Archive for July, 2006

A visit to D.C.

Far too often we forget to take the time to pay attention to what is all around us. Never was that made more clear to me than my recent visit to Washington, D.C.

From literally the time we bought our house here in Vermont, we’ve had bird feeders up. It really was one of the first things I wanted to do. And the variety of birds we’ve seen at our feeders and in our yard has been amazing.

So a few weeks back, when our friend Thom posted that he spotted a Baltimore Oriole in their tree behind their house in D.C., I was anxious to see what I would find when I went to visit.

First, and foremost - (other than European Starlings and House Sparrows, which are a given) the number of northern cardinals was AMAZING. On virtually every block you could hear and most of the time see, at least one male singing. And catbirds… all over the place. I wish I could have spent more time actively looking for birds but it was clear that I had missed out on a great bird watching experience during the 6 years I lived in Washington. Not to mention what I could have seen had I taken the time to do a bird walk through Central Park in New York City.

Lesson learned, and won’t be forgotten. There are all kinds of wild birds in every place we live. Take the time, a good pair of binoculars, and go find them!

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Even on a cloudy day…

While most of the time, it’s a bit easier to spot birds when the the sky is clear and movement up in the trees is more visible, but sometimes a cloudy morning can help. That was the case today, when I finally got a great, great view of not only the male, but the male and female Scarlet Tanagers that I’ve been hearing every morning and night for the past two weeks.

This morning however, when I heard the S. Tanager’s song coming from an oak right across the road, where  I typically have heard it, the gray sky outlined the scarlet red perfectly. And he gave me a good 5-10 minute look while he sang, and this time, a female was flying in the trees around him.

So, clear or cloudy, don’t forget to look for the wildlife right out your front door.

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