Maybe it’s because my name is Robin but I’ve always had a thing for birds. I’m always noticing them. Just this morning while taking my daughter to school it was a bright red male cardinal sitting on a crepe myrtle. Unfortunately I was too far away to get a decent photo with just my phone camera.
I love to note the first robins I see every spring. And yes, I do talk to them, welcoming them. One winter a few years ago, I noticed that there was a flock of robins in our neighborhood, eating the berries on the trees and bushes. I was a little confused… Didn’t robins fly south for the winter? I did a bit of research, and discovered that yes, most robins do fly south for the winter and what I was probably seeing were either robins hanging around in the area or ones that had migrated down from Canada — Illinois is south of Canada.
Another bird that holds a special place in my heart is the quail — it was my father’s favorite bird. I can remember as a child seeing quail on my grandparents ranch in California. While they do have lovely patterning, it’s that cute little feather that bobs over the head when they walk that gets me. It’s just so adorable. During a visit to the Brookfield Zoo one year, a cute little quail decided he liked me. He came running over, right up to the edge of the enclosure and ‘talked’ to me non-stop, his little head bobbing up and down. I have no idea what attracted him to me — I had no food or anything to offer him. Eventually, sadly, I had to leave him to rejoin my family.
Peacocks — The colors, the pattern, the way they move. I love it all. How the blue is so iridescent in the sun, those incredible tail feathers with their ‘eyes’. On my dresser I have a peacock tail feather I brought back from a trip to New Zealand. The birds in the animal park were molting, leaving tail feathers all over the place. I asked and was told I could take as many as I wanted. So I did, bringing them home and sharing them with my kids. Years ago in California there was a family of peafowl in our neighborhood. We didn’t see the males too often, although we heard them, but we did see peahens with their peachicks. In fact, one morning we came out to find them lined up on the roof of our apartment building. Still not quite sure how they made it up there.
Birds of prey. Hawks. Falcons. Eagles. Love them all. There is such a feeling of intelligence and potential menace from them. I often saw red tail hawks hunting while on the ranch. When we moved to Washington, bald eagles lived nearby. In Illinois, if you passed a prairie on a warm day you would always see hawks out enjoying the thermals. On my commute, I often saw multiple hawks perched on light poles along the roads. And here in Georgia, there are hawks everywhere, in the trees, flying over and circling over the neighborhood. I was startled one day by a hawk swooping silently over the pool, trying to catch a squirrel. Luckily for the squirrel, the hawk missed. I was impressed with how silent the large bird was. Not a sound from it as it passed. It was only the motion of it that caught my attention.
Those are my favorites. What about you? Do you have any favorite birds?
Posted on 2 April 2014, in A to Z Challenge, Nature and tagged #atozchallenge, 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge, a to z challenge, animals, birds, hawks, letter B, wildlife. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.