Snowbirds, Etc.

I haven't talked much about birding lately, despite the mass of avian activity at my seed and suet feeders during the recent Snowmageddon. (No, we haven't seen any grass since the fall of January 30th, thanks, and some of it's been covered since the big December 18th storm.) What passes for interesting in my neck of the woods these days is the small knot of common grackles that has descended upon my yard, the pair of downy woodpeckers making use of my suet baskets, and the occasional glimpse of a common raven or a red-shouldered hawk searching for a steady food supply. I'm still planning a trip to the Eastern Shore in early March, hoping to catch a few wintering Snow Geese, and in mid-March I'll be making my long-awaited trip to Big Bend National Park.

Still, for the moment, unless you're interested in the plethora of cardinals, juncos, and white-throated sparrows out back, the best I can do is hand you over to another birder, one far more knowledgeable than I: Tim Gallagher, editor of Living Bird magazine and author of The Grail Bird: The Rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, who has an intriguing story about an exotic, spectacular, and, sadly, most likely extinct bird of a sort you've probably never seen.

Enjoy his tale of a museum specimen and an old man's memory of Mexico's Imperial Woodpecker.

There. That should keep any birders out there satisfied until the weather breaks.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on February 16, 2010 4:26 PM.

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