The banding season may be over but the birding season…..well, there simply isn’t a birding season – it’s all the time. A wide variety of people (of all ages) have been sending me anecdotal reports of their sightings and/or photos. Almost invariably they comment that they’re surprised that there’s so many neat birds in their immediate areas – they had no idea. Further, they’re surprised (sometimes amazed) that there are so many wild spaces around them. Some small, some large…but, again, they just weren’t aware that they existed. This is one of the positive spin-offs of COVID-19: people are paying attention to the natural world right around them.
To my mind though it might have been better if this pandemic, which is requiring that people stay home or close to it, started next year – the beginning of the collection of data for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. Just think of all the people searching out birds in their immediate neighbourhoods right at the moment. Let’s hope this zeal hasn’t worn off next year – it could result in a hell of an atlas!
I was intrigued by this shot of a European Starling adapting to its habitat. They’re a pretty clover bird! I remember once watching a very resourceful starling: I was driving on the I 90 – the New York Thruway. There was a big lineup of cars and trucks at a toll booth moving very slowly. This starling would go through the grill of the trucks and emerge with a big insect (presumably toasted) which it would whisk away for its young. Minutes later it would be back, sometimes to another truck. How did it ever manage to learn that this was even an option!?
I’ve included a bunch of photos that folks have sent me at the end. But I thought I’d like to throw in this delightful letter from Kip. He and his folks have visited Ruthven on a few occasions and the little guy apparently is turning into a keen observer and birder…..as you will see.
I’m going to tell you all the birds that are nesting in our yard and I am going to list them for you:
I found these nests:
In our nest boxes:
We know these are nesting in our yard but we have not found them yet:
Great Crested Flycatcher
Across the river:
We often see:
I hope you saw some cool birds, too!