I love birds. They are an important part of my daily life: I listen for robins and towhees when I wake up on Spring mornings. I watch for night hawks at dusk in the summer. Juncos nitter and nest in my strawberries and thyme. The sweep of raven’s wings overhead seems to follow me year-round.
Birds also keep my gardens alive and interesting (thank you to all the birds whose purple poops have borne new volunteers to my flower beds). Wherever I live or travel, I discover new birds whose calls and silhouettes are inseparable from my favorite memories.
Today I’d like to draw your attention to one of the longest-living blog carnivals, which celebrates the ornithological: I and the Bird. Blog readers and writers alike share a true friend in blog carnivals. These online periodicals consist of collections of links to many different articles, photos, videos, podcasts, and other online media, all of which illuminate a single, special topic (such as trees, plants, or invertebrates).
If you enjoy the company of feathered friends and have a few hours to spare this summer, Mike of 10,000 Birds welcomes you to volunteer as a host for a future issue. You don’t have to be a birder or keep a birding blog in order to participate – just a desire to look up, listen, and share what you learn.
Even if you don’t have time to volunteer, you can help keep I and the Bird alive and soaring with three easy steps:
1) blog about birds
2) send in the link
3) spread the word
In this spirit I share the following images of the Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) at Big Beef and Seabeck Bay, as seen last Wednesday. I might have a diligent amateur’s success with tree photography, but I’m hopeless when it comes to birds (or anything else that doesn’t stand perfectly still for a photo shoot). Luckily for me, these herons were hunting for breakfast, and were not planning to move until the perfect catch swam by.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to sport a great, sweeping beard like this one?
Or to have the endurance to stand still for hours in the chill water beneath these mountains, waiting for lunch?
And herons aren’t the only birds dining in the estuaries…
Click here to read the latest issue of I and the Bird: “A few of my favorite wings” now online at Madras Ramblings, or submit your links today for the upcoming issue to be hosted at Twin Cities Naturalist.
Mike over at the Pacific Northwest Slugyard has some nice photos of nesting Great blue herons.
Know a better (or more interesting) resource? Tell us in the comments.
Feeling lazy this morning? Enjoy the Festival of the Trees #52 hosted by John at Kind of Curious, and prepare your submissions for the Festival of the Trees #53 hosted by Arati at Trees, Plants and More.
Last night I watched the bright waxing moon set in the west, heralded by the first coyote calls that I’ve heard this season. In fact, yesterday morning on my way home I watched a coyote dash down through the trees to a riverbed off the highway. There’s busy work afoot in the coyote world!
The Nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) are out now, with their tell-tale “peent… peeent… peent… pee-yah… hhhhrrrrrrrllll!” The Common Nighthawks hunt at dusk, and you can watch them fluttering high in the sky while calling “peeent….peeent…peeent” in an even rhythm, followed by the whirring sound (which some describe as a “boom”) made by their wings as they dive in rapid pursuit of tasty mosquitoes, moths, and other insects. It’s a magical, almost indescribable sound, and one of my favorite indicators that summer is near in Kitsap. Perhaps I’ll get hold of a digital audio recorder so I can share the sounds and silences.
Remember to step outside over the next few evenings to watch the waxing moon set as it chases the sun down.