Date: 6/16/20 7:19 pm From: Nancy Goodrich <nancyg3219...> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] June 15, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
THANKS FOR this treasure, Ted!!!
On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 10:17 AM Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> wrote:
> 5:05 a.m. 49 degrees, wind WSW 0 mph. Sky: delightfully overcast; suitable > to Winslow Homer or Thomas Moran; detail-rich and colorful; textured and > windrowed; cracks and bumps and holes edged with lambent runs of sunlight, > shiny like polished silver; lavender accents; just above the hilltops to > the south, a line of blush. No mist and almost no running water. Woods: > shadowed and cool. Wetlands: greener and drier than yesterday. > > After four days roosting behind the barn door, the bat has left; a free > spirit. Beneath each of the three light fixtures in the barn and beneath > each of the three on the barn porch: a phoebe nest, six of them, all > well-pressured; a history of symbiosis. Something for an avian archeologist > to contemplate. The first nest on the west side of the barn, > the end closest to the absent bat, is active. Parents perch on oak limbs > just beyond the door, tail flicking, quietly chipping, waiting to foray for > flying insects. > > Both sides of the road: Stereophonic red-eyed vireos, urgent and tiresome. > A bashful blue-headed vireo in a nearby maple, far less enthusiastic, makes > his presence know. My neck aches searching for him. A parula warbler in a > maple; a rising buzzy song that jumps up a notch at the end; a pole > vaulting-song with a final kick over the bar. House wren, appearing to be > on Prozac, trims outpouring; sounds almost bored, almost stoned. > > A robin street stalking, picks at items smaller than June bugs. > Unfortunately, familiarity has bred disregard. The loss, of course, all > mine. Robin, the first bird I met on my parents' suburban lawn. Since then, > I've seen them everywhere, from in Central Park to Hudson Bay. On Kodiak > Island, robins hopped through leaf litter in the shadow of brown bears. In > the 1970s, they were rare winter birds that occasionally visited dairy > farms; now, they strip my holly berries in January before moving on. In the > mid-eighties, during one severe winter, clouds of tens of thousands robins > descended on the Everglades; they survived on the red fruit of an invasive > shrub called Brazilan pepper. Defecating robins spread pepper seeds. Now, a > portion of the multi-billion dollar Everglades restoration effort includes > control of ubiquitous Brazilan pepper, whose stranglehold on mangrove > jungles is due in part to the discharge of robins. > > Currently, the robin in front of me works the roadside, hopping and > pecking, flicking leaves. If a Costa Rican came to visit and I showed him > an American robin, he'd notice a resemblance to his national bird, the > clay-colored thrush. Erect and plump; hopping; carries a tune. Inveterate > leaf flipper. He'd also notice that a robin is rather handsome: an Ansel > Adams middle-tone gray back; dark head and face; black eyes hemmed by > white; bright yellow bill; burnt orange chest and belly; white undertail > coverts; tail dark like head with white spots on the corners that flashes > when it flies. > > Removing blinkers and describing an American robin . . . almost cathartic. >