Saturday, May 20, 2006

Where did you come from?

I started this blog because my sister was writing an article about blogging and I wanted to be able to help her with some of the technical details. After the initial startup, my blog languished. I posted test posts. I posted disjointed ramblings. And then a hummingbird decided to make her nest in a bush in my back yard. I had something to write about! I started making daily posts, and my sister would stop by to see the latest pictures. She told her scrapbooking friends, one of whom is a serious birder who, in turn, told her birding friends. I told the people at the Infotec Eagle Nest web site. And people stopped by to see the hummingbirds.

Now that the nest is empty and gone, I haven't had an awful lot to say. (I still need to write a post about the big Where's George Las Vegas gathering!) But I've noticed from my counter statistics that people are finding my blog from queries at various search engines. I get a lot of hits from people who've searched for "hummingbird web cam" or "hummingbird baby pictures" or other hummingbird-related search phrases. Some people have found me by searching for some unusual hummingbird-related phrases like "wind blows hummingbird out of nest" or "what if mother hummingbird won't stay on nest at night" or "hummingbird gestation period." (I mentioned "gestation period" early on in my nest posts, but I should have said "incubation period." I'm glad I'm not the only one who came up with the wrong terminology.)

Then there are the more puzzling phrases. One person recently searched for "super glue bird beaks." What on earth?! Yep, I joked about super gluing the babies to the nest, so Google helpfully pointed that person to my blog. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they were looking for information about fixing broken beaks -- I understand it's been done with pet birds.

One person actually searched for "What's going on in Amy's head." Oh, my! It's as if that person were looking for me. With such a specific phrase, they must be looking for me. How did they hear about me? Who told them to search for my blog's name? Why did they come here? I'm so curious! (And flattered!)

Speaking of which, it's always a thrill to see that one of my visitors came from an e-mail link. The way my counter software works, I can see the last ten "referrers," the pages that linked to mine. If the referring page is something like or, then that means someone clicked on a link in an e-mail. So who's writing to whom about me? What are they saying? And should I be flattered or paranoid?

Back to the search phrases. The ones that really get me are the ones that have no connection to my blog. Someone once came here after searching for "little boy webcam." That one makes me shudder. I once mentioned that I thought one of the hummingbirds was a little boy, and I talked up the webcam while it was active. That's how they got here, but I hope they didn't find what they were really looking for. More recently, someone looked for "my sister's head has been blown off." I have no idea what they were looking for, but my web page came up as the second selection for that word combination. My sister was a little startled by that one.

So how did you stumble across my blog? I'm glad you got here and I hope you check back, even though my hummingbird babies are grown and gone.


At 5/21/2006 7:44 PM, Blogger Gwyn said...

Well, I think you know how I got here, but I have never really looked at the search phrases people use to find mine. After reading this entry, perhaps it's just as well?

At 5/30/2006 10:43 PM, Blogger Bay in TN said...

Thank heaven I had your help starting the blog thing. I still wonder if I can change the name of mine, since I don't travel as much as the name implies. Remember when I called you, crying over the complexities of setting up a blog? OK -- yeah, that was four or five times at the end of that particular December.... Still! It was fun! ...Once I got over the trauma of adding a counter, that is...

Thank you for helpin' a sister out!

At 6/30/2006 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know how I got here too.

Bay! She's the missing link! :)


At 7/08/2006 4:28 PM, Anonymous Harold said...

I got here legitimately enough by trying to find out the length of a cardinal's gestation period. Thanks for providing that info and for the link to Cornell University's bird info site. I also peeked around at much of what you have to say and the photos, and liked it all. I think you overrate your weirdness. What I would say is that you are very interesting and an excellent communicator.

At 4/18/2008 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got here by looking for cardinal gestation. Will try other sites, but got a lot of fun out of reading your comments.

At 5/23/2008 7:11 AM, Blogger Tiggerdell said...

Help! We have a cardinal nest in a small tree in a pot on our porch - it is very unstable and the nest might fall! We would like to fashion a hammock to support the nest but are afraid the mama cardinal might then abandon the nest. Any ideas?

At 5/23/2008 7:18 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Hi, Tiggerdell,

I've read that it's a myth that mother birds will abandon babies because they smell wrong. Most birds (except raptors) don't have a sense of smell!

On the other hand, I'd want to be very careful about disturbing a nest in any way. Instinct tells birds that if a "predator" has invaded a nest then the site is dangerous and they may abandon it. (One wishes the same "danger" instinct would tell them not to build nests on unstable locations!)

But I'm afraid I really can't advise you here. I wish I knew more! I do hope your nest survives and that the cardinals hire an architect next time!


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