Thursday, June 19, 2014


I'm a little bit of a bird nerd.  Not so much that I have a life list where I check off species as I see them.  Nor have I traveled the globe in search of rare or endemic birds, hoping for a glimpse or a photograph (although I do yearn to see a blue-footed booby before I die).  But I've always been a fan of our avian friends.  Where I grew up, mourning doves, cardinals, robins & blue jays were rather common backyard birds, although I'm not sure that I fully appreciated them until after I lived in Yellowstone.  That is where I truly fell in love with birds.  Wyoming and Montana have prolific wildlife in general.  I certainly have enjoyed the mega fauna like bison and elk.  Sightings of critters like marmots and pikas always make me happy.  However, it has often been the birds that delight me most.  Everything from hooded mergansers and buffleheads to harlequin ducks and American white pelicans can make a day in the great outdoors well worthwhile.  Even mallards and Canada geese are pleasurable to watch, despite how everyday they are in many places.

There is a deck overlooking a marshy field at my workplace, and this is where I eat lunch most days.  The area is plentiful with killdeer, red-winged black birds, yellow-headed blackbirds, sparrows and meadowlarks.  Currently, there is a resident sandhill crane couple with a chick.  I occasionally see a pronghorn or two on the hillside adjacent to this area as well.  All while eating lunch.  What a gift!

This evening I thought I would share some images of birds that I've had the pleasure to watch and photograph in various places.  Hope you enjoy them.

raven in Bryce Canyon National Park

black swan on Lake Rotorua in New Zealand

hooded crow that nested in the tree outside our apartment in Vienna

heron at the Stadtpark in Vienna

a seagull I named Pete on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland

swans and cygnets on the Danube
this colorful guy hung out with us while we ate lunch in a park on Kauai these guys aren't wild.  This is the parliament of owls that lives on one of my bookshelves.

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