Birdwatching

The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
— Song of Solomon 2:12

Is it any wonder that a woman who loves trees so much should eventually turn her attention to the birds living and dancing and nesting among those trees?

The last few weeks have brought early signs of spring and a stunning array of birds to the river, including what I believe is a Golden Eagle. I’ve spent countless hours out along the river banks taking photographs and trying to see the eagle again.

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The one time I saw the eagle up close, I had no camera or phone with me. Probably Murphy’s Law in action. When I have brought my camera with me, the eagle is either in hiding or perched across the river, too far for a good, clear photograph.

I’m no birding expert, but I have started learning the names and characteristics of an increasing number of birds. I thought you might like to come along on a virtual field trip with me to see a few of my favorites.

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An Anna’s Hummingbird, posing for the camera

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A Snowy Egret, also posing? Or simply enjoying a warm, sunny day?

I wonder if some birds are vain? If they know they’re beautiful or graceful or elegant? Perhaps all birds consider themselves so?

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A White-Tailed Kite

I’ve sent several pictures to my dad to see, and he’s convinced the White-Tailed Kite is posing for this picture above. He remarked to me that if you do an image search for White-Tailed Kites, you’ll see many photos that look as if the bird is striking its most beautiful poses for the camera.

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A shy bird, perhaps a Ring-necked duck? Or a Blue-headed Mallard that just looks purple here?

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An Acorn Woodpecker

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A hawk watches closely, alert to my camera and the dog.

This hawk flew right in front of me and perched in a nearby tree. It watched while I took photos, patiently waiting for me to go away. I’m assuming it’s a Red-tailed hawk, but those of you who are more expert than I may know better.

The Great Backyard Bird Count was this past weekend, and experts were excited about it being the first count in an El Niño year. I confess I’m glad it’s over for the year. I fell down rabbit hole after rabbit hole trying to identify birds I saw at the river. Maybe I’ll participate again when I’m retired or at least wait until I’ve learned a lot more about identifying birds.

How about you? Are you a birder? Do you go on field trips just to find birds? Do you have a favorite bird? If I had to pick a favorite right this moment, it would be the White-Tailed Kite. But tomorrow, I might give you a different answer.

9 thoughts on “Birdwatching

  1. Pingback: 2birdfeature #5 | Bird Feed

  2. Pingback: Dutch white-tailed eagles build new nest | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Since repositioning our feeder to the kitchen window, I’m seeing birds I never knew existed in Raleigh. I’m as thrilled as a child at Christmas each time a new variety settles by the window or nestles to hide in the boxwoods. I’ll let you know what my favorites are as soon as I learn to identify what I am seeing. It will be hard to choose as all of them have their own kind of beauty.

    • Feeders are so much fun, aren’t they! It’s nice, especially when you don’t feel like going outside, to be able to sit and watch all the visitors that stop by. We don’t have cardinals out here, and those are probably the birds from NC I miss the most. I look forward to hearing what your favorites are once you identify them! Here’s a great online resource for identifying birds: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search/

  4. Do you have Cornell’s Merlin ID bird app? It’s free and an awesome way to get started on the identification rabbit hole. Can’t wait to visit and see these all in person with you!

    • I don’t have that app, but it sounds like one I must download. I rely on Sibley’s and Cornell’s website, but an app would be handy when I’m out in the field and don’t want to drag the tome along with me. I’m looking forward to a visit from you, too! You’ll love the birds here.

    • That’s so true. I’m not sure why it has taken me this long to get so hooked on birdwatching. I’ve always enjoyed them, but I guess I’ve been more focused on the trees themselves.

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