Coolest Bird Moment

I know it has been ten days since my last post as I’ve been busy taking last second day trips with the family to exciting things such as Renaissance Fairs and Sculptural Gardens (Ok, I didn’t go on that one).  But with less than 2 weeks until school starts, I got a lot to keep me busy.

On the blog side of things, I got some good ‘birdy’ stuff planned… more trips and adventures and hopefully some more photos, as well as plenty of the bullsh-, er factual, scientific information I often present!

So to get the ball rolling a bit, how about thinking about the coolest ‘bird’ moment you have had.  For me it had to be my life Pine Grosbeak.  It was in the winter of 1994/1995 and it was at Fiver Rivers EEC in New Scotland, NY.  For nearly the entire winter, a flock of Pine Grosbeaks had made a home in the small stand of crab-apples not far from the parking lot.  Being only 13 at the time, i begged my mother to take me there nearly every day (which didn’t happen) and the few times I did get to go, didn’t see any Grosbeaks.

Finally one day, my mother and aunt decided to go Cross-Country skiing at Five Rivers.  I donned my boots and tromped along with them, falling into snow that was up to my thigh in spots.  After making a loop around the property, I arrived back at the previously mentioned crab-apples and again found no Grosbeaks.  I had turned to examine a Black-capped Chickadee which was curious with me, when I heard a soft whistle behind me, I turned and on a branch only a few inches away from me at eye level was the most beautiful male Pine Grosbeak, ever.  Suddenly looking more closely at the trees showed many Pine Grosbeaks quietly feeding.  It remains one of the few memories I can describe in exact detail and helped to hook me on birding for life!

Other notable memories:

American Bittern Dancing and Calling at Five Rivers

*  Life Short-Eared Owl at Coxsackie-Athens Grasslands

Northern Saw-Whet Owl responding the to the tape Corey Finger  and I played on a wicked cold night one February in Partridge Run WMA in Albany County, NY

*  Spotting and Calling a Eurasian Wigeon at Ausable Point SP on Lake Champlain on perhaps the most awesome waterfowl day in history.

*  Having a Whip-poor-will land in the road in my headlights and actively call

*  Finding a group of Long-Eared Owls at Five Rivers after a dream I had

*  Helping Corey Finger over at 10,000 Birds  get his life Gray Jays

*  Seeing American Swallow-Tailed Kite, Short-Tailed Hawk and Snail Kite in less than 1 hour on my trip to the Florida Everglades this past April.

*  Having a Snowy Owl land on post right next to where my wife and I were standing during the Catskill-Coxsackie Christmas Bird Count one year.

How about you?

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3 responses to “Coolest Bird Moment

  1. Seeing clapper rails at dusk was pretty cool. Watching peregrines wheeling and diving in front of the U.S. Capitol was also pretty cool. So was waiting in Union Square Park for the Scott’s oriole. Also, the barred owls at the end of this year’s C&O Canal Count…. and the snowy owl at the airport in 2006…. and a field full of calling tundra swans back in 2004….

    Hm. I could go on and on.

  2. It’s funny how owls come to mind when thinking of really cool bird moments. I fondly remember the day after I started 10,000 Birds when my wife and I were walking on the periphery of a Bronx park at dusk only to realize that an Eastern Screech Owl was staring at us from the other side of the fence. That was a true eye-opener.

  3. I think Owls have a profound impact on both birders and non-birdres alike, maybe its because they are bird we don’t see every day or that the represent the night, which we as humans have natural aversion to, to say we both fear and attracted to them would be correct.

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