What's going on in the bird world these days, here in Eugene, Oregon.
First off, let me say that, to me, a strawberry frozen fruit bar epitomizes the most perfect, sunny afternoon.
So there's a male mallard down at the edge of the pool, and I can see his grey covert feathers ruffling in the wind. Earlier, he and his partner lady carved a line into the surface of the pool below our balcony. He's lazily glancing over to check on the dappled brown female who is staying close to the steps leading into the greenish water. I can't see her well, but I'm sure she's relaxing.
And we sloooooow down, as says mister John Legend as he croons his way out of the slightly, though not distractedly, off-sounding speakers. Let's put on our dancing shoes....
So today I came to a fair conclusion that could be further cemented by reaching behind me where my bird book and binocs are resting in the shade. It's just too lazy of an afternoon, but thoughts aren't entirely energy expensive, right?
I think that the birds that I've been seeing around town are evening grosbeaks. Wait, now I feel the need to confirm. One sec...holy bamboozles there's a YELLOW GROSBEAK!?? Okay, you westerners are just crazy. I'm all, yea maybe an evening grosbeak or crossbills like what I'm familiar with back east but, yellow grosbeak? Says in my Sibley Field Guide to Birds that it's a "very rare visitor from Mexico to Ariz. Well humph. So maybe not? There's a ton of yellow on 'em, I know that much. But I still haven't set binoc right on them (meaning I haven't had a closeup view since the buggers stay at the flippin tippy top of the trees all around Eugene (esp. near the Eugene City Bakery, is where I've heard them in the biggest flocks, maybe because of Hendricks Park? Hmm..) Anyways, they might be black-headeds. That wouldn't be as exciting, but it'd make a helluva lot more sense, seeing as how we're officially in the Pacific Northwest. *note to you west-folk: I'm from Maryland and it's NOT part of New England. It's also NOT south. We are the perfect in-between creatures that don't really have any idea what to call ourselves. Or maybe that's just me. And no, perfection is a long way off. But, I will say: my teacher has twice told me I'm the Science realm's version of bodhi safah. I'll say only this: now that I know what it means, I'm certainly aspiring toward it.
One more note:
Red bellied sapsucker last weekend on a snag along one Willamette fork or another, down near the confluence by Mount Pisgah. Buford Recreation area is a place to check out. The stewards of that area, despite not owning the land, are passionate about the natural ecosystems that make up the basin area that is this lower valley position we have here in Eugene, Oregon.
BSc in Biology & Environmental Studies (WWC)
MSc. in Journalism (UOregon)
You can find my published work in Eugene Weekly, Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife.