Sunday, June 6, 2010

Birding -- Day 2 (and 3!)

Here's our group of birders at the Arboretum yesterday -- that's before the heavens opened and we had to dash for shelter.  Someone had just spotted a Baltimore Oriole's nest and we were all trying to catch a glimpse of it.  We also came upon a Great Blue Heron, who decided to ignore us and go on fishing.  It was a little dark where he was, but the picture turned out OK.  He hardly looks real -- he almost glows.  But he was very real!  When it began to rain, we all wanted to stay out.  But then it thundered and we had to head back.  Except for the robins, most of the birds had found shelter from the rain as well.  (Speaking of robins, it's a very good thing I took the picture I did on Friday.  The babies were gone from the nest just a few hours later.  Now maybe Momma Robin can get a little rest!)
I've tried thinking of comparisons between the two birding experiences.  I think I learned more at the Arboretum.  Our guide there wasn't a naturalist.  She went through the ornithology program at the Arboretum, so she really knew a lot about birds.  But she also seemed to understand what those of us who were new to birding wanted to learn -- what the various calls sound like: she would periodically stop us just to listen and observe.  She also pointed out flying patterns of the various species, so it was easier to tell them in mid-flight.  The naturalist at the forest preserve was really nice and friendly, but he kind of assumed that everyone there knew what he was talking about.  And it was a bigger group, so I didn't feel like asking a lot of questions.

But the big birding adventure happened this afternoon.  Our son, Jordan, spotted an eagle's nest while he was driving up to work last week.  So we went to get a look at it this afternoon.  There were at least two eaglets that appeared, stretched their wings and settled back into the nest.  It was breathtaking to observe through the binoculars.  It's the first time I remember seeing a bald eagle in the wild!


  1. Oh Kate,

    Thanks for writing about your birding experience. Now I know that I will have to seek out an Arboretum. Sounds like you had a great time. By the way, did you carry a camera and binoculars with you or did you use a telephoto camera lens to see the birds??? Also, I love the picture of the eagle. That must have been a magnificent sight to see. What a majestic bird God has made.

    Have a great day,
    Linda E.

  2. Hi Linda! Let me know if you find a place to go. I'll bet there are birding groups all over who would love to show you the ins and outs of birding. My binoculars are much more powerful than my camera zoom, so I was able to see a lot more with those. The camera did a fair job of picking up the birds, but some were just too far away to photograph.


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