If there are “postage stamp preserves,” then this one, all of 72 acres, is a pixel of a preserve. Blink and you’ll miss it. Siri couldn’t get me there; she had me park halfway down a cul-de-sac, then walk through a yard with barking dogs.
About Ted FloydTed Floyd is the longtime Editor of Birding magazine, and he is broadly involved in other programs and initiatives with the ABA. Ted has written 200+ magazine articles and 5 books, including How to Know the Birds (National Geographic, 2019). He is a frequent speaker at birding festivals and has served on several nonprofit boards. Join Ted at The ABA Blog for his semimonthly spot, “How to Know the Birds,” celebrating common birds and the uncommonly interesting things they do.
The pandemic has highlighted what was until recently a consistently undervalued virtue of birding.
March comes in like a lion, it is said, and nowhere is that truer perhaps than at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills where I live. A full-on pride of lions, many a March. But not in 2021. It had been pleasant, even up in the high mountains...
I had been upstairs on a sleepy Saturday morning, working on Birding magazine production, when there arose a tremendous clamor below. My kids had just rescued a northern saw-whet owl from the clutches of an outdoor cat.
What we absolutely need more of, not less of, in this society of ours is kids—kids who will become adults—who learn about gadwalls: how to recognize them; how to understand them; ultimately, how to care about them.
If you haven’t done a lot of birding this year, I don’t blame you. At the same time, if you’ve found solace in birds—even the most ordinary and workaday of birds—I’m right there with you.
After a morning of soaking wet sneakers and fogged lenses and warblersong tinnitus, we finally found them: ravens, an apparent family group, croaking prehistorically and flapping their wings so mightily that I could see eddies of mist in their wake.
Almost forty years ago, I saw and heard my first tufted titmouse, a little gray druid chanting in steady trimeter in a Beeler Street backyard. The experience of being there was wondrous.
It’s funny, anybody who goes hiking or walking or romancing in the foothills will hear that constant yappering, guaranteed, but I wonder how many will ever make conscious note of it. The birds are tiny, they stick to the crowns of the tall pondos, and they buzz about constantly.
The people keep a-comin’. They’re outside. The folks at the feeding station are masked and socially distanced. They’re learning about birds and nature. They’re wondering and sharing together about nature. They’re breathing fresh air...