Steve White’s Animaux

Feb 12, Potsdam

Overhead there were big birds in a V-formation. But… the call is all wrong and the wings flap in big wavy motions, and they're really broad, and… they are Gray Herons, 20 or so of them, flying North East. They think Spring is coming already. And I don’t recall ever seeing herons flying in a V.

May 11, Naxos

At the Naxos airport, as I am boarding my plane for Athens, I watched a small bird take a stem of grass into a small opening on an actuator nacelle on the wing of my turboprop. It took several tries, because the wing disturbed the wind. He would fly ahead of it, then over, and latch onto the opening on the trailing edge.

I am pleased to report that as that plane revved up, he flew out into the grass. One of those bad ideas that look so much like a great idea.

The bird was brown with faint stripes, sparrow-sized or a bit longer, with a rather long dark beak. I had seen one the previous day, it flew in an un-sparrowlike fashion, in little swooping spurts. In shape it might have been a lark or a pipit, but I can’t put this together with what I saw.

Dec 24, Potsdam

The town was full of Saatkrähen, with Nabelkrähe intermixed.

I watched how they opened hazelnuts. They would make a small hole in the ground, put the hazelnut in it, then whack the nut until it opened. The nut was held in place by the hole.

Furthermore, they were very interested in the tram rails, clearly looking for some goodie dropped there, and sometimes getting a drink.