Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Little, Little Bird Birding

I have been getting a regular diet of bird watching over this past year from the bay window in the kitchen eating area in my dad's California Central Valley house. We have watched the seasons change from spring, to summer, to autumn, to winter, and now back to spring. This past winter we decided to install a hummingbird feeder just outside the window to complement the bird seed one across the lawn - the results have been worth it.

A male Anna's Hummingbird
Our splatters of overall meal-time bird watching have often involved Anna's hummingbirds, males, females, and immature males (no more than two at a time, mostly a solo performance). I have been thinking about the effort as: A little, little bird birding.

Merlin iPhone ap
My Merlin Bird Identification application for my iPhone produced by the Cornell University Ornithology Laboratory worked well, once again. I wish there were more than 400 birds in its database - many common identifications can be easily accomplished by clicking on the GUI - graphical use interface, but I keep running into a few limitations once-in-a-while. Regardless, a little sugar syrup produced by my wife in my dad's kitchen has done its part attracting this subject of many discussions around the table: morning, noon, and evening - What was that flash out out there? Was that a hummingbird? More often than not, those were Mourning Doves, White-capped Sparrows, House Sparrows, Blue Jays, or House Finch - still, can be hopeful for the metallic-green streaks that come to sudden stops, take a sip, and again slip away.

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