Thursday, April 1, 2010

The extraordinary beauty of ordinary birds



I have not been on any birding adventures since last weekend. Yesterday my husband and I went walking at Parklands (Merwin Nature Preserve) after work. I didn't really see many birds -- perhaps the time of day was wrong. I did see my first eastern towhee of the year (and hear him cry drink-your-tea!).

This morning I THOUGHT I saw a warbler when I pulled up into the parking lot at work -- little bird, flitting all over the tree; for a minute I thought it was a yellow-rumped warbler. But I didn't get that good a look, alas.

In any case, it would be hard to surpass the excitement of the prairie chickens last Monday. So to satisfy my bird-impulse for the day I thought of the quiet happiness of average bird encounters.

From last July 23 in my bird journal: "A little disappointed in how few species I saw--so many robins, wrens, mourning doves! -- but I was also struck by the extraordinary beauty of ordinary birds: the flame-red of a cardinal, the contrasting black around his beak, and goldfinches, surely the color of happiness. Who could not want to admire them, no matter how common they might be?"

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