[Tweeters] Oh the Birds You'll See

Jeremy Schwartz jschwartz1124 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 22 12:22:18 PST 2017

Hello tweeters!

I had an interesting conversation with a coworker about birds this morning.

As the unofficial “bird guy” at my office, coworkers will often start
conversations with me along the lines of “See any cool birds lately,” or “I
saw this type of bird, it looked like…”

I have to say, I love when this happens. I enjoy few things more than
talking about birds, and getting to share my knowledge during the work day
serves as a well-appreciated break.

My coworker asked “What’s sort of a diamond in the rough bird for birders?”
I replied that such an answer really depends on the birder and even more so
on the location. What’s rare for the Pacific Northwest may be entirely
commonplace for the East Coast, and vice versa. Plus, some entirely common
birds can have particularly unique features or behavior that make them a
joy to see no matter how often.

Though I don’t quite remember how, the conversation then shifted to ducks.
He asked how many duck species typically hang around in the wetlands
surrounded by our office park. I counted on my hands the number to myself,
and came back with easily five or six. He was genuinely surprised at this.

“I thought there were, like, two kinds of ducks around here,” he said with
a chuckle. "But I guess I haven’t really been paying attention.”

This little exchange seemed oddly prescient as the morning progressed. I
stepped out for a brief break break at about 10 a.m., a few hours after the
conversation. It had been raining all morning but letting up by the time I
stepped outside. The trees were alive with small birds flitting about. This
tends to happen after a heavy rain stops, dozens of little birds coming out
to get some feeding in while the weather’s dry.

In my no more than 15 minutes outside, I saw six different species of
birds. Mostly small ones, including Black-capped and Chestnut-backed
Chickadees, juncos and sparrows. But I was also pleased to spot a
Red-Tailed Hawk perched in a leafless tree in the distance, drying its

I immediately thought of my coworker. Oh, the birds you can see, I mused,
if you just pay attention.

Keep watching the skies!

Jeremy Schwartz
Lake Forest Park
jschwartz1124 at gmail dot com

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