Bird-A-Day Challenge, Week 3

“That was the thing about Levantin: He loved the birds, but he really loved the places they brought him. When you spend your career in the confines of a gray suit, the pipits at dawn above timberline are even more wondrous,” wrote Mark Obmascik, author of The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession.

I am not obsessed—not even a little. But I get what Obmascik was saying. For some birders those little feathered creatures fluttering in the bushes are a tick in their notebooks. For others, they are a reason to take in the spectacles that most of us miss.

If it weren’t for giving this Bird-a-Day Challenge a go again this year, I might have missed the starry sky on the night when we were hooting in the dark, waiting for a barred owl to return the call: “Who Cooks for You, Who Cooks for You All?”

Maybe cleaning the house would have trumped enjoying that freakishly warm Sunday in January when people were flying kites instead of building snowmen. There I was in the midst of them, wrangling a toddler and a big dog as my husband and I took turns peering through a spotting scope at the far water where a gannet was feeding.

For me, that’s what it’s all about. The birds are beautiful, and I enjoy seeing them. Best of all, I enjoy what I see because of them.

I hope you will share some of the spectacles that you’re seeing and enjoying by writing us here on The Perch, and on Facebook and Twitter.

The following is an update of the Bird-A-Day list so far.

January 2012

New Year’s Day: Red-Throated Loon?
Day 2: Greater Scaup?
3: Common Merganser?
4: Black Duck?
5: Red-shouldered Hawk?
6: Canvasback
7: Northern Gannet
8: Lesser Scaup
9: Red-bellied Woodpecker
10: Brant
11: Fish Crow
12: Hooded Merganser
13: Northern Harrier
14: Pied-billed Grebe
15:Bonaparte’s Gull
16:Horned Grebe
17: Common Goldeneye
18: Dark-eyed Junco
19: Common Raven
20: Hairy Woodpecker

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