Sunday, January 27, 2013

On the avian front …

… Nigeness: Thrushes, Darkling and Otherwise.

My garden feeder seems to have become the restaurant of choice for the neighborhood's house sparrows. I suppose this should bother me, but it doesn't. Every now and then, especially during migration, other birds stop in. But I noticed the other day while out during errands that a few blocks from here great numbers of robins (the American thrush) congregating along one street. There's a very small park nearby, so maybe that explains it. I used to see more mourning doves around here than I have of late. But just a few days ago, while walking up Ninth Street at dusk, I heard a cry overheard and there right above was a peregrine falcon streaking somewhere. We have starlings (not as many as we had many years ago — they introduced the falcons to cut down on their numbers — they had made quite a nuisance of themselves at  City Hall (though never as much, it seemed to me, as the politicians infesting the building).
I don't worry much about official tallies. I remember years ago, when I was on the copy desk at The Inquirer, getting a story about some birds the National Audubon Society had put on its Philadelphia watch list. One was a finch I had never heard of — and obviously had never seen in Philadelphia — and the other was the Cerulean Warbler. Any Cerulean in Philly is probably lost — though I did see some upstate a few years ago, which is where you might see them. High in the forest tress, very small, and moving constantly.

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