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P1640510 riverhouse pelican cropped

Look who came calling!

Hopefully some of you mystics will be able to help with a bird mystery or two…

P1640516 riverhouse pelican P1640521 riverhouse pelican

About four months ago, a pelican left its group on the other side of the river and swam across to the rocks by the house.  I have never seen a pelican swim to this side or stand on any of those rocks that replaced the mangroves!  This particular pelican ambled up the huge boulders and perched on a rock about four feet from where I sat.   It looked as if it had something stuck in its mouth, and I extended my hand.  It quickly snapped at me, and I drew back my hand!   After about five minutes, I slowly backed away to retrieve my camera, paper and a pencil.  When I returned, the pelican was swimming back to the other side.

Two days later it returned for a short visit but did not come up the boulders. It posed for many photos, then meandered away. After that, the pelicans resumed their normal habits and stayed on the other side of the river!

Do you think that one came as an ambassador to thank me for speaking up/out for their habitat?   (See What Happened To Nature’s Rights)


About a month ago a black grackle sneaked into the house via open balcony door!  The huge window and translucent roofing panels confused it, though it quickly finally found its way back outside.


A few weeks ago, a hummingbird spotted the four by six-foot painting of the red and yellow spiral hand and entered through the open window.  It took a while for it to find its way back out, but it surely had great stories of warning about bright red pretend flowers in the casa loca!

Last week a baby bird found its way into the house!  Wrens and swallows nest very near that window.  Using the tip of a chopstick, I fed it tiny bits of soft-cooked egg then followed with drops of water, and he/she gobbled the food and drink.

P1650113 baby swallow

With the bird tucked away for the night in an old nest in an orb of pottery, I hoped to wean it back to its rightful home the next morning.   Unfortunately baby bird died. –  Mother Nature has a way of culling the runts of the litter.

The most-recent feathered visitor baffled me.   The cattle egret greeted me when I stepped outside the gate to ride with Xavier to town.  The bird walked toward the back of Xavier’s truck, which had just rolled to a stop.   The bird appeared weak or hurt and had mud on its wings.  I cradled it in my hands, checked for wounds and found none, then opened the gate and placed the bird in a less-hostile setting.  “I’ll be back soon! I said before leaving with Xavier.


The egret was hiding in a dark area of the yard when I returned from town.  As with the first time, the egret did not seem alarmed when I approached it.  With total surrender, it seemed at home in my grasp, and I took it upstairs for a wound check.

cattle egret thumbsa

 It sat in my lap and allowed a close inspection and nipped at me only once!   It remained in my lap for half an hour, and I finally set it on the floor.  The egret acted as if it were home and began exploring the house! 

P1650790 CATTLE EGRET ANDEAN RUG P1650787 cattle egret in house on rug


Whenever it tried to jump up or fly, it awkwardly collapsed on the floor.

P1650769 CATTLE EGRET IN WINDOW P1650772 WHATS WRONG CATTLE EGRETAt the end of the day I built a rustic nest from palm leaves in a small tree in the yard.  Zeebra Construction provided it a temporary home away from dogs and snakes (perhaps) and mud.     The next morning the dear egret was dead.

P1650881 cattle egret faux nest

End-of-day faux nest

The heavy rains and strong angry currents have washed away many trees along the river.  I suspect that the egret took a rolling tumble down Rio Jama and found its way to dry land.  What do you think?

An odd note to this post is that the pelicans and egrets and frigates claim the area of mangroves across from the house.  I noted a few weeks ago that the pelicans had basically vanished from the point.  They had evacuated – but why?   Now as I watch trees slough into the river each day, I marvel at the pelicans’ intelligence!  How did they know, after many years on that point, that they should leave and leave soon?

My neighbors the birds

My neighbors the birds



P1650915 mangroves thru binoculars

The angry river claims another tree – March 6, 2013

P1650911 rio jama point mangroves

Perhaps the cattle egret was part of a group that stayed behind.

Moral of the story:  If you are a bird, please don’t come to me if you are seeking medical treatment!  If you are dying bird and in search of comfort, you will have my complete attention and empathy.