Book of Birds

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Author’s Note

I mean, at this point, everyone who knows me knows how much I’ve gotten into birds. I’m starting to relate to Owen Wilson’s character in The Big Year when he says it’s not just a hobby, “it’s more of a calling.”  

Song Sparrow

When I was a kid my doctor dad always carried a Song Sparrow in his pocket. And it would sing out beautifully whenever someone was in need of help. Tweet Tweet Tweet Triiilll! It would go, and then my dad would hafta rush off to help them no matter what.

We Wanted It to Be Something Else

We went out on the trail hoping to find birds we’d never found before.

“What if we see a California Condor?” I said.

“What if we see a Bohemian Waxwing?” she said.

“What if we see an Orange Bishop?”

“What if we see a Phoenix?

“A Phoenix. The mythical firebird, who bursts into flames and is reborn out of the ashes.”

“Yesss. Want that one.”

Summer Tanager Montgomery

I'm gonna name my first daughter
after the prettiest bird in Arizona
‘Summer Tanager’

What Are You Seeing?

Black Capped Chickadee
abundant North American bird
in all four seasons

The Deranged Grackle

For a couple days in October there were a lot of Common Grackles on the big tree outside our building. The shiny, purple-headed, yellow-eyed blackbirds were on every branch making their typical cacophony of squeaky gate calls. As it was migration season, they soon all vanished… except for the deranged one.

A Cardinal in Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush

Near where I grew up in Ohio there was a nature center where you could buy a small bag of seeds, pour a few in your palm, and wait for Black-Capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice to land and eat them right out of your hand.

French Whimbrel

I went out for a walk on Easter morning, and all the houses in the nice Boulder neighborhoods had their windows open wide with the scent of French Toast wafting out.

Rock Throwers

Canada/Cackling Geese and trying to find the one out of place Snow Goose for your county year list. It’s just a lot of white and black and gray to sift thru often at far distances before one small white head with pink bill pops out.

Angel of Finch Death

Yesterday I saw what appeared to be a dazed and injured house finch.

It was just sitting there on the ground in the back yard and didn’t even move when I got close.

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