Posted on December 17, 2020
Opening the door this time of year and venturing out into nature isn’t something most of us feel compelled to do. The landscape certainly doesn’t perk one’s curiosity. The wildlife that may be seen, which includes birds for the most part, have often migrated further south.
However, with it’s lack of leaf cover, the landscape offers one good reason to pass through the door and see what’s still in the neighborhood or what may have moved in from further north. With their endearing behavior and colors that are often a cheerful contrast to their surroundings, birds are a welcome part of the December woods.
In recent days some really special birds have graced us with their presence.
Perhaps the most noteworthy was a immature Snowy Owl that had travelled from the north country to hang out in central Ohio. They typically eat voles, lemmings, and other small rodents as well as birds so a shortage of such goodies further north is undoubtedly the reason for the visit. Seeing one this close to Columbus is rare.
Time spent in nature seldom disappoints. The observant eye will always find something that inspires and rewards. One only needs to open the door.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir, Griggs Reservoir Park Tagged: American Cardinal, American Kestrel, Brown Creeper, Bufflehead, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Great Blue Heron, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Red-tailed Hawk, Snowy Owl, Song Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Posted on April 14, 2019
Based on a reported sighting we recently we found ourselves at Prairie Oaks Metro Park gazing intently out across one of the park ponds looking for Long-tailed Ducks. It’s a species that breeds in the far north and is otherwise usually found along the Atlantic and Pacific coast and if seen would be a new bird for us. After a tip from a fellow birder, and with the use of a spotting scope and binoculars, one bird was located without too much trouble. It must have found something to its liking in one particular location because after numerous dives it always surfaced in the same general area. While I enjoyed watching the bird’s behavior through the scope my wife did her best to get some shots despite the less than optimal light.
While observing the Long-tailed Duck a pair of Horned Grebes made an appearance.
As a bonus just a day before while looking for migrating waterfowl a Bufflehead proved to be unusually cooperative.
At least for a while . . .
But as if the Long-tailed Duck wasn’t enough, the most magical moment may have been right after seeing the Bufflehead when a much smaller but no less charming bird appeared in a bush not far away.
Several years ago we were paddling on a reservoir just northeast of our home when a Bald Eagle flew overhead. They were not all that common in central Ohio at the time. A few minutes later, hugging the shore, we entered small cove, and the very next bird we saw was a hummingbird darting from flower to flower. To see an eagle and a hummingbird in such close proximity in time and space left us in awe of the incredible diversity and beauty of birds.
Thinking about what nature means to humankind and considering for a moment the size, shape, behavior, habitat, and abilities in just the world of birds stretches our mind beyond what we ever thought possible and I believe beckons us to hold all that is part of nature sacred.
Thanks for stopping by.
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