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More Stories

Finally more bird stories. Yesterday, I watched a grackle set off a car alarm multiple times. He'd fly to the car, set off the alarm, though I'm not sure how he was doing it. Then he'd perch next to it and wait. As soon as the alarm turned off on its own, he'd fly back down and set off the alarm again. I watched him do this 4 times. I'm guessing he just liked the sound... or he's trolling. The latter being the one, I hope.

The flocks are still moving about a lot and won't start to settle for another few weeks. I haven't had the same daily birds around for quite some time, but last week, one of the birds I had multiple interactions with those months back had approached me. I was surprised she remembered me after 2 months, but I may be underestimating their long-term memory. I haven't researched anything about how grackles short-term and long-term memory is. I know doves have a fairly bad long-term memory. From my experience with grackles, they have no problems with the short-term, but I've yet to do any sort of extensive testing. There's really only 3 females that I can recognize and they need to be within a certain distance for me to see their markings and patterns. Behavior is a good indicator as well, but right now when there's quite literally over 1000 of them where I work, it's hard to find my birds based on this, and I imagine with all the vocalizing the males are doing, it's hard for them to focus on much more than hearing their breathren and finding food. This is speculation though. During the spring and summer, there's only a handful of them around, while the males will take to the outside of the nesting ground, which there so happens to be one where I work.

While I found the above interesting, something even more amazing happened a few days after that. Another one of my 3 birds approached me as well, but this time, I was at my apartment complex. I had wondered about environment and if they would only approach me at work or only associate who I was within that environment. This confirmed/rejected tons of thoughts I had about this. I live about 1.5 miles away from work. (That's 2.41km for those of you that use a superior measuring system.) Again, it had been a few months since I had seen this bird. I haven't seen her since that day, but it was really nifty to see that. None of the males aside from the one I had seen every day last summer will interact with me. Hopefully he comes back, he's got a really easy marking to identify.

One of the things I've been observing and making guesses on, are the way grackles communicate. There are recognizable sounds that are associated with specific behaviors. These are a lot easier to identify in the summer when the females are teaching their young how to catch food, and before that when the mating pairs are gathering. Mainly due to the lower amount of communication going on, at least vocally. Right now, just before the sun begins to set, there will only be a handful of males gathered at set locations vocalizing. This makes making catching certain sound patterns easier than when the sun is setting. At that time, there are a good thousand of them around, there's just too much sound congestion to make out the individuals.

This paper goes into detail about these things, some of which I had figured out on my own, but this goes a lot further. It's a long read.

New Computer
It works and is very fast. Much faster than any other computer I've owned. Compile and run times are super fast now. Not much else to say about it other than it reliably plays games at their intended frame rate. This was the first computer I've built, a process that really wasn't all that enjoyable, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing. It took me roughly 4 hours to get it all together.

Side Bar Changes
This has been there for awhile, but I'll draw attention to it. The Contact Me link brings you to a page listing various ways of doing what the link title says.
Slaix' DT Playthrough has been replaced with a link to a page of all the known playthroughs, (that I know of) whether or not they have been finished. Listing is alphabetical order and DT2 playthroughs have been added.


Kurtis Haren said...

So, do these birds live where you work, and they followed you home, or do they live somewhere in between the two locations and you happened to find them both places? These little guys seem to like you enough that it's almost as though you have a thousand little pets.

With the new PC, I'm a bit curious, when it eventually gets to where you need a new one again (hopefully not anytime soon), would you rather build another one, or just buy it already put together?

ZephyrBurst said...

Only thing I know on where the birds 'live' is they roost only a single lot over from where I work.

Seeing how I now know how to build a computer, or at least feel comfortable with it, and that this machine was far cheaper and better than what it would have cost to buy the equivalent in store, I'll be building my own from now on.