May 25th, 2007


Baby bluebird!

I've been wondering if the bluebird pair that took up residence in my birdhouse this spring had raised any young. I think the question is answered--on the feeders outside the study window are male, female, and one fledgling bluebirds. Baby is flying pretty well, but is still begging for food when a parent comes nearby. They began all perched in a row on a horizontal bar that holds a feeder, and Dad delivered a little food. Now Dad has gone off, Baby is on the gas grill (but is trying to figure out how to land on the suet feeder), and Mom is watching from the top of a feeder pole.

Baby is nattily attired in a blue tail, blue wing tips (pun intended), and spotted/stripey chest and back.

Water levels and earthquakes

Yesterday brought one of those interesting information requests that led to even more interesting miscellaneous information. A researcher in California was in search of a paper by a USGS author titled "Earthquake-induced water-level fluctuations from a well in Dawson County Georgia", published in 1964. Collapse )

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And all this leads to the thought that our current technology for ground-water monitoring (and surface-water, mostly) misses all this cool stuff. Electronic data loggers make a reading every 15 minutes, or 30 minutes, or hour--surface water may be more frequent, but ground water might be even less often. We get near-real-time hydrologic data relayed to the Web by satellites, but the incidental seismic data is very unlikely to be captured, and wouldn't give enough information if it was.

Back to bluebirds...

Two babies! One's good bit bigger than the other--it must have gotten a head start by hatching early, or maybe just had its feathers fluffed out. Looking at relative size to the parents, the fluffed feathers looks more likely.