Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Can You Believe They Put Out an APB on Me???

So here's the deal, a few weeks ago I decided I needed a break so I became a runflyaway from the family. C'mon, think about it, having nine brothers and sisters is incredibly tough, not to mention all of these humans making such a fuss over us as we hung out on Sturgeon Lake. This cuckoo or loon, I'm not sure which,  named "Janice" was the first one who went silly for us around Thanksgiving week-end, she even took some pics of us when we were still one big happy family in the back swamp:

But little did she know that I really wanted to have some "alone" time, so I decided to run fly away from dad, aka #902, mom, and my nine sibs. To this day, no one knows where I went, and I wish it to remain that way. As they say, "What happens in the Kawarthas stays in the Kawarthas", right? But did those human freaks really have to put out an APB on me??? They were all doing a lot of hand-wringing when my family was seen without me, I just don't get it. And rumour has it that this guy named Dan put out the APB on me through his Kawartha Naturalists club, talk about a violation of privacy!!! There were even rumours of my demise, too, yikes, I was only gone for a few weeks, for crying out loud !

But these humans were tenacious, so last Monday I decided to re-join the family and I was eventually spotted by this nice couple named The Corns, aka Sharon and Joe, who then contacted this Trumpeter Swan Lady in Burlington named Bev to share the news of my return.

But things weren't going so well for me, I was positive that mom and dad and my sibs would welcome me back with open wings. So on Tuesday, I arrived back again at that little swamp near Janice's cottage with the family around 8:45 a.m. I knew it was a big deal because this guy called Jimmy ran inside to make a quick phone call when he saw us all back together again. What he didn't realize at the time, though, was that mom was still really ticked off at me, and was chasing me away. Harumph, whassup with that??? And it wasn't going so well with the rest of the family, either. Before I knew it, the family took off to the other side of the lake without me, so I followed them. As we came in for a landing at The Corn's cafeteria, I heard this black car slam on its brakes and saw cuckoo swamp lady Janice holding on to the steering wheel with one hand, and taking a really bad pic of us all with her other hand. Sheeesh, another one who was in on that APB!

It took her a while to find us on the lake, though, as apparently they needed photos of me to compare to my "MISSING" poster:

Cuckoo lady seemed quite overjoyed to see me again as, after all, I had been presumed dead, so I put on one of my better poses for her:

But deep down I was mortified, as my dirty little secret would soon be discovered. I had made a really bad judgment call by ditching the family and was now a total OUTCAST. That's me, way off in the distance, the shame, the shame!!! Cuckoo lady's tears of joy soon turned to tears of sadness:

Mrs. Corn fed the rest of the family this awesome corn delicacy, while I was relegated to staying away:

Any time I tried to get closer to the family to ask for mercy and their forgiveness, I was shunned, but mom's hatred of me was the worst. Cuckoo lady gets an action shot of mom's take-off:

Then I had to suffer the indignity of a public banishment by mom, as I apparently got too close to the family:

I hid behind the cattails as mom returned to the family, acting as if nothing had happened:

And here I was, all alone, all by myself, totally humiliated:

So Mr. Corn tried to quietly slip me some nibblies on the side without the family knowing:

But that didn't go so well for me either, as I was forced to make a hasty retreat when mom chased me off, that's me, aka OUTCAST, swimming away from everyone:

I still stuck around in the distance, but it sure was tough watching everyone else enjoy the meal without me. Ahhhh, if I could do it all over again...

Cuckoo lady was ooo-ing and awww-ing over how much my sibs' feathers had changed, although there really was no need to, as our gray-brown plumage stays that way into our first summer:

Cuckoo lady even got caught up in the feeding frenzy and thanked Mrs. Corn for taking this pic of her feeding the rest of my family, while I'm still way, way off in the distance:

The Swan Lady in Burlington has since told Cuckoo lady and the Corns that if they get to know the rest of my family well enough, they'll eventually be able to recognize the hairy  feathery eyeball or evil eye that is cast my way if I get too close to them. This may well be one of those looks:

And so it goes with my sad life, I now know that I've made a huge mistake by leaving my family and find myself wondering if I'll ever be accepted back by them. Sometimes I still hang out with my family, trying to make amends and patch things up, but other times I choose to stay away. I'm a nobody, an avis non grata. I'm way below the bottom of the pecking order, I'm off the grid.  

I'm all by myself.