that he let go of the crane, but instead of falling, it hung suspended from his nose and wouldn't let go. At this point, with all its weight hanging from my vet's nose, the crane didn't seem so light anymore Somehow, vet's wife grabbed hold of it and vet pried the beak open and it flew off. Vet now has a nice scar and a great story to go with it
Driving to a dinner at a friends house my SO and I saw a white cat that was hit in the road. I made him turn around so I could go back and at least get this cat out of the road so he didn't get mushed even further. Ironically we turned around in a Vet's office. Anyway SO pulled over to let me out and scoop the kitty when a semi passed us, I thought this is going to be gross but it turns out the semi strattled the cat missing it! I ran around the front of the car and scooped and OMG!!!! It was still alive!!!! He was pretty much out of it, wheezing and had a bit of blood coming out of nose but he was alive!!
We turned around again and went back to the vets office and the lights were on... on a Sunday night mind you.... Well we knocked on the door and a young girl who was cleaning the office came to the door, let us in and called the vet who was at home, he came down to treat the poor injured kitty. How is that for luck!!
As the Kitty recouperated at the vets, (no broken bones just a good hit to his head) I went door to door in this rural area to see who was missing the little guy with no luck. The Vets office even took out a ad but got no hits. Kitty took a bit to get to his feet and had some motor function deficiencies getting around but he was improving and I went visit him a few times and fell in love with his wobbly self. I ended up adopting him and the Vet significantly reduced his hospital charges and did his nuetering for free!!!! His name..... Speed Bump!
Speedy has been with us now for 10 years. He holds his tail kind of funny but other that that you wouldn't know he almost got his block knocked off. He is snuggled in my lap purring while I type this, I'll never forget the moment I scooped him up and realized he was still alive....
Awwww this has brought little tears to my eyes....
LOFF the name!
~Darci~ "We have an obligation. We are their keepers." ~Roy Jackson
I was coming home about 9pm and saw a black cat laid out half on, half off the road. I saw him move sightly, so I pulled over and went back to look.
He was awake, but not moving. I'm a vet tech, so I've actually handled a lot of injured/fractious cats (that is the 'do not try this at home disclaimer).
I picked him up, and got him in the truck with me wrapped in a towel. I called the vet from the truck, "You have to come meet me at the clinic, I've picked up this cat. He is completely limp in the rear, and pretty out of it."
I stopped off at the house to get an actual carrier and loaded him. He still was limp.
25 minutes after I picked him up, I was in the clinc with the vet. I pull the cat out and he's just limp on the table. We are both expecting fractures or worse.
We get ready to do a full exam, and cat looks around the whole room. Seems to say, "Yeah, this looks OK." stands up, walks to the edge of the exam table and jumps off, perfectly fine. Takes a tour around the room, and flops contendely in the middle of the room.
He didn't belong at any of the neighboring homes to where I found him, but it was right next to a farm that had recently become vacant.
I think he staged the whole thing, hoping to get picked up after being left behind. I know, probably, he had been clipped by a car and was just stunned, but if you knew him today, you'd suspect him too.
Lazarus has a home w/a lady who has another indoor cat. While the lady was at the vet's getting her cat's annual vaccinations, she saw him and heard his story and said she would love to have another cat to keep hers company. She said if the owner calls about him, she will give him back to them. Lazarus was released from the vet's yesterday and is doing well. So, no barn kitty, but he gets a good home, nonetheless.
And another funny dead cat story.
My brother lives in a quadraplex, where an elderly couple owned a large gray cat. On the way over to visit him, I saw a dead, gray cat near the median. I was talking to my brother, and he mentioned that the little old lady had knocked on his door asking if he'd seen her cat. I told my brother "Oh NO! There is a dead cat just down the street! Would you go drive by it and look at it, and describe it to the little old lady, and see if it's hers?" Then I leave.
So later I go back to visit my brother, and he tells me what happened.
Apparently he drove to where the dead cat was and scooped his body up into a black garbage bag. Then he goes to the little old lady's home and knocks on the door. When she answers he tells her "I found a dead cat and wanted to know if it's yours". She exclaims "I can't look! You'll have to show it to my husband!" and leads him into the house to a bedroom where her bedridden husband on oxygen is laying. The little old lady then tells her husband to look at teh dead cat and see if it's theirs. So my brother approaches the bed and opens the bag. Old man yells to wife "Honey it's not ours!"
