Sunday, August 16, 2009

For the Birds

I tend to obsess about topics I am interested in. For instance, cooking and eating (see every post from yesterday back to 2004) Currently, I am obsessed with learning about birds. This photo was taken in our back yard. It's one of a pair of hawks that come to visit our giant maple and eat the little brown birds who are happily feeding in the front. I have seen a hawk decapitate a sparrow in the tree right outside my living room window. The hawks are coming back regularly now. It's a smorgasbord of little brown birds.

I have two bird books: one is lost and one is not very great. For instance, today there were two birds on the feeder with long beaks, black and gray markings on the wings, and rusty brown marks on their tummies, and the closest I could come to identifying them is that they are some kind of warbler. Maybe.

I gave my parents the book I want Birds of Minnesota and Wisconsin for Christmas. But, really I should have kept a copy for myself because while they have an enormous bird feeding system, and have tons of birds, they don't care so much what kind they are.

I am obsessed with birds of late, and I know I am not alone. Me and a lot of seniors are into the birds. I would never have birds in my home, but I like looking at them outside, nibbling away at the three feeders. Hiding from the hawks. I am not quick enough with the reference guide and have definitely missed out in identifying a bright blue bird in early summer. All blue. No black. No white. Not an indigo bunting, but what? See? Obsessed.

My son's name, Corbin, means raven or dark as a raven. I like the corbies. The crows. The ravens. They're loud and they eat dead things, but they are so smart. I watched a crow figure out how to open a peppermint candy, once. It took about 40 pecks at the plastic, but she figured it out, and swallowed the peppermint, whole. Tricksters, the crows.

I am not an official "birder." I don't go into the field with my field glasses and my guide and my vest with a lot of pockets. But, I am not ruling it out as a future option, either.

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