I love birds. Well, the inside ones are fine, but I mean the ones outside. I remember when I was just a tiny girl my sister had a series of four small bird books with room in the back of each book for making notations about birds seen. She put up a bird feeder outside her window in the winter and I remember watching, fascinated, the cardinals, tufted titmice and chickadees, among others, who visited the feeder regularly. Every bird seen was recorded in her books and I wanted to do that too when I got older. But when I got older, I didn’t. I still noticed birds and looked up ones I saw that were unfamiliar to me, made a mental note and let it go at that, not recording them anywhere. But birding seriously was something I planned to get into, someday.
My daughter recently expressed an interest in birding and has gotten several books, a pair of binoculars and went on a local Audubon Society bird walk. She came home excitedly, having seen about 20 species of birds, combed through her notes and recorded them in her bird journal. Her interest has stimulated my interest again, so I plan to participate in local birding events from time to time as well. As it is, I’m currently making a point of noticing more birds in general. Unfortunately, with all the construction and remodeling work still going on in our area, some birds have been driven away, but so far since we’ve been in Oregon I can say I’ve seen robins, crows, Western Scrub-Jays, song sparrows, Black-Capped Chickadees, Oregon Juncos, Cedar Waxwings, Steller’s Jays and Anna’s Hummingbirds. I still miss some eastern birds, particularly cardinals, but I’ve come to appreciate these western bird species.
Today I saw a new bird; new to me, anyway. I was walking home earlier, having crossed a nearby wooden footbridge, when a small yellowish/olive/grayish bird landed on the sidewalk about 10 feet in front of me, stood very still and observed me for several seconds, then flitted away. I checked the bird book when I got home and felt sure I’d seen a Hutton’s Vireo. There is a similar bird called a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, and the female has no red on the crown, making it look a lot like the vireo, but the behavior of this bird was more like a vireo; kinglets “flick” their wings and tail feathers a lot, this one didn’t. Here’s a picture (courtesy of Pacific NW Birder)
It’s always exciting to see a new bird, to learn about its range, habits, sounds. Okay, so I’m for the birds!