Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A guide to the birds of L.A.

Carpodacus mexicanus -Madison, Wisconsin, USA-8.jpg

Continuing on the theme of Springtime, one of its great delights in these parts has been the twice-daily visit of a certain very happy bird. Or at least he sounds happy. He sits somewhere just out of sight and delivers the most marvelous series of chirps and warbles I've ever heard. It's as though the news is simply astounding and he's so bursting with it that he lets it all out and then heaves a sigh of relief. Very rarely have I spotted the actual bird; it's a fat, small thing with an appealing orange breast. 

And then one day quite by accident, I found out the name: the House Finch! I was delighted at this discovery because with my sorry knowledge of birds and their names, I was sure to spend the rest of my dotage just calling it "the Broadcaster" as I've been doing in my ignorance.On looking it up, I find the true scientific name is not quite so delightful: Haemorhous mexicanus. Hmm. Poor Broadcaster. I'm sure he doesn't approve, but never mind. Even if he is envious of the rather pretty-sounding one for our local hummingbirds (Calypte anna) it doesn't appear to have dimmed his zeal. 

Speaking of hummingbirds, where are they? This time last year our balcony was swarming with them. Owing to poor J's fear of attracting bees, we don't have a bird feeder. Maybe the hummingbirds got tired of waiting for one? There's another possibility. We also have a large and ill-tempered giant crow who's been terrorizing the other local fauna around here. Perhaps he, Oldie, as I have imaginatively named him because he's unmistakably old and curmudgeonly, is the real culprit. Now if only I weren't so afraid of him, I could have spoken to the hummingbirds and persuaded them back. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I seriously laughed out loud at this post...it was hysterical (and interesting). This part made me laugh out loud in the office (I'm surprised Makarand didn't ask me what I was up to):

Hmm. Poor Broadcaster. I'm sure he doesn't approve, but never mind.

Our neighbors have hummingbird feeders out and we get a ton...you should move to Oregon. :-)

Have you heard Mourning Doves coo? I find it haunting beautiful...have heard it my whole life and love it...VERY melancholy.




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