Thursday, February 7, 2008

Not To Blow My Own Horn, But I Saw A Trumpeter Today

Yes, that is correct. I dropped by for two minutes to the Oxbow Preserve in Western Anne Arundel County to see the TRUMPETER SWAN. It's wonderful to see this flying success story patrolling a lake so close to home. TRUMPETER SWANS are not only North America's largest waterfowl, they are one of its rarest native birds. They are a living reminder, that some species that have been reduced to near extinction, can still be saved!While visiting elementary schools in Severna Park and Western Anne Arundel County, I caught some quick views of Anne Arundel County's finest avian rarities. As you can see (by clicking on the photo above), this rare SWAN has been tagged. I do love it how those protectors of birds have now made identifying species so easy: big yellow tags! Why didn't I think of that?

I haven't a clue how some rare warbler would fly with one of those on it's wings, but I'll address that issue some other day.

Sadly, I have not seen my resident EASTERN SCREECH OWL in it's backyard box for several days.This concerns me a bit. But I am aware that screech owls have several hide outs and have been known to vanish for several days at a time. If only I was able to peer into that box. Alas, it's too high and Adam (the OWL BOX BUILDER and INSTALLER) owns the really big ladder. I could climb this half-naked pine tree that holds the owl box, but since the branches were ripped off in last winter's ice storm, the sap hasn't stopped flowing. It's a sticky mess. But if it wasn't for that storm, there'd be no owl box.The other stunning bird I hoped to get a glimpse of today was the PAINTED BUNTING that has been officially declared a 'regular' in it's Arnold neighborhood. This bird appears to reside in a red berry-filled Holly tree just off of the B&A Trail. Personally, I think he should be named 'Arnold'. Kind of fitting, no? If you want to see him, patience is recommended... but not required. He has been a regular visitor to a feeder that offers nice views from the comfort of the trail. Seeing a PAINTED BUNTING will surely make a BIRDER out of just about anyone.Other interesting species this week: lots of AMERICAN WOODCOCKS, one CHIPPING SPARROW, three SAVANNAH SPARROWS, nine WILD TURKEYS and tree-loads of CEDAR WAXWINGS that have become regular feeders on the berries from the Junipers in our backyard. (I would tell you more about where I saw those other birds, but that story is far too racy for this blog.)


Really, I'm just hoping to find the next rare, amazing bird here in Maryland. It's an addictive, fun and mostly rewarding hobby. Lots of people chase rare birds, but very few actually find them.

More importantly, our son Declan is doing great. My wife Emery has found her true calling... being a wonderful mother to our son. Me? I'm busy (but thoroughly enjoying) working with the schools, finding all the birds, taking care of the dogs and watching over my family. Despite the very concerned look on Declan's face, it has been a wonderful week.Did you get your RAM'S HEAD ON STAGE tickets for the Ben's Bones show yet? No... well... DON'T MISS IT.

Good birding,


1 comment:

Larry said...

Wow! You are really on a roll!I like the Don King Cedar Waxwing-Perhaps he could be the manager of a Mike Tyson Bison.

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