Monday, January 12, 2009

Singing for New Species

Yet another walk by the Provo River, and yet another bird to add to the life list. On Sunday, my husband and I enjoyed a two hour walk along the river, albeit in a more wooded area in the canyon, not near the lake shore. I am a fortunate birder in that I have a very patient husband, who didn't mind the twenty minutes I spent observing, photographing, and making notes on one small sparrow. That tiny bird is a song sparrow, and the most recent addition to my life list.

Song sparrows are relatively solitary birds, and this one was quite content to feed along the rocks in a narrow throat of the river. His long tail, facial markings, and quick two-footed hop to feed were very distinctive and also made him a joy to observe.

Far too often, birders fail to appreciate the diversity of birds in their own regions. We may all wish to see what to us seem like more exotic species from other geographical areas, but we are each privileged to share space with a wide variety of birds in our own backyards. Whether you define "backyard" as being anywhere close enough for a leisurely walk or just within the confines of your property, you can befriend many birds to share that space.

What are your favorite birding spaces? Vote in the January poll!


Ryan O'Donnell said...

My favorite birding locations aren't listed as options in your poll. I love how the "best" birds tend to show up in the "worst" places. Some of my favorite birding locations are landfills and sewage treatment plants! In Cache County, for example, those are the best places to find rare gulls and lost sea ducks.

Melissa said...

Fabulous point, Ryan. Birds will often show up in places you don't expect, and if those places aren't the most popular with humans, they're likely to attract more birds because they're less disturbed. Thanks for sharing!