Eeyore, the less-than-fully-optimistic burro/donkey buddy of Winnie-the-Pooh is probably a fine birder, although I cannot find a reference for his life list.
We can be assured that he would never assume that a bird he sees is a rare one. Rather, his observations would be recorded slowly, deliberately and with great attention to detail, carefully ruling out any “expected” similar species, one by one.
These are good things.
However, Eeyore’s perspective on things can sometimes be a bit burdensome for the rest of us. Please address responses to the following to Eeyore, not to me, for surely the prospects of birding in the din of the summer of 2011 that he predicts are worsened more by his nature than by the subjects of his message.
I knew you’d be calling when I heard about the big snow storm. It was just a matter of time--the snow, I mean. Missouri’s been overdue for this sort of storm for years. And your call was a little later than I’d expected. Birders can be such a whiny lot when we can’t get out. Good thing you’ve got birds at the feeder to entertain you--until you run out of seed, which you will.
If you think birding prospects are bad in 18 to 20 inches of snow, you need to think about spring and summer. Humph! Don’t think too long with that dreamy smile in those unfocused eyes.
I’ll set you straight on this with one word--CICADAS. Nope, not the usual annual ones. This year they’re going to be joined by their cousins, the 13 -year cycle periodical cicada, specifically the Great Southern Brood.
This was in the newspaper this week.
“Columbia is going to be in the thick of it...a meeting of academics from across the world who study acoustical insects will be held this June in Columbia, where they can observe this ‘mind-boggling’ insect....Europeans have never sen anything like that...[it’s a] purely North American phenomenon.”
They’re gonna come out of the ground in April or May, maybe a few at a time or in big waves, depending on how fast the ground thaws. Then they’re gonna eat, and eat. That’s not really a big deal; they don’t hurt the trees too much.
It’s the communal mating chorus that’s the big deal. Your back yard is going to be a cicada lek. So is the local park, the wildlife refuge, the lake, everywhere you go. There will be noise, lots of it, and loud. The chorus can reach 100 decibels!
Think you’ll be able to hear that chickadee? Or the Bay-breasted Warbler?
Well, at least that’s something to take your mind off the snow.
Thanks, Eeyore, we sure needed that.
Columbia (ground zero) MO
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