AKA I and the Bird #77; The Birds Greatest Hits
Summer is icumen in (and me without a cuckoo!) And this blog, as avid readers know, is located in New York City, where summer didn’t just Icumen in, it hit like a hammer this past week. Seriously, I expected to melt away like a Kate Smith album left in a car in Tennessee.
Even when it isn’t like a heat wave, though, June is the cruelest month for the birders of North America, with an end to migrants and few vagrants. I know this for a fact because Jack Connor not only said so in his The Complete Birder, he made it a chapter subhead. Nothing we can do, it’s a total eclipse of the migrants! So how are my fellow birders holding up?
Well, it looks like me and Jack were wrong about June for Summer Fey Foovay of The Naturalist’s Notebook; a couple of orioles discover that they can get anything they want at Summer’s Restaurant. But the result isn’t all peace and free love…
Meanwhile, Nate at The Drinking Bird likes June because it makes some birds act less like a rolling stone – including Bachman’s Sparrow that’s apparently sponsored by the RIAA, as it can’t be taped.
Other folks are going with the flow of the seasons, appreciating the phenomenon that June does deliver in quantity – breeding! Liza Lee Miller has Steller’s Jays looking like an avian Gram Parsons in natty blue and black; Owlman has chic bicolor tree swallows that for some reason remind me of Elton John; Clare at The House and Other Arctic Musings has a close encounter with those power chords of the bird world, Peregrine Falcons. Rosina at Nature Notes from Above has a rockin’ nest of American Robins. May the circle be unbroken for these birds!
Some birds are even further along. Wanderin’ Weeta watches fledglings with their mother in the rain. No cake, sorry. If you’d like to join her in fledgling-watching, Drew Weber provides some help and encouragement on how to know the immatures… which will just about get you chicks for free, if not money for nothing.
A different sort of fledgling finds a firm friend in Greg Laden, who believes the children are our future…so they deserve a good bird book
Then again, some birds are still stuck at the trying-to-hook-up stage, and singing the blues (or their own songs) about that. Nancy Castillo aka The Zen Birdfeeder has been moved to post a singles ad for her local Baltimore Oriole. Over at the Greenbelt, we revisit a mockingbird who’s a piper at the gates of dawn.
Other than that, in summertime, what do you do? You might sit and think, with a beverage of your choice. You might think, like Rock Paper Lizard, of playing the name game with ducks. (“Gadwall Gadwall bo-Badwall…” Catchy.) The Bird Ecology Study Group thinks a lot; they pretty near blinded me with science with their article on the Blue-eared Barbet’s Black Pouch.
Others are more footloose. Ben Cruachan takes a walk on the wild side and finds an evocatively-named Powerful Owl. Roger B. at Words and Pictures prefers taking it easy and appreciating the common birds of the vagrant-magnet Isles of Scilly. Over in Pure Florida, they’re doing the funky chicken (and the funky kite, and the funky ibis). Peregrine watches as the rain totally doesn’t fall down on Africa (Namibia to be exact)… and gets some great pictures as a result. Rick Wright picks up Mountain Bluebird, Violet-green Swallow, Western Kingbird and more among the big old jet airliners. Charlie at 10,000 Birds just goes bob-bob-bobbin’ along, with a post that makes me look forward to my own forthcoming travel.
Noflickster posts plenty of delightful birds, and even a lizard, but it’s really just a cunningly-disguised plea for Help!
In the end, though, Mick at Sandy Straits and Beyond reminds us that to everything there is a season… tern, tern, tern… and soon enough it will be time to discover once again why they call them “confusing fall warblers.” But before then, you have plenty of time to write, submit, and enjoy more melodic posts for the next I and the Bird over at egretsnest.wordpress.com. Submit them to lizaleemiller AT gmail DOT com or mike AT 10000birds DOT com.