I and the Bird #63
When you go birding, you're never sure what's going to happen. Maybe you'll see the same birds you see every day. Not that that's a bad thing; I doubt there've been three days in a row in my life when I haven't seen a mockingbird (not counting when I was in Europe), but I still love to see them. Maybe you'll see the seasonal birds, who stick around all winter like the juncos I love, or all summer, like the geese who raise their babies at the pond. Maybe you see a transient who has no real business being here at all - how exciting is that? Or maybe he's not out of place, just hard to find - that can be the most exciting of all. But whatever you see, seeing anything is a lift to the spirit.
This I and the Bird has a mix like that - some regulars, here for every or at least most editions; some absolute newcomers, with their first offering; and some in between. We have video and still photography; wonderful words (even a poem!); birders at home and away from home; birders seeing birds they've never seen before, birds they love, birds they've been hunting their whole life, and birds they don't even know what they are; some science, some interviews, some book reviews ... and birds of every shape, size, age, and color. So settle in and enjoy.
John at DC Birding Blog has some Hits and Misses when looking for sandhill cranes.
Over at Trevor's Birding Trevor shares his Great Birding Moments #31: Glossy Ibis at last!
What would IATB be without a 10,000 Birds post? Corey shares a great moment with us in Rare Birds in Montauk: Breaking 300: "Yesterday was the day I would break 300 birds for the year in New York State. A plethora of rare-for-New York birds had been spotted way out east on Long Island."
Greg Laden wants to know: What bird is this? If you're good at guessing African birds, head on over to Greg Laden's Blog. Even if you're not, it's a very nice picture.
Tai Haku at Earth, Wind & Water shares a unique moment with us. "It all started with the noise of a baby crying; a newborn baby grey seal. I must have missed its birth by seconds but plenty of others were paying attention."
Axel Braunlich goes Birding Mongolia and on Khovd, 17 NOV 2007 finds quite a few birds - including at least one who's very far from home.
Nick Sly at Biological Ramblings saYs "I discuss size variation in gulls, after finding a very small black-headed gull" in Black-headed Gull size variation. (He shows us lots of pictures, too.)
Over at Peregrine's Bird Blog he's bragging about Another Couple of Photos in Birdwatch Magazine - you know what? He deserves to. Check out the nice pictures.
Ecobirder shows us a Snowy Owl at Tamarack Nature Center: "Of course when ever I don't have my camera with me some cool photo opportunity has to pop up...as soon as I finished work I ran home grabbed my gear and headed off to White Bear Lake."
YC Wee shares Helpless Little Heron chick: 4. Teach the bird to fish…": "It is my attempt at teaching a Little Heron chick to catch live fish prior to releasing it back into the wild when its flight feathers are fully developed." As he says, “Give the bird a fish and you feed it for a day. Teach the bird to fish and you feed it for a lifetime.”
Duncan of Ben Cruachan Blog offers "something a bit different from me this time": a bit of Doggerel with a happy ending.
Birdman shares "the joys of being grounded (both Russian birds and English bird-guide) by very welcome rain in an extremist's wildlife-friendly garden in Arusha (i.e. land of the Warusha people), in northern Tanzania" in Birds in Tanzania's Rain On Private Heligoland.
N8 at The Drinking Bird is seasonal with a post called In which I give thanks for North Carolina's birds: "All in all it was a nice morning of remembering why North Carolina birding is special, we may not have the cool winter finches or shrikes or owls that our friends up north have been drowning in this year, but our Woodpecker is a pretty good bird."
In another seasonal post, Amy Hooper of Wildbird on the Fly did some Indoor Birding when she went to relatives in Oregon for Thanksgiving: "I hadn't met one fellow, Steve. He kinda kept to himself and didn't say much that first day. I did notice him often looking through the dining room's glass sliding doors. Intrigued, I followed his gaze. Steve had his eye on the homemade feeder filled with seed."
Liza from the Egret's Nest also does some holiday traveling, and shares the Birds I Saw on my Thanksgiving Trip with us - there are plenty, too.
Wren at Wrennaissance Reflections says "I never saw a cormorant I didn't like": "Last week, I was back in Washington, DC, for a conference. The conference hotel was near the National Zoo, one of my favorite places when I lived in the area. My BFF Judy came to meet me during some down time at the meeting and we spent the afternoon hanging out with animals."
Your host here at the Greenbelt was also at a conference, mine in San Antonio. I saw quite a few Birds of the Riverwalk, some new to me and others not. Coincidentally, I too saw a cormorant!
Owlman offers us his first IATB post, If you build it they will come at Owl box - It's an owl's life!. He says, "As I mentioned previously I have had the owl box up for nearly three years now. The first two years were a bust although I did find owl pellets underneath the owl box both years. ... I corresponded with a couple of folks who have been successful at attracting Screechies. The prevailing wisdom was that clear flight path is more important than the winds. Based on the advice from the experts I moved the box on the new tree back to face west."
And so does Amila of Gallicissa. His is about a Water birds & Sea food trip in Sri Lanka: "A 2-day Water birds & Sea food trip was put together by me and Kusum (11-12 Aug, 2007) to catch the early arrivals of winter migrants & to increase our blood cholesterol levels measurably. We were joined by several of our birding buddies... Our overnight base was a private Bungalow close to Kalpitiya, named Turtle Point ... the highly sought-after Crab Plover close by. All my previous sightings of this Deccan avi-faunal zone rarity had been in the Talaimannar area in Mannar, so one of the ulterior motives of this trip was to find it in a site more accessible."
And one more IATB newcomer, TR, has gone home, From the Faraway, Nearby to Oklahoma. In Pilgrim at Canadian Creek he shares this with us: "Yesterday I spent some time exploring the banks of the Canadian River in appropriately named Canadian County when I flushed a pair of barn owls out of an old building. In all my travels by foot throughout this land I had never once encountered an owl. It has eluded me with great frustration since I was a child. Seconds later I spied a pair of great horned owls in a big Cottonwood tree - our eyes locked immediately and we held each other in a penetrating gaze that seemed to go on forever. Four owls in four minutes after 40 years of waiting and I knew this moment was mine."
Here's another newcomer who submitted a day late, but it's such a nice post that I'm adding it. So check out the free performance by Lucia at Pet Monologues. (well, the performance isn't by Lucia...)
Nick Lund has been away from IATB for a while, but he writes that he's "am starting a new blog consisting solely of interviews with birding people. My two recent interviews are with Bob Duchesne, the man who created the Maine Birding Trail, and Jed Hayden, a scientist who studied Least Bitterns in Maine." Of course you only get one ost here at IATB, so here's Bob Duchesne, but there's nothing to stop you from poking around over at The Birdist once you're there, nudge, nudge, wink, wink...
Somebody who should know better was birding in Mexico and also submitted late - but luckily for us as it's a great post. Jeff Gyr shares "Spark Birds": interviews with birders about "the bird (or birding experience) that somehow took you across the line from not-birder to birder."
GrrlScientist at Living the Scientific Life gives us one of her great book reviews: The Birder's Conservation Handbook by Jeffrey Wells: "this book presents information about the 100 most at-risk bird species in North America and what we can do to protect them."
And over at Birdfreak Birding Blog the Team are also talking about a book: A Contract With The Earth, whose goal is "to bind citizens to the issues of the environment through a wide array of efforts."
And that wraps it up for I and the Bird #63. Next time, December 13, will be at Iowa Voice. See you there, and don't forget to submit your posts.