Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Birds of a Feather...

The following post is just me geeking out about birds.
You have been warned.

I like birds.
Back in the day in Chicago, my roommate Bill and I had two finches that were named Kenny and Dolly.
They were cute.  
Messy, but cute.  
When one would die we would replace it with a new Kenny or Dolly.

I later had a parakeet named Sal-Salad Bar-Sally.

Again, cute, but messy.
It is hard to have birds in the house with cats, though.

So from now on I will just say I enjoy bird watching.
It's a quiet passive thing to do.
We have a bird feeder set up right outside our large dining room window.
A bird bath is there, too.
I've learned over the years to know the different calls that birds make.
For a while we had a catbird that lived in a tangle of trees down by our mailbox and every time I went to retrieve the mail, I heard a cat calling from the woods down there. 
But all I ever saw was this grayish looking bird. 
I hit up one of the many bird books and, lo and behold, it was a catbird. 
Fun stuff, folks.  
I'm serious when I say that.

We get cardinals, woodpeckers, blue jays, blue birds, sparrows, swallows, the ever funny named tufted titmouse, doves, the very cool cedar waxwing, the amazing to see goldfinch, not to mention the magnificent indigo bunting bird.  I could go on and on really.  
We have an awesome book called Illinois Bird Watching by Bill Thompson, III and Chad has marked off which birds we have seen.  
He totally gets geeked out by the birds. 
Something that he thought would NEVER happen to him.
It's hard for him to just sit and watch birds.
But, he's gotten more tired as his duties on the farm have expanded and now I think he relishes the time he has to just sit and be still and watch nature unfurl itself in front of him.
He's the one who first spotted the Great Horned Owls by our barn.
Who later liked to drink out of our kiddie pool.

We also have an array of large birds around us...
Turkey Vultures
Red Tail Hawks
The Owls, of course
and the occasional Turkey...

Oh wait, that's just Gigi.

But we have seen a lot of wild turkeys over the years in our yard.
I'm just sayin', it's hard to take picture of wild turkeys from in the house from really far away.
They scare easily.


Just a few days ago I saw a large mass of white birds circling in a clump over the cemetery and at first I thought they were gulls, but then they started to form a somewhat messy V, so I though they may be snow geese.  But as they went over our pasture, they didn't make a noise.  That's when I knew I had just seen a group of pelicans flying over me.  It was cool.  I told you this was a geek-out for me.

A few years ago a mallard duck couple kept hanging around in our side yard.  
In the last few weeks a crow couple has been at our feeder, eating what they find on the ground.  I saw one cawing into the air and shortly thereafter another one showed up.  They have been around for weeks.  They are huge, too.  Bigger than our biggest cat.    

So, I'm done with my rant about birds.
Try sitting in a park or your own yard and see what birds you see.
It's kind of fun and relaxing as we get older to just be.
Just to be with nature and to smile at it's splendor.   

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