The Mystery Bird, A Herniated Disk, and Kindle Quality Control


I’ve mentioned before that when the weather is nice, I work outside in my backyard where we have six bird feeders… and with bird feeders comes bird watching. I get a variety of birds that I see all the time; house finches, goldfinches, cardinals, doves, red-wing black birds, stupid house sparrows (I hate them), downy woodpeckers, red bellied woodpeckers, chickadees, blue jays, titmouse, a few warblers, grey catbirds, ruby throated hummingbirds, and occasionally an oriel. Several years ago I downloaded the Audubon app and began keeping a bird sighting record. I love the app because you can use it to help identify birds. This year though, a mystery bird showed up. I’ve seen it a couple of times now and I have no idea what it is and neither does the internet or the Audubon app. It is hummingbird sized, so smaller than a warbler or finch… the back is black as is the belly, but the throat is bright bright yellow. I at first thought it was a ruby throated hummingbird, because it moved like a hummingbird and was small like a hummingbird. I have a ton of irises near my hummingbird feeders and irises produce yellow pollen, so I thought maybe the hummingbird had been feeding on the irises and that accounted for the yellow throat and maybe I just didn’t see it in enough light to distinguish the back feather colors which are dark green on ruby throated hummingbirds. Then a few days later, I saw it again on a sunny day. The back feathers are black and not dark green or brown. Also with the second sighting the throat was absolutely yellow and not the result of pollen from the irises. Except there is not a black and yellow hummingbird as far as I can tell and I spend enough time watching the birds that I don’t believe I would confuse a hummingbird hovering near a feeder with a warbler. However, I concede there are two warblers that match the color pattern I saw a yellow-rumped warbler (although it seems to have more white than the bird I saw) and Goldman’s Warbler. The Goldman’s warbler is not a migratory South American bird, so it couldn’t have been that, but it actually matches what I saw better than the yellow-rumped warbler simply because as I said the yellow-rumped has more white than the bird I saw. There is also the problem of the warbler being a much bigger bird than what I saw. I’ve tried to get pictures of it each time I’ve seen it, but it’s fast (like a hummingbird) and skittish (like a hummingbird) and I can’t zoom in close enough with the camera on my phone to get a picture. So a friend of mine offered to loan me one of her trail cameras, because her cameras take pictures of birds, even hummingbirds all the time. I’m hoping I can get a picture of the mystery bird as well as have a photographic record of all the other birds I get at my feeders using it.

I have herniated my L1 disk in my spine. I’m supposed to be on minimal activity as a result, but that’s been hard to maintain. I have been writing quite a bit though while letting it heal. I need about 40,000 more words to finish the next Dreams novel. I have two non-D&R and non-NN related books in progress as well.

Did you know if you are reading an ebook on a Kindle device, if you find a mistake (spelling, grammar, plot) in a book, you can flag it and report it to the author? If a book has enough errors flagged by readers, Amazon creates a report and sends it to the author (otherwise the errors just show up on a quality control dashboard Amazon provides to authors). I have received 2 during my time as an author one for Dysfunctional Dreams and one for Oh My Wizard. I’ve had other errors appear on my dashboard and I always fix them immediately and reupload the revised copy of the book when they happen. No there is a caveat to that, I didn’t realize what it was until recently (the quality control dashboard) and so didn’t fix the 9 reported errors in Demonic Dreams until a few days ago. So if you read my books on a Kindle device (paperwhite, Kindle Pro, whatever) and you come across an error that jerks you out of the story don’t be afraid to flag and report it! I attempted to report an error using the PC Kindle app and couldn’t, I also can’t report the error in the iPhone Kindle app. Editors are human and make mistakes and miss stuff, so if something breaks into the story for you and you are using a Kindle device to read on, report it so it can be fixed.

2 thoughts on “The Mystery Bird, A Herniated Disk, and Kindle Quality Control

  1. So sorry to about your back. Not an easy injury to manage. I hope you heal quickly.

    Good to know about the kindle correction feature! I had no idea it was possible to report errors. Thanks for the tip!

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  2. I’m sorry for your back. My mother had that several years ago.
    About the birds, we live just S. of Wichita Ks and for the last couple of years we’ve been seeing a 1/2 white Starling. Now I’m like you only with these birds. But a white one is very odd. I have photos and video of it and I believe it’s a female. I believe it’s just the 1 pair but they keep coming by the feeders.

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