Saturday, August 10, 2013

Crazy About Captivity

Captivity is the name of the game this summer. A lot of different factors have kept me captive for the past few weeks - work, deadlines, scheduling, health matters, heat waves - and my best birding for some time has been with birds just as captive as myself. On a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, I had the cutest of captive moments: my first encounter with a piping plover.

It was a smaller bird than I'd expected, despite my familiarity with it through a range of field guides, news stories, and other resources. But it was fierce, chasing around its exhibit to discourage any other birds from usurping its space, and diligently guarding the space it had decreed as its own. Just like the black-capped chickadee that boldly guards its tree in my backyard and loudly warns off all intruders, or the rufous hummingbird that aggressively chases away all interlopers near any of the hummingbird feeders, it seems the smaller the bird, the bigger the attitude, and the bigger the impression it can make on any birder. I won't soon forget this little plover, and I look forward to the day - whenever it may be - that I can add it to my life list.

Do you know where to see captive birds to enjoy more exotic species?

No comments: