Friday, May 4, 2007

E. 26th Street, April 2007

As I sit here typing, a bird is chirping away outside my window. How different our modes of communication are! I type, he sings.

Growing up in Florida, I never paid much attention to birds. I knew the basics, like mockingbirds and robins, but I always thought our neighborhood was devoid of anything more interesting. Then my mom got into birdwatching, and now we take walks and see bluebirds and catbirds and cedar waxwings and perula warblers. They must have been there all the time, and I just never looked.

Once we went to Fort DeSoto State Park, which is at the southern tip of Pinellas County at the entrance to Tampa Bay. It's a stopover point on the migration routes, and I saw the most psychedelically colorful birds there. The ones that really stand out in my memory are indigo buntings, which are unbelievably blue, and scarlet and summer tanagers, brilliant orange and yellow. Who knew birds could be so amazing?

In terms of song, it's still hard to beat a mockingbird. They're comical in their skill and enthusiasm. You can't help but laugh at their cascade of sounds.

It's funny how the more you learn about something, the more interesting it gets. Now I often look at birds, especially when I'm with mom. In fact, I really wonder what's chirping away outside my window...

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