“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly, Man got to sit and wonder ‘why, why, why?’ Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land. Man got to tell himself he understand.” – Kurt Vonnegut, “Cat’s Cradle
I Think I saw a Pretty Bird
I spent most of my life totally unaware of the birds that live around us. Then I caught the bird-watching virus.
It happened in 1999 when I was doing a newspaper story on sage grouse at Deseret Ranch in Utah. It required me to wake at an ungodly hour — even for me an early riser — and then hike a mile or so across the landscape to a sit behind a blind so I could watch male grouse show off for the gals at a lek.
“It is sort of like when the guys drag Main Street on Saturday night,” birding guide Mark Stackhouse told me.
I found the strutting, puffed out males, an awesome sight – and laughed at how most of the girls ignored the boys. From that day forward I was hooked, and these days my binoculars are usually close by.
So it was this afternoon, as I sat at tree-top level on the balcony of my third-floor apartment talking on the phone to my daughter-in-law in Texas, when a bright colored bird flew in and sat on a branch not too far away.
“OHhhhhh. A pretty bird,” I screeched into my daughter-in-law’s ear, and grabbed for by binoculars..
It was a western tanager, the first I’ve seen here at my Catalina foothills apartment. I usually see them in a more forested setting, but there are a lot of trees here, and a fountain in one of the courtyards where the birds can drink.
It’s a beautiful bird, don’t you agree?
Bean’s Pat: Cantankerous Puffs of Adorable http://tinyurl.com/l7sphvv Juvenile green herons