Birdwatching is fun

I’ve been thinking about doing a study on birds with the kids–the different kinds, their nests, calls, and so on. So I figured that I need to get back into the swing of paying attention to birds again. This entails mostly sitting quietly with a pair of binoculars. I used to be quite a birdwatcher in my youth–I had a life list and everything.

So I went outside with my binocs to see what I could see. Immediately I noticed a small bird fluttering around inside our big pines, keeping up a steady “Chip! Chip! Chip!” After a while, I spotted him. A little gray dude with a yellow head.

I’ve never seen that one before! Desperately missing my field guides, I typed his description into Google. After a while, I hit a match:

Verdin. Photo from Google
Verdin. Photo from Google

It’s called a Verdin, and it’s a little desert bird. If you’d like to hear his call and song, they have it here. I’ve heard them singing, I just hadn’t been able to spot them before.

Then I ran around with my camera. The verdin never came low enough for a picture, but I did snap some Mexican ring-necked doves that came to eat some feed I put out.

mexican-ring-necked-doves

My next photo target will be the great-tailed grackles that hang out around here. They’ll be mating in the next month or so, and the males will be showing off their tails to the ladies.

So, if I’m interested in something, the kids will be, too. And birds are interesting!

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