Friday, June 19, 2009

Cool! Birds!

Recently my girlfriend and I bought a hanging plant for our yard and a shepherd's hook upon which to hang it. Unfortunately, it transpired that the structure of the hook was insufficient to support the weight of the plant (Buckling 101), so instead we bought a stand capable of carrying the compressive load of the plant's weight in a stable manner and a bird feeder to put on the hook.

Fortuitous. The plant is great, but I've enjoyed the bird feeder even more, and I'm not sure we would've acquired it if we hadn't been looking for a use for our shepherd's hook.

Spotted in the yard so far (since I started paying attention):

White-breasted Nuthatch
Black-capped Chickadee
House Finch
American Goldfinch
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
American Robin
Red-winged Blackbird
Blue Jay

(The last four don't really eat at the bird feeder, but I've seen them in the yard.)

Now, I know that reporting to a birdwatcher that I've seen an American Robin in my backyard is akin to telling a numismatist that I've found a Jefferson Nickel in pocket change, but my purpose isn't to brag up the exoticness of the birds in my neighborhood. Indeed, these are all pretty common birds. What's eye-opening to me is the variety...that's nine species of very different birds in our little backyard in the suburban Twin Cities. And those are just the ones I've been able to identify.

I guess the moral of the story is, If you think that one Suburban Bird is just like another, a tiny amount of attention and an ordinary bird book will teach you to think again. It's worth doing.

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