Week End – Albion, Phoebes

882 wc

A summary of news and observations from this past week.

My Week

The ring and middle fingers of my left hand have been sore so I’ve been trying to lay off of mouse-and-keyboard gaming for a bit. (It helps that none of my current games are speaking to me right now.) I installed Bioshock Remastered and have been casually playing through it again on Easy mode with a controller. I also played a bit of The Forest on a controller, which I discovered had finally launched for reals (it’s a great game, and still has one of my favorite building systems).

You will see below that there is very little MMO news to talk about, so instead I will fill up this post with my adventures in watching a bird nest outside my back door this week. (Maybe I should put the MMO stuff at the top of the post hehe.)

I have had a lot of trouble identifying this bird but I think it's an Eastern phoebe, or at least some variation of a "flycatcher."

Last Spring I watched in fascination as a bird built a nest right outside my back door under the porch overhang, laid some eggs, raised three babies, and left, all over the course of about a month. I had never seen such a thing before, certainly not up close and personal like that. (If I’m standing at my back door, the nest is about seven or eight feet from my head.)

This year, the bird is back (quite possibly the same one), nesting in the same place. (I actually meant to try to discourage it, because it gets a bit messy toward the end, but by the time I noticed it, I figured it was too late and I didn’t want to disturb it.) Watching this year, I realized that it’s actually not just one but both parents involved with this nest. I can’t quite tell which is the male and which is the female, but there is no doubt that there are two birds bringing food to the kids.

I’m a bit worried this year because there are four babies, whereas last year there were only three babies who barely fit as they grew up. I don’t see how four of them are going to fit up there!

Last year's three baby birds shortly before they left. At this point I wondered if they would \*ever\* learn to fly.

Last year, I actually had to help the last of the three baby birds because its foot got tangled in the nest. I found it hanging down pitifully flapping against the post, so I put on some gloves and gently pulled it free and set it down on the porch, where it sat there staring at me in bewilderment for a while.

Last year, before I could return with a pair of scissors to cut away the tangle, this baby bird flew away and as far as I know went on to live a happy, healthy life. (Or possibly get eaten by a neighborhood cat five minutes later, I don't really know, but I'll just assume its still out there somewhere.)

The situation is also a bit more complicated this year because a stray cat adopted me last summer, and she likes to hang out on that very same back porch. She would not enjoy being confined indoors permanently, plus I don’t have a litter box anyway.

My cat is definitely aware of the nest, but so far isn't actively trying to get at them, and the parents merrily ignore the cat, though they chirp at her a lot. Keeping fingers crossed.

I setup a web cam to stream the bird nest on Twitch this week, mostly because I wanted to be able to watch the nest while I was sitting in my computer room. (When I go to the back door to watch in person, the parents tend to chirp at me angrily.) Here are some clips from earlier this week, before it started to rain all day, every day.

Bird feeding babies a huge dragonfly

Bird landing on my webcam

Bird parents tag-teaming parental duties

I’m trying to think of how I can use my DLSR to record or stream some video of the nest. Unfortunately it’s hard to get a good viewing from inside the house. My back door has vertical black bars on it that are quite difficult to shoot through.

Incidentally it’s very weird to me that in 2018 the easiest way I can think of to broadcast video from a web cam to another computer on my local network is to setup OBS and stream to Twitch.

So as you can see, I have a very unhealthy obsession with this bird nest right now.

In The News

Albion Online launched on Steam. It’s 34% off until May 23rd, and at $19.76 it’s actually somewhat tempting.

Elder Scrolls Online is going to give away Crown Crates for watching Twitch streamers. This earned a head scratch from me. When I see things like this, I wonder what the real motivation for the promotion is, and the only thing I can think of is to get people to voluntarily associate their Twitch accounts with their ESO accounts. Why, though, I have no idea.

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