wild life in orillia and istanbul


As I sat outside this morning listening to the morning bird song, I realized that when I was living in Istanbul, the only birds I saw or heard were the many seagulls, the doves and pigeons, and the karga, which are a sort of crow with gray wings. As for helicopters, there were a lot of police helicopters flying around, especially when there were protests, and some private ones. I saw one here tonight that was sort of wandering around, but it was not a police helicopter. Once in a while there is an ambulance helicopter transporting patients, but that is about all.


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In Istanbul in one place I lived in some doves decided to make my window box their home. The mother lay one egg which did not hatch and then another one that did hatch into a rather ugly chick. When I opened the curtain to look at it, if the mother was there, she opened her wings and made herself look bigger. One day I looked at it and the chick flew across the street to a windowsill and they never came back.

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Another time in Istanbul when I lived in a terrace flat, I watched a war between kargas and seagulls. They were on a nearby roof, lined up with about a dozen of each on either side of the roof. All of them had their wings arched back, ready to go at it. However, being smarter than humans, they just threatened and then flew off.

From the same terrace I watched a seagull who had caught a pigeon belonging to a guy a few rooftops over from me. The guy kept whistling for his beloved pigeon but it could not get away from the seagull who had it by the throat. Until then I actually did not know that seagulls killed other birds. And pigeons are a big hobby for many Turkish men. On a wall walk with a group of friends, we came across a pigeon market. Many of the pigeons had bead bracelets and some tumbler pigeons were tethered so they could fly and tumble but not get away. It is quite amazing to see these pigeons fly and do flips in the air.

tumbling pigeon at bird bazzar


And on that terrace were some baby seagulls.  Noisy and ugly!  An Armenian Turk I knew who had a workshop across the street told me that when he and his brother were kids in Galata, they would look for seagull eggs to eat. Yuck!


Here there are all sorts of birds. There is the elusive cardinal, which I hear and occasionally see. cardinal

There are lots of starlings who have been collecting twigs for their nests. Starlings are sort of a nuisance bird, but they have pretty songs and it is interesting how they click their beaks as part of it. starling

chickadeeThere are also chickadees that twirp around and robin

the robins that are full of ‘cheerios’. And there are a few seagulls and crows.crow


Although not birds, there are some black squirrels that come around. There used to be a fat gray squirrel, but he got run over. One of the black squirrels is a mama, as when she sits up I can see that she is nursing. There is one that comes within a couple of feet, carefully, as she knows I feed her.

And that is the wild life in Orillia and Istanbul.


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