Now my brother is thinking that he'll go throw the cat in the dumpster. Wrong.
Little old lady says "Oh...we'll have to bury him." My brother says he doesn't have a shovel, so little old lady volunteers hers. So they end up in my brother's yard with him digging a grave in the rock hard soil. Once buried, my brother thinks he is done. Wrong.
Little old lady says they need to have a funeral service for the dead cat. So she runs home and comes back with a little cross and a bible. Says a prayer. Then asks my brother if he'd like to say a few words. My brother says, "Um, not really" But she encourages him. So he is forced to give a eulogy about a dead cat he never met! "Um, er, well he was a nice looking cat, and I'm sure he was probably a good cat, who's life ended too soon."
I cracked up thinking of my quiet, brother traipsing thru a house with a dead cat in a bag, showing a bedridden old man the body and having to do a funeral service for a cat he never met!
Further to the swallows that never came back to my barn:
Last year when four babies were in the nest, I came into the stall to find they were all on the floor in the sawdust. Looking up, saw a starling had taken over the nest. Ran to get hubby. He got the ladder and I handed him babies one at a time. A little later they were all on the floor again. Went and got a corn broom and chased the starling out, whacking at it and almost hitting it. Sat on a bucket in the corner waiting for it to return until past dark. Next day one baby was on the floor. Guess it couldn't handle all the fuss and also, the nest was pretty full and often one does get tossed. Next night I sat there until it was dark, and the next, but the starling never did return.
Those babies grew up, had their flying lessons, flew off and all seemed well. But I'm thinking that perhaps they decided they didn't like the neighbourhood enough to return????
I just thought of that.
I came into the cottage after feeding and heard some meowing from outside the window. Quick check assured me my cats were in the warm. So peaked out the window and saw a very distressed skinny cat. Opened the door and he ran in. So my cats were not impressed, but I fed him in the hallway while we decided what to do.
Brought him down to the barn, well tack room. Set him up for the night with old blankets, food and water. We also brought down a puppy cage and set that up for the next day when the greyhounds would be out and about.
He is loving life at the moment. He's warm, not stressed, helping with mice, and sleeping. We will see how much he still likes us after going to the vets in the next couple of weeks to be fixed!
Barn Cat sorted! We named him Happy because I wasn't quite sure if he was male or female at first, and well he is quite happy now!
COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.
"I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.
I had a similar problem this spring Foxtrot...the fall before I had chickadees (or something that looks just like them, I don't know many bird types) move in and build a couple nests in my barn eaves, nowhere near the swallow nests. They stayed over the winter...they;re not quite as neat as the swallows though. In spring when the swallows returned the male chickadees would fly to the 2 nests and land on them, not letting the swallows work on them or be in them. The chickadees didn't want the mud nests but didn't want the swallows either. So I stayed in the barn a couple days and would splash the chickadees off the nests by hitting them with the hose. The swallows just went outside and built somewhere nearby instead. Boy was I pissed at those chickadees...chasing Fred and Ginger out like that.
The male birds left in summer and I only have 2-3 females left. They sit on a beam watching feed and wait for me to put the feed buckets back in the empty stall so they can go check them for grain left over. They don't poop everywhere like the males do at least.
Tiny little fat birds...beige and buff colored...males have dark heads. Short little seed beaks and when they fly they sound like a helicopter going by.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
Your little birds sound like they could be Juncos.
I keep a snow shovel in my car year 'round to shovel things off the road. Dead raccoons, cats, and small dogs. Live ticked-off snapping turtles. (You slide the shovel under the turtle and slide it FAST to where the turtle wanted to go. Fast because the thing will try to climb up the handle to get you! Ungrateful devils.)
"Uh, if you're going to try that, shouldn't you unplug it first?"
These are all great! Right now my barn is housing a red-tailed hawk in the rafters in the indoor ring. They can't figure out how to make it go away and are going to call Animal Control about it. Any ideas how to get rid of a resident hawk?? The horses are NOT amused when it swoops from end to end!
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry