This is me, swanning off
My research proposal received the American Ornithological Union’s $2,500 grant - a grant that I had to compete for against post-docs and doctoral candidates!!

how do I even reply without flailing though

kageillusionz said: -flies tiny internet spaceship towards you-





pangeasplits said: hehe I saw you liking a few things now and then!! and I figured you were very busy with grad school and real life, but I’m glad to hear that you are doing well/better!

That is true. XD Although since my research can’t be done until the birds start laying, it’s mostly been my horrible internet spaceship addiction… Well grading too. Which I should go do now. I’m so behind omg D:


palalife said: Welcome back!!!!! (hugs) Putting it on hold if writing them doesn’t give you joy! AND CAPTAIN AMERICA IS AMAZING AHH

Right?? One of the things therapy helped me with was realizing that I had started writing for other people, not for myself, which made it so much more stressful than it should have been! An important lesson learned, to be sure. But I’ll get back to it when I want to. c:

AND IT IS OMG. I disliked the first Captain America and didn’t much care for Cap in the Avengers, but I think what he really needed was a good foil. Obviously a good foil means different things to different people since a lot of people liked him before too but this movie suited his character a lot more. XD


intowhiteness said: Welcome back! Utopia remains one of my all-time favorites, and I really don’t mind waiting for you to finish it. Take your time; the fandom is very patient, and maybe DoFP will indeed help, after all. :)

Yay! I hope so too. Part of why I haven’t (as one of my anon asks has requested) just posted how they end is because I really do want to finish them and am holding out hope for DoFP to rekindle that passion. Unfortunately I’ve seen XMFC so many times now that it’s hard to watch. XD But there is hope!!


tahariels said: Hello stranger :) glad to hear you’re doing better and haven’t been frozen in a glacier for 70 years *hugs*

wait let’s not count anything out - I mean it’d be pretty awesome to be frozen for 70 years and then be alive again so maybe I’d want that huh?? :o


:DDDDDD Ohhh? Would you mind telling me more about these weird nestling dynamics?

Lol okay but it might be kind of sad. XD Basically, Red-winged Blackbirds practice something called obligate brood reduction - unlike most birds, they’ll start incubating their clutch (usually 4-5 eggs) about halfway through laying, so the first-laid eggs hatch first and those nestlings are bigger and stronger than the later. Those “core” nestlings grow faster and beg more intensely, while the “marginal” nestlings are smaller, weaker, and often don’t get the food reward for their begging efforts. Sometimes, if one of the core nestlings dies, one of the marginal nestlings may replace it, but for the most part the marginal nestlings don’t survive to fledging except for in the very best years (even though the blackbirds are physical capable of raising all four, if their clutches are manipulated artificially to contain all birds of the same age).

It’s not really understood why they bother laying the extra if they’re just going to die anyway and the marginal chicks don’t often get a chance to replace core nestlings, but one (generally well-accepted) thought is that it might be a way of soliciting extra attention from the parents for the core nestlings. Bird parents tend to evaluate the health of their brood based on the surface area of the gaping mouths when they come to a nest, plus the intensity of the brood’s begging, so the extra mouths + begging is hypothesized to provide an added stimulus to the parents to bring more food. So, even though the core nestlings have to share, they get more food over all, and if there’s an accident there’s an extra nestling to take its place.

Oddly enough, this model of core/marginal nestlings is most strongly present in offspring of the Brown-headed Cowbird, who are raised in a host bird’s nest and are often larger and hatch earlier than their competition, but don’t eject their nestmates like the Common Cuckoo does. As someone who works with one of the top three names in Brown-headed Cowbird research I can assure you that the dominant thought in the cowbird field has been, for a long time, that cowbirds would be better off eliminating competition and that (based on conventional wisdom) any nestling competition is bad.

The research I’m doing, however, and what a few other people have started to do, is looking at it more from the standpoint of the Red-winged Blackbird: that the cowbird nestling actively needs the other host nestlings in order to help it solicit enough food from the parents. So even though it gets a smaller share of the food, it gets more food overall.


“If you could pick any other Marvel superhero for the Winter Soldier to fight, who would it be and why?”

Steve: Where are we going?
Bucky: The future.

Two of my three budgies. The real reason I de-lurked: more places to post photos of my pets awwwww yiss

Two of my three budgies. The real reason I de-lurked: more places to post photos of my pets awwwww yiss

pandabomb said: “hello again!! and don’t worry about fic, you have your health and plenty of other priorities to care for. whatever makes you happy!”

These days… Shooting people, mostly. Shooting people in their Internet spaceships and harvesting their tears



These Red-winged Blackbirds riding around on a Red-tailed Hawk. Incredible! Apparently this isn’t all that uncommon. Read more about it on the source’s website.

As the photographer points out, they only settle on there for a moment in the midst of normal mobbing behavior.

Those little guys are one of my study species! :D


a basketful of baby birds (source) happy easter!