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    Archive — birds

    Birds Return and Trees Flower

    In the last few days  swallows returned to nests  under the bridge on the bike path. A friend at Mammoth Mountain CA,  heard the long eerie call of  the common loon  and the drumming of a Williamson sapsucker on April 12th. A cousin in Chippewa Falls, WI heard a loon call 2 weeks ago, before it continued north. Plum, apple,  cherry, and lilacs all are blooming and spreading their sweet, full  aromas. Irises are abloom. Blackbirds  and meadow larks have been back for several weeks. But there was still good snow last week up by the continental divide for cross country skiing. Ospreys mate and nest by Longmont, Colorado.

    My grandfather, who lived by a lake in Wisconsin,  wrote  the dates on the wall when the ice would form in the fall and when it would break up in the spring.  In Wisconsin, we would listen in the spring when the whippoorwill called  as it stopped  in the wetland on its way  north.   Here in Boulder, I get excited when the poorwills return to the foothills.  Also, the crossbills are neat as they pass thru.

    Phenology is observing and recording the changes in nature. Birds and animals  migrate and mate, plants bloom There are groups you can share you observations with.

    Go here for info and links.
    Go here for bird monitoring.
    Go here for frog monitoring.
    Go here for insect monitoring.
    Go here to find birdwatchers.

    Posted on April 24, 2015

    Birds Overhead

    Yesterday, a great blue heron flew over me as I biked.  Then two hawks swooped over a runner ahead of me.  Recently, a hawk flew along with me, just above my head, on my bike for several seconds.  Then it alighted on a pole just in front of me.  While it sat there, another hawk flew to a treetop about 70 feet away and landed. This second hawk kept calling and whistling at the first hawk for about 5 minutes.  This reminded me of when a tern had stayed right above my head while I was paddling a kayak.  A friend said that while he was bicycling north  towards Lyons at 5 am,  a nighthawk flew along with him right above his head .  Once a friend and I found a goose tangled in  fishing line next to shore.  I got a knife, put my shirt over its head, and pulled it in to cut off the line. After that, I kept noticing geese everywhere.  On a kayak lesson, one goose kept us company as we went down the river, all day.  Maybe is was for food, as the class would stop at the same park at midday to eat. Maybe it is a coincidence.   But I felt there might be a connection. Maybe the birds are curious.  Jack Turner in his book, The Abstract Wild, says the white pelicans whistle and sing, a mile above the Grand Teton - for joy. Doug Peacock writes of (and shows in his documentary film) how a young grizzly bear plays with pieces of ice floating in a spring-time pool.  The bear pushes the ice blocks under the water, watches them pop up, then pushes them down again.  Kenneth White, in his poetry book, The Most Difficult Area, says that he found a  rare rosy gull on the beach in Scotland.  The only other time it had been seen in Great Britain was on the day of his birth.  He wrote that it seemed strange to think there was a connection, yet he would feel foolish if he didn’t believe there was a some connection.

    Posted on April 24, 2015