Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where the dreams are...

I have been on the road for the past three weeks - a week in the Ozarks of northern Arkansas, the rest near St. Louis. In real life I've picked up two lifebirds: Trumpeter Swan and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Very Cool! I've also been reintroduced to a more easterly mix of species, reminding me of my New England origins. Hairy Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Thrasher, Northern Flicker, American Robin, Herring Gull, Lesser Canada Goose and even White-throated Sparrow are generally unreliable, unpredictable, or require hours of driving to find in the Austin, TX area. On this trip they've all been at least fairly common and very reliable. It's also a relief to see rain again, as central Texas is suffering from a lingering intense drought.

Speaking of droughts - a three week lull in bird dreams frustrated the heck out of me! Lucky for the blog regular bird dreams have returned. I have journaled them all, and will get busy regaling you again hopefully as soon as this Monday or Tuesday. I should be back in Austin by next weekend, so the stories will start appearing regularly from then on.

For the past month or so, I have been focusing more than ever on learning about birds from all over the world - vs. just the ABA area (U.S & Canada). This amounts to ~9100 additional species! I imagine this could take a while. Unexpectedly, this trip has offered several opportunities to learn more about global avifauna. Most enjoyable was a visit to the St. Louis Zoo - specifically the remarkable "Bird House and Garden". It boasts the greatest diversity of any public aviary in the US! Regardless, I loved seeing the effort put into approximating habitats suitable for each bird species, and how easy it is to get great looks at all of them. I could spend three full days at that zoo; with the birds alone. If I do get the chance to go back, I'll definitely post about it here. What was my favorite bird? Can't beat a Blue-crowned Motmot! Honestly though, they were all fascinating beyond words...

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