Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bonaparte's Gull in Annapolis & This Blog's Newest Feature...

In between my visits to the Key School in Hillsmere and Saint Anne's further down the peninsula just South of Annapolis, I took a few seconds of my day to see Anne Arundel County's FIRST OSPREY of the 2008 spring season. And to top the afternoon off, I saw a BONAPARTE'S GULL too! It was an amazing day.The temperatures were warm and spring-like, but you could tell a change was on the horizon. The winds were blowing consistently, pushing hard from the South. You could just feel migration in the air. It was palpable and intense. All day long, as I travelled in my home county, I was thoroughly checking out every "V" in the sky, looking for an odd goose within the many flocks heading North for the summer.

Today's BONAPARTE'S GULL was a LIFE bird for me. I did not have my camera, but I did manage to get that image with my iPhone and a pair of binoculars. I assure you... it's not easy to get that shot.Here are a few little tidbits about the BONAPARTE'S GULL from All About Birds:

-It is the ONLY gull that regularly nests in trees.

-This gull is NOT named after Napoleon, nor does it have a French accent!

-No, in fact, the English name of the Bonaparte's Gull honors Charles Lucien Bonaparte, who made important contributions to American ornithology while an active member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia during the 1820s.
So how about that?

As for the NERVOUS BIRDS NEWEST BLOG FEATURE, I urge you to continue to check out the "BIRDING ON THE NET" links on the right side of the page. Bill Hubick gave me this great thought. If one were to carefully watch the posts coming in from our Southern states, one would get a better glimpse of the great birds headed our way. I must admit, I've been checking out the OSPREY sightings in the Norfolk / Hampton Roads area of Coastal Virginia. I knew these beautiful fish-eating raptors, with their yelping an undeniable sign of spring, would be here in our area this week. And here they are... right on time.

An OSPREY has reached the South River, but as of yet, there are no signs of them in the Severn (the closest river to where I reside). I suspect that they'll be there tomorrow.

Migration is inspiration. I wonder how their winter was down South?

-Dan

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