February Update

In breaking news, the Groundhog may or may not see its shadow on Groundhog Day. And that will mean we may or may not have six more weeks of winter. Did you know there are many groundhogs making predictions about this years’ weather patterns? Therefore, different “answers” to the question are possible. Of course, more than one of these answers can be right / true, depending on where you live. Hmmm, sounds like a lesson. The most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, hails from a small town in Pennsylvania. If you have seen the Groundhog Day movie, Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell cover the breaking news from there. Phil has been right just 39% of the time in the 135 years of this tradition. Since he will probably say 6 more weeks today, I like that stat.

Fun facts about groundhogs to amaze your friends and family include:

  • Groundhogs can run 9 miles an hour, can swim and climb trees
  • They have 22 teeth
  • Groundhogs whistle when alarmed or are courting
  • An average ground hog weighs 12-15 pounds and Punxsutawney Phil weighs 20. He probably gets a bit of extra snacks to maintain his plump, round stature which looks good for his big day.

Birding and Book News

Progress on the Belize next edition continues, with the help of my good friends. Renée has expanded her talents to include design work and is in the process of adding new photos and revising the cover to be consistent with other books. I’ve added some of the great content from the Seattle book to round out Belize with respect to the beginning birding and mindfulness topics. Jayne has painted a wonderful toucan picture that will transport you right to the jungle in an instant. Look for that release coming soon!

January birding typically offers fewer birds and bird photo opportunities, especially when it’s cloudy, which is waaaay often. But birds are hearty and still around, especially in the morning and when the sun comes out. January is also a great time to learn bird calls, since fewer of them are around and they can be heard calling singly more than some months. OK, yes, I’m reaching for good birding news but it is true, I heard some great calls when I bundled up and headed out for a brisk, though brief, birdwalk. Check them out and enjoy!

American Tree Sparrow

Fluffy Red-tailed Hawks

Downy Woodpecker (front) White-throated Sparrow (back)

Eastern Bluebird