Thursday, May 01, 2008

My fifteen minutes of birding fame are over

I have not seen the Western tanager since Tuesday evening. Tuesday night was clear and calm, so I'm suspecting the bird may have resumed his journey to wherever it was he was headed. I hope he makes it there.

That's what bird watching is like. There is always the possibility that something rare and unique might show up, but then again the "ordinary" birds could provide a lifetime of learning by observation. Birds bring great joy and excitement to life, and if you pay enough attention there is a reward at every encounter.

Then there is the joy of sharing birding experiences. After carefully considering the ramifications, I decided to post my sighting to the Minnesota Ornithologist's Union listserv, with a link to this blog for pictures. I had a record 178 visits to Sand Creek Almanac the day I posted to MOU, and a few emails from birders around the state. There were a few requests from people who wanted to come and see the tanager, and I had to debate whether I wanted strangers coming and seeing the mess that is my yard...anyway, that question was decided by the bird's absence on Wednesday. It would have been fun to meet some more bird folks though.

I'm off to go help with the roofing job- from the ground of course, I'm not getting up there! Photos tonight.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for emailing me about the W. Tanager and I am sorry I did not make the trip down to see it. I am just plain ol tired of traveling these days. I still need this bird for St. Louis Co. I did see one in Minn. a long time ago with Kim Eckert in Washington Co.

I am still waiting for my accidental/casual to arrive in my yard. God knows I have enough feeders to attract some unusual bird.

Mike H.

Deb said...

Mike- It would have been a small window of opportunity to make a trip to see it.

I don't know why the bird stopped here; I had stopped filling the feeder but resumed last weekend when we got more snow. Gotta watch out for bears. Maybe he felt at home in the conifers which may be like his usual mountain habitat.

A few years ago, less than a year after we moved here, an acquaintance two miles away had a male painted bunting at his feeder. I have a copy of a video he made of it. Amazing how these "out of range" birds just show up once in a while.

cindy said...

Deb, It was fun whie it lasted! At least you got a couple of good pictures as proof! I'm glad you understand how birding goes. Some people never get it. The house is looking great! Keep an eye just never know what might show up. A couple of years ago we had a Swallow-tailed Kite that hung around for over a week on Lower Sakatah. What great fun!

elise said...

Wouldn't that make a great children's story about the brave little bird who decided to have an adventure and visit Minnesota?!?

Deb said...

Cindy- It was great fun. I'm not one to get all uptight about seeing or missing a rare bird; it just happens. But I'm glad it happened, for once, right in my yard!

So do you know if I have to submit any additional documentation to MOU to have them accept it as a record? It probably wouldn't hurt to fill out the form they have online and send it to Peder Svingen.

Elise- Now there's an idea! I'm looking for another career anyway...really, I am.