Monday, January 4, 2016

A Word About Birds

Awe-inspiring!

Watching them is good for the soul. They are beautiful creatures, and stunning in their variety.

Check out this YouTube video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for a splendid sampling of what birds bring to our world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy2LH4MCx_U&feature=share

Watching this video reminded me to circle four days on my 2016 puppy-dog calendar: Friday, February 12 through Monday, February 15. That weekend for Valentine hearts and flowers is when the Great Backyard Bird Count will occur worldwide for bird-watchers of all ages and levels of expertise. Watchers can record the birds they see at birdcount.org and help researchers at the Cornell Lab and the National Audubon Society study how birds are faring and sometimes changing habitats. It's free and fun, and you can participate for as little as 15 minutes a day or as long as you like.

In preparation for this great event, I am naming the Brown Thrasher my bird of the day. I've seen some of these reddish-brown beauties in recent days near underbrush and my backyard feeder. My South Carolina Birds guide from Lone Pine Publishing points out that because this bird nests close to the ground, it defends its nest furiously, even attacking snakes. In addition, the Brown Thrasher "is capable of producing up to 3,000 distinctive song phrases -- the most extensive vocal repertoire of any North American bird." Wow! So it's more melodious than the Mockingbird? I never would have guessed it.

Obviously, I need to do a lot more reading up on birds before the big count begins.

                                        © Robert G. Holland  2016

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