Something To Crow About


We’ve been away in the country, and each day we do a little birding. Even after all these years, I’m still a novice, and Lord knows I still can’t sort out the warblers and vireos, but I greatly enjoy it. We can hardly move an inch from our house without running into all sorts of interesting birds. Here’s what we’ve identified in the last two weeks:

Tufted Titmouse

Hairy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

White-breasted Nuthatch

Black-capped Chickadee

Dark-Eyed Junco

House Finch

House Sparrow

Song Sparrow

American Goldfinch

Northern Parula

American Robin

Northern Cardinal

Pileated Woodpecker

Blue Jay

American Crow

European Starling

Eastern Bluebird: f.

Eastern Phoebe

Wild Turkey: m, f, +8 juvs.

Cedar Waxwing

Mourning Dove

Rock Pigeon

Carolina Wren

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Common Grackle

Chimney Swift

Barn Swallow

Turkey Vulture

My favorite find so far was the Pileated Woodpecker, a bird I had never seen before. For a few days previous to viewing it, we had come across its huge rectangular nesting holes dug into the trees, and heard its laughing call, but we couldn’t see it. Then a few days ago I heard the call very close by, and turned to see that brilliant Pileated head low on a nearby tree trunk. It was thrilling. I should have gotten a photo of it, but I didn’t—I was too afraid of scaring it away by making any movement. So the picture above is just a stock photo, but it looked exactly like that. Then a day later, a family of Wild Turkeys came tromping through our front lawn and across the street, seven juveniles following their large father and smaller mother, with an eighth straggler, a little runtier than all the rest, pulling up the rear. It was like a Disney movie. For this city dweller, it was a real treat.