I was all set to write a blog post about “where the heck did the birds go?”, and then we had a massive bird show today. It’s mid summer, and so the migrants should be wherever their seasonal migration sets them down, and the local birds have the opportunity to range up to higher elevations, so the concentration and variety of birds we saw in the spring had been much reduced. But today there was a House Finch storm, with many other species in attendance. Look:

Finches arriving

Lots of competition at the bird feeders today, compared to recent weeks. Lately we had a lot of House Sparrows hanging around. You might think, “House Sparrow; that sounds nice.”, but we’re not supposed to like them. They’re not native, and out-compete the more attractive local birds. But they were better than no birds at all, so we’ll watch them, even though they’re a charmless, nest-usurping, invasive species. (Hey, I could use that description for my LinkedIn profile.)

I’m about halfway through my first year of paying closer attention to the birds, and am looking forward to seeing the migrants come though again in the fall. Birding really is quite rewarding. It just requires stillness, quiet, and some time and attention, and the birds are seemingly everywhere.

I borrowed the phrase “exuberant early birding” from the writer Jonathan Rosen, who said that in Birders: The Central Park Effect. That’s right where I’m at.

Lesser Goldfinch

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