Rainy Days and New Adventures

Cousin Ernie likened waiting for eggs to hatch to watching paint dry or grass grow. I certainly get it. Some days are special and some ordinary. Whether special or ordinary we have little control over what happens when. Bad weather makes birding difficult. The birds don’t like it, and neither do I. It takes somewhere around a month for Peregrine eggs to develop and a day or two for them to hatch. We watch paint dry for a long time, then, in the blink of an eye it is done. Good weather, on the other hand, isn’t always what it’s cut out to be either. I had a friend once claim to me “Ho hum, it’s just another Eagle.” Eagles are absolutely majestic, but around here, they are also quite common. Sunny (good) weather can become boringly common too. Hatching, migration arrivals, mating, sunshine after a dreary week, rain showers after an oppressive drought, are all occasions for celebration and excitement in the bird world. Molting, cold, food shortages, competition are hunkering down situations. Every so often I have to remind myself that Bird of the Day experiences the same kind of give and take that is expected of all phases of all of our lives. Believe me it was exciting when I discovered a Red-necked Phalarope in the view finder of my camera. There have been hundreds, even thousands of Song Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos for each and every Phalarope. It feels grand to have your face warmed by the morning sun, but often what’s needed is a snuggle with a good book. Song Sparrows and Juncos are comfortably familiar.

Evelyn and Harold

A couple of days ago, at one of my local sea bird hot spots, I was pleasured with a flock of Caspian Terns. These Terns are one of my favorites. Their appearance is striking, with a bold black cap, and a huge orange saber for a bill. They are vocal and animated. They are often paired up as well. Both sexes are presented the same so that it is difficult to tell the boys from the girls, but their behaviors often give them away. Last year I watched a male tell his sweety to hang tight and he would be right back. He flew off and returned a few minutes later with a big fish that he gave to her as a gift. They squawk and strut and flap. Very amusing. This latest encounter was no less entertaining. Starting Wednesday, May 11, I would like to introduce you to Evelyn and Harold, another delightful couple that will sing and dance for you during the following week. Let me know what you think.


Before I read your story I gazed at the picture and built in my mind this scenario:

Two old Italian ladies in the Northend of Boston all dressed up with their garish lipstick and black hats…they are just shooting the breeze as they go about their daily shopping for the family meals… sometime back in the 40’s or 50’s.

That said, I enjoy your imaginings of scenarios in your photos!!

Thank you, thank you,

There is probably more than one Harriet and Evelyn in the bunch. As I said, since they all look alike, it’s hard to tell the boys from the girls. They do have a strong pair bonding culture. I haven’t studied it in any depth, but their actions tell the story. They feed, and snuggle each other quite readily.

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