Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better!

Dad took this terrific picture of two Barn Swallows at their home near Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. He said the birds were "harmonizing" as they sang to each other. Well, it looks like a domestic dispute to me, or else they are rehearsing for the musical Annie Get Your Gun, in particular, the song that goes like this...

Any note you can reach I can go higher.
I can sing anything
Higher than you.

No, you can't. (High) Yes, I can. (Higher)
No, you can't. (Higher) Yes, I can. (Higher)
No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I can. (Higher)
No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I can. (Higher)
No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I CAN! (Highest).....

Any note you can hold I can hold longer.
I can hold any note
Longer than you.

No, you can't. Yes, I can
No, you can't.
Yes, I can
No, you can't.
Yes, I can Yes, I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
No, you C-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-N'T--

CA-A-A-A-N! (Cough, cough!) Yes, you ca-a-a-an!

My parents' home is a mountain ridge away from the Pacific Ocean. They see a large number of native and migrating birds on their propery outside the city. My brother has planted many fruit trees over the years and the area is surrounded by sugar cane fields. Dad picked up a camera with a good zoom when he was in Canada and sent me some of his recent pictures.

The bird above is a Violet-crowned hummingbird and the bird below is a Blue-throated hummingbird. Both species are found only in the south-west of the continent, mainly in Mexico.

The last bird is a Cattle Egret in mating plummage. This picture was taken near Houston Texas when my parents were driving back to Mexico. This Old World bird likely flew from Africa to South America in the 1880's, where it has naturalized and spread northward. Breeding birds were found in Florida in 1953 and in Ontario in 1968. It will ride on the backs of cattle and other game, particularly in Asia and Africa, to feed on ticks and other insects.

I hope this post will encourage Dad to take more pictures of their many feathered guests. Feel free to correct me if I have made any ID errors!


  1. Wow, Ruth, those are some really nice bird pictures from your dad. Do you get down to visit them very often? Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love the Swallow musical-nice imagination used there.-You almost blew my speakers out with the high notes.

  3. Great pairing of photo of swallows and that fun song from Annie Get Your Gun!
    I look forward to more bird pics from south to north.

  4. Taht first one was a real giggle!

  5. The Swallow musical made me laugh out loud! Great job!

    Your parents are blessed with a good camera and beautiful country (and a daughter who appreciates them).

  6. What a photographer your dad is! It's so cool to see birds from Mexico. Tell him to keep on sending them!

  7. Anonymous2:42 pm GMT-4

    Great post and laughed reading the swallows singing!

  8. That is so neat. I hadn't encountered those great lyrics in a long time. Perfect:0) I'm wondering if that's a male and female or perhaps a young bird. I'm so lazy with swallows.

    Your parents are so lucky to have those gorgeous hummingbirds. I love our little ruby-throat, but a little diversity would be nice.

  9. Ruthiej- I used to go every year BC(Before children) and now that they are grown, would like to go more often again. I was there last June.

    Larry- They look very loud!

    KGMom- I will request more photos

    Lynne- The birds certainly have character!

    Mary- My dad got a Kodak like yours. Yes, I do appreciate my parents, as you do your dad.

    Jayne- My dad took many good pictures during our travels around the world. He had kind of dropped the hobby, and I hope he picks it up. I am planning to scan 100s of slides he brought me from Africa.

    Thanks Monarch! Not many new birds this week around here for me so it was nice to have something from the south.

    Cathy- The Ruby-throat is like a jewel. These little birds are colourful in a more subtle way. I found it interesting that neither of them were fluttering, but were perched.


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