Monday, July 26, 2010

On The Flight Path (more missing cockatiel)

An update on the search for our lost bird -

We had a false alarm Thursday. A lead on a found cockatiel turned out not to be our bird.

Yesterday I spotted our bird flying past th house! It was only for a few seconds, and then he flew out of sight again, leading to much calling about the neighborhood. Very exciting, and very frustrating too. Catching a bird that does not want to be caught is a difficult task.

Today we had another lead, also not our bird, but the people who found her? are moving, so we asked if we could take care of her and they agreed. Anyone else looking for a lost bird?

This photo shows male and female grey cockatiels (common or wild type). I'll get a better photo up as soon as I can.

Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ESCAPED!!! (Winged, and not at all dangerous)

Escaped on July 19th, 2010, in the vicinity of Greenway Terrace and Empire Drive, Waukesha, WI. We call him “Bird”, a Male Cockatiel, Common Grey in color, 14 years old with full flight feathers, small metal band on right leg. He is unlikely to respond to calls, but he may call to people if he wants attention.

Should you spot this bird, please call 262-565-3463 as soon as possible, so we can try to retrieve him (or email to EastwoodDC AT He is semi-tame, but not used to being handled by strangers, and may fly away if not approached carefully.

If you feel you must try to capture him yourself, one person (an adult!) should approach slowly and offer a finger for him to step onto. You can the then clasp your hands over his wings or wrap him in a towel, until you can transfer him to a secure container. Trying sneak up and throw a towel over him will only scare him away.

I realize that posting this on the internet is a real longshot, but just maybe someone will spot him and Google "Lost Cockatiel".
Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This was going to be longer

This was going to be a longer post, but then I got in a fight with the new Blogger editor, ending in my switching back to the old Blogger editor. Therefore, this post is shorter. This post was going to have a stronger theme, but I used up all my time on the aforementioned editor. Therefore, this post is a loosely themed collection of links. Take it for what it is worth.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Airspeed of an Unladen Swallow in Flight

"WHAT ... is the airspeed of a laden swallow in flight?"
One of the classic questions of science popular culture Monty Python fans, but before weighing down a 20 gram bird with the fruit of a Cocos nucifera, someone really ought to look into how they fly normally.

And of course, someone has.

"In order to maintain airspeed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?"

Actually, wrong. By comparing the European Swallow with bird species of similar body mass, we can estimate that the swallow beats its wings 18 times a second with an amplitude of 18 cm:

SpeciesBody massFrequencyAmplitude
Zebra Finch13 g27 Hz11 cm
European Swallow20 g≈ 18 Hz?≈ 18 cm?
Downy Woodpecker27 g14 Hz29 cm
Budgerigar34 g14 Hz15 cm

Check out the full article at

Or ... you could go with the original research!

Now that I think about it, I must have posted this once before. But what the heck, it's worth repeating. :-)
Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature

Friday, July 9, 2010

Now This is Progress!

Robot fetches beer. We should all have one of these.

[Hat-Tip-2 Terrence Tao (via Google Buzz)]
Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature