Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bird Watching: Kestrel

Dude, I just saw a kestrel on the roof of my garage! I thought he was a blue jay until he did this and I was like, "Holy crap, what was that bird?" He had something in his talons he was reluctant to let go of, even though he was having serious awkwardness problems (looked about the right size to be a baby mouse, but hard to tell from a distance).

I don't know very much about birds so I always end up spending half an hour with Google and my Audubon Guide to North American birds east of the Mississippi trying to figure out what I saw when I see a new one*, but I love watching birds and I get really excited when I see a new one.

Among other less-usual birds I've seen from my window looking into my backyard are a Cerulean Warbler (bluest darn thing I've ever seen) and a Bald Eagle soaring and wheeling, which was just about heart-stopping in its beauty. And giganticness. Seeing them in the zoo doesn't really communicate the giganticness we're talking about here.

I also get excited when I spot butterflies. Beyond the typical cabbage butterfly (those little white ones) and the Monarchs, I've seen a Spring Azure in my yard, which was so blue and so tiny and so delicate and so ethereal I thought I was hallucinating; and Black and Tiger Swallowtails, both at Forest Park Nature Center (the Tiger Swallowtail obligingly flitted down the trail in front of me for a good 10 minutes).

I also once saw this crazy Red Banded Leafhopper bug on my corn. That thing was awesome.

*Incidentally, if you manage to snap a picture and you e-mail it to the fine folks at the Illinois Audubon Society, they'll e-mail you back and tell you what it is. Even when it turns out it's starlings and you're an idiot who can't identify starlings. Not that I've done that.

5 comments:

splash's dad said...

We are in town and have had a group of six wild turkeys hanging around for a couple of weeks, walking down the streets and alleys, very strange. My daughter caught some video of them and put it on her blog. The video is from a cellphone and the turkeys are just little blobs running across the street in the 3 second shot. splashton.blogspot.com if you want to try and spot them.

b said...

I should send you a picture of the young hawk in our backyard that our cats thought would be a good idea to stalk........there was intervention before the cats came to harm...

Paul Wilkinson said...

We were out at Firehouse pizza on Sunday evening. It was very foggy. As we left the restaurant, we saw a red fox in the parking lot near a bale of straw. Totally cool. The other two guys I was with had no idea what it was. I teased them figuring neither of them would know a "fox" if it came up and bit them...hence why they were out for pizza with me....lol

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

We had a bird box which originally housed a flicker, then some starlings moved in a couple summers ago, then a squirrel run them off. Now ...

Screech Owl