Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mark the Bird...

In my salad days, I paid little attention to birds. My attitude towards feeding them was similar to the banker in Mary Poppins who urges the boy who wants to spend his tuppence on birdseed to open a bank account. "Feed the birds, and you know what you've got? Fat birds."

When I moved in with Worldwide, she had a bird feeder just off the patio, and, since the television and the sofa were close to the door, I couldn't help but be aware of the activity outside. Slowly I developed an interest in identifying the visitors, and, with the help of our Peterson guide, I soon recognized them all, and even grew to appreciate subtleties like the nuthatches' unique approach (upside down) and the woodpeckers' love of peanuts.

As we've moved around, the feeder has accompanied us, and I've enjoyed encountering new species. Although cervine and sciurid interlopers currently consume approximately 90% of our birdseed, we persevere, and have welcomed the Carolina Wren, the Indigo Bunting and the Rufous Towhee into our world. But lately, with the chimney swifts off to Darkest Peru, a new bird has appeared. Largely unremarkable, except for his ground speed, I have pegged him as a brown thrasher, described thusly by Wikipedia:
The Brown Thrasher is bright reddish-brown above with thin, dark streaks on its buffy underparts. It has a whitish-colored chest with distinguished teardrop-shaped markings on its chest. Its long, rufous tail is rounded with paler corners, and eyes are a brilliant yellow. Its bill is brownish, long, and curves downward. 
Check out my "buffy underparts"

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