Bird Facts and Fiction
When I met my wife she was an avid birdwatcher. I had heard about birds. I knew that some of them fly. Some don't. I had always considered myself a knowledgeable person on most aspects of life and I thought I knew quite a bit about the bird world.
A few examples of my knowledge were:
Larry Bird played for the Celtics for many years.
Turkeys are bigger than chickens. Both make delicious sandwiches.
I thought penguins were fish or mammals. (They didn't fly to Antarctica...duh!)
Actually, that's about the extent of my bird learning.
I did learn a few new things about these little creatures.
Did you know bat were not birds? (They fly!!!)
I thought penguins were fish! (They didn't fly to Antarctica!...DUH!)
Did you know Robins could fly? (I thought they just hopped every where.)
Cardinal's are actual bird!!! (I had never seen a live one.) I thought they were a mythical or extinct bird. They do exist. I have seen them.. I have taken pictures of them.) As Yogi Berra said " you can see a lot by observing."....perhaps George Dubbaya said that. It was all very confusing.
My little French sweetie thought it would a great idea to go to a spot in Montreal where there were nature trails. We would see some birds and enjoy nature. We paid 4$ CD (the french way) each to see a chickadee. I think we saw more birds in the parking lot.
I saw a Ford Thunderbird, AMC Hawk and a Plymouth Roadrunner parked.
It was time to upgrade my knowledge base on birds. My wife presented me with "The Audubon Field Guide for Birds." I found out that there are a few more classes of birds than I thought.
My categories were: Flying Birds and non flying birds, edible birds and not so tasty birds. Any previous book I had about birds was a cookbook.
Since my "Little Chickadee" introduced me to birdwatching, I have discovered a whole new world. A world that was flying by my head every day and I was not noticing any of it. Once you start noticing it is a "wow" experience. A "wow" world. Some birds are very intelligent (Parrots, Crows) others are dumber than Dodos (Dodos, Mourning Doves are not real clever). Some soar like Eagles (Eagles, Pelicans) Some hop around a lot but can actually fly (Robins). Some think they can fly and give it an occasional try. (Turkey). Mockingbirds seem to have an identity crisis. (Who am I? What am I?)
I enjoy watching the sanderlings on the beach. They are constantly trying to avoid the surf. They run in and out trying to avoid the surf while they are trying to find food.
When they get home at night they are too tired to eat. What a life that must be.
Birdwatching can be a lot of fun. A few things you might need:
- Some type of bird book like Birds of North America by National Geographic or Audubon Field guide. There are many other good ones.
- Binoculars 8 by 40, 10 by 40
- Note pad and pen: record the day you saw that yellow bellied Sapsucker.
- digital camera: Was that really a Yellow bellied Sapsucker?
- Pith Helmet (optional)
- Nerdy Companion (optional)
- an interest in expanding your horizons. (absolutely necessary)