Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Linkfest plus...

Good news announcement imminent (no, not the pending grandchild or as Mr P calls it "the Forthcoming Offspring")-- but I think I will wait until it is "on paper" so to speak. Somehow pixels are not quite as real...

Also other news: going to Wyoming in August, where Libby will cook for an old friend's daughter's wedding, and I will meet up with Cat, speak at her library, and drink martinis. That should feed blogging. Then, East in Sept mostly to see family but also hope to get with Sy & Dr Hypercube. More as I know more.

Meanwhile, too long since a link collection, with plenty accumulated. With no further ado:

Natural history: Walter Hingley sends note of 2500 year- old gyrfalcon nests, with 900 year- old feathers. I knew packrat nests in the southwest may date to the near Pleistocene but I believe this is the first bird nest so old.

From Matt: YouTubes of the first New World "forest falcon" I know of successfully trained in falconry, progressing from calling to bagged quarry to hunting. Ecologically and I suspect evolutionarily a fascinating bird: a genetic falcon or at least primitive falcon evolved in an Accipter's habitat to look like one, and with a primitive South American caracara's head!

(Matt: "I have actually heard the collared FF calling in the forest in Panama, but I never happened to see one. I did trap a barred FF in a mist net and it was the first wild trapped hawk I think I ever held. I told the biologist, "It looks just like a tiny goose hawk!" He chuckled and asked if I meant goshawk, which I knew was the word and the spelling but had never said it out loud or heard it spoken...

"...It obviously runs on foot a lot (did you see the grainy YouTube of the bird running after the falconer like some crazed armadillo?) so the flights would probably go in and out of cover like nothing we've ever seen before. It has gorgeous feet and a serious head with a strong, compressed beak.

"In attitude it definitely seems like an imprinted falcon, especially the imprinted aplos I've seen. Watching something that acts like a falcon but is built like a cooper's hawk is a little disconcerting. I was pleased to see also how attentive it was, how well it ate and how apparently comfortable it was in the relative open country. I'm sure I could catch some things with one around here.")

Asian animal memes; reader and dog relative Lane Bellman sends this informative forum on eagling, dogs, and other things Central Asian. They use some of my photos, but as they praise me and recommend Canat as a guide I am not complaining.

Pigeons beat Internet. I love my computer but also my Neolithic, ancient agri- city tech...

Guns n' stuff: Al Qaeda, NY mayor Bloomberg, and the Daily News all endorse the same gun control plan, based on a total lie or, charitably, ignorant misinterpretation. That would be a terrorist organization, a liberal mayor (if singularly illiberal person), and a conservative newspaper-- equal opportunity blame to go around here.

(Things are different in the west. Next post or soon I'll quote Hal Herring's review of a Colonel Jeff Cooper gun book. Herring is doubtless broadly on the left-- wrote a piece on wolves for High Country News recently-- but finds good true things to say about the old T rex).

From Chas: the Ninja Glock I too like the... serendipitously fortuitous typhoon app, and yes this IS a joke.

Cultural and other: the great sportswriter George Kimball has a website up. I contribute a small blurb to his neglected American at Large. Go there and buy the books of among other things our finest contemporary-- last?-- boxing writer. (And a strange common denominator-- at dinner in Mag last year I mentioned him and Daniela knew his NY sports reporting, while Vermont- raised Greg, Libby's boss, knew him from the Boston Herald!)

Could I be part Mongol or Turk?? I am certainly part Lombard. Too early for the ridiculously prolific Jingiz line, though...

Chad posts the truest readers' poster ever made. And Nagrom, sometime blacksmith and knife maker, writes the best essay on tools. (Nagrom also has a James Elroy Flecker quote in his header, and is the only person under 40 I know of who knows he exists-- well, Peculiar might. Anyone want to quote me his most famous lines?)

Last, some stuff from the WSJ re Buzkashi I don't have a link to, irresistible-- I am sure you could find the source. Me to blogfamily:

"...don't know if it is online yet but the Wall St Journal has a
piece on achieving fame via buzkashi in Afghanistan, with lots of local
color, vendors hawking opium and hash at bouts etc.

"But the real delight is the attempt of local (??!!) PETA to stop it. The
vice president or some such of the buzkashi society is quoted as saying
(paraphrasing here-- I read it at the Post office): “But we love our horses!
We think of them as WEAPONS.”

"They may be barbarians but you gotta love it."


Matt Mullenix said...

Just watched the "bagged game" link for the CFF and see now that it ends with successful wild pigeon hunt in a warehouse.

Not terrific falconry (I've done lots of same with a European kestrel) but nonetheless here's a trained collared forest falcon on wild game, and it clearly works. This must only seem cool to true-blood bird nerds...

therese said...

Its a bit differnt, but there are a couple of speices (snow petral and Adelie penguin) who have nesting colonies older than the gyrs. The petral is questionable becasue the sites sampled had all be abandoned but as to when the abandoment happened was unclear due to the methods used to prevent contamination in the samples. The penguin though has a colony which appears to have been ocupied continuously for the past 7000 years...