Welcome to the third edition of the blog carnival for bird lovers, I and the Bird. It is a great honor for me to host this, especially since, while I am indeed a bird lover, I am not a particularly skillful bird watcher. But I enjoy birds greatly. Yes, even those I do not know exactly what they may be called because they don't seem to match up with anything in my field guide. And even those that I can't get a decent look at because they're flitting about in that dense brush so close, yet so far. Finally, after many years at it, I think I have a good understanding of which species birds live in and around our backyard and even know a fair amount of their behavior. It's been a slow process.
Take me far out of this immediate area, however, and I am back to being a beginner. Of course, the great thing about that is that there's always new birds to see, and new bird behavior to learn.
In addition to watching birds, I also enjoy reading about the experiences of other bird lovers, from those who are occasional indulgers in birding like myself, to those who are expert amateurs, to those who are professionals. The previous editions of "I and the Bird" have been a great way to discover such writings. The submissions for this new edition follow in the excellent, if short, tradition of the first two.
This birding carnival, in the way that I am comfortable with, starts out very close to home.
- Aydin Örstan at Snail's Tales writes about how he used a couple common backyard birds who showed up on his deck to benchmark his hearing, in 'The Cardinals at the limit of my hearing.'
- Nuthatch at bootstrap analysis, expounds upon the habits of a small, gregarious bird that accompanies her in the garden throughout the summer in 'an exuberant bird in a plain brown wrapper.'
- Yours truly wrote about my experience last year at finally, and unexpectedly, sighting an elusive bird whose nighttime call has been a comforting presence every spring for the last six years.
- Clare Kines at The House & other Arctic musings tells us about the different types of seagulls that inhabit his part of the world. Read 'Gulls', so that next time you spot a seagull, you can say, "Look! A glaucous gull."
- Mike at 10,000 Birds reports on a birding excursion away from home, but in a part of the world he visits regularly in order to burn a giant chicken. Or something like that. Read 'Birds Of Chicken Inferno 2005 for a full explanationand also to see a picture of the "gigantic galliform" itself.
- Unlike Duncan at Ben Cruachan Blog, however, I do not have experience with parrots. (Except for that recent charming movie about the guy in San Francisco.) Duncan writes about his parrot (and other bird) counting experience along the southern coast of Australia in 'Parrot arithmetic.'
- Tony G at milkriverblog, just up the road here in central Texas, reports on the results of a recent, and rather unique, survey of his own in Wakeup Calls.
- John at A DC Birding Blog sets out on a local expedition to spot two reported species not normally found in his environs this time of year. To find out what he was looking for and whether he found it, read 'A Sultry Evening Twitch.'
- A British blogger at bogbumper reports on a couple of rare, spectacular birds in Britain that attracted quite a crowd before an unfortunate ending. For details, read 'The day the Bee-eaters got eaten.'
- First, the illustrated version, including action shots, from Rexroth's Daughter at Dharma Bums, who has a whole sequence of pictures in her post 'A Hawk Gets Lunch.'
- Next, the narrated version from Birdchick at Birdchick Blog. As she describes in First Blood at the Bird Store, this particular hawk may have been a novice at his work.
- Dave at the Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage, Alaska relates the story of a hero of a bird in 'Quality Time with One Wing & Ol' Witch'. It is about his encounter with an eagle whose will to live not only helped him survive devastating injuries suffered in the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill, but also helped save the lives of numerous other eagles also injured in the spill.
- Jason at Beakspeak treats us with some spectacular shots of hummingbird babies growing up in his posts The Hummingbird Chronicles and The Hummingbird Chronicles: An Update. He even got a short video of one as it was on the verge of learning to fly. Don't miss it!
- Charlie Moores at Charlie's Bird Blog explores the question of why he devotes much of his scarce spare time to watching these small, flying creatures in a post entitled 'How in a rambling conversation I get to see why I go birding'. (There is no link directly to the post, so if you encounter this at some future date, go to his blog and either scroll down or look in his archives.)