Monday, June 10, 2013

Oh, So That's What It Was

There are different people in my family I go to for a reference or help with certain things. If it's fishing, or nurturing, it's Steve. For carpentry or other practical home fixin stuff, Paul. General computer stuff, Rich, but Apple stuff, Ben or Steph. For birds of the non-domesticated varieties, it's my brother, or his wife, though she's more my expert on wild native plants.

If you keep up, you know I've been consulting my brother on that mystery bird that looks like a hawk but is colored like a woodpecker. I'm till waiting for a new comprehensive field guide - not just eastern US - to arrive so I can pursue that further. But it's not the only recent bird mystery in my neck of the woods. I just wasn't aware of it.

Earlier in May my son Rich brought another bird to my attention. About the size of a finch but not brightly colored enough to be a goldfinch, I dismissed it when he pointed it out to me as being a migrating warbler. I learned long ago that there are so many going through in various combinations of yellow, black and white, or two out of three of those colors, that it simply wasn't worth my time to try to identify each and every one when I likely wouldn't spot another for years. If it's not a finch or a sparrow, it's a warbler, end of story.

This one hung around in the chokecherry hedge and kept us entertained on the two days we had last month that were dry and nice enough to have a backyard bonfire and weenie roast. Now that the mosquitoes are our and thick enough they're finding their ways into the house, I haven't bothered to go out and see if it's still around. I just assumed it wouldn't be. That's the migrating part of migrating warbler.

Then last night I got this email from my sister-in-law, George-Ann. It seems the birding world is all atwitter about this exotic new bird found in Shafer along the bike trail. It's near endangered, and not found north of southern Iowa. So big news! She even sent along directions as to just where to go on the trail to spy this rare bird, assuming it's still in the exact spot. And just so I'd know what to look for, she sent a link.

I checked it out. The bird is a Bell's Vireo ( )  and, you guessed it, it was our little misidentified warbler.


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