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Curious Kestrels~


Are rare for me to find.


This pair was mating on the rooftops in Alsace France.


Kestrels are a type of falcon that live all over the world.


These were photographed in Canada and France.

Kestrels will hunt and nest in populated areas if prey is available.


They don’t bother building their own nests, preferring to steal other bird nests!


They often hover in mid-air over prey, before dropping to consume them.

Cheers to you from the quite handsome French & Canadian Kestrels~

Mandarins in Baden-Baden~


These guys weren’t part of my plan for the day!


I was going to show you Baden-Baden,

but the Mandarins got in my way!

Why are Mandarin Ducks swimming wild in Germany you may well wonder?


Although Mandarin Duck populations are dwindling in their native Russia and Asia, some escapees from captivity are breeding in the wild in Germany and The UK. I happened upon these guys today on the Oos River in Baden-Baden Germany.


So, it is cheers to you, and Happy Spring, from the gorgeous German Mandarins~

Alsatian Heart~


Pair of White Storks mating in Alsace France. (Click on photos to view full size).

The White Stork is the beloved emblem of the Alsace region of France and appears in symbols and art everywhere in the region.


Yet, by mid-1970, there were only ten mating pairs of White Storks left in Alsace.


They were virtually extinct in this area, although thriving in other parts of the world.


Today, due to local co-operative conservation efforts, there are now an estimated 600 mating pairs of White Storks in Alsace.


Stork populations were decimated mostly by power line electrocution and habitat destruction.

I was fortunate to see this pair in the process of mating and nest-building.

When we returned to our apartment after a day of stork watching, I photographed a pair of local falcon’s mating on a nearby balcony. It is springtime in France after all! Vive La France!

White Storks mate for life, and return to the same nests each year.

Cheers to you from Alsace’s beautiful, White Storks~

Flown Away~


Yep, we just did it again. It seems as as normal as staying home.There is so much to miss leaving The Holler.

The year round Holler hummers are brave in an non-conformist way, they choose not to migrate thousands of miles across the Gulf of Mexico, but to stay year round with us at The Holler, despite winter temps that frequently fall well below freezing and could easily kill them.

Other migrating travelers visit us seasonally.


There are four hummers that lived at The Holler year-round this year. These are two of them. They rely on our feeders and bugs to keep them alive year round.

Now we have flown off before the full complement of spring unfolds, missing all The Holler spring has to offer. Don’t worry, family remain at The Holler while we are away, to take care of all our critters including the birds.


I look forward to blogging as I travel and hope you will come along with me.

You make traveling a lot more fun and interesting!

3 Flights, 22 hours traveling time, and here we are,

ready to head further east.

Cheers to you from ancient Athens~
(Please do be patient iwth me if I am slower in responding, or unable to follow your blogs as closely as I would like, due to the realities of travel.)

Holler Blues~

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All Holler critters are ecstatic drought is done!
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California Scrub Jay is normally quite shy.
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But winter drought seed shortages,
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draw him close for Holler hand-outs!
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Giving us an up-close glimpse,
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of happy winter blues!
Cheers to you from The Holler’s joyful jays~

Wave Chasers~

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Sandpipers play,

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chasing waves.
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They catch lunch,
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on the run.

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For sandpipers,

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life is always a beach!
Cheers to you from the lucky sandpipers at Moro Bay California~