Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Life along an urban flyway

I've been thinking recently about the amazing quantity of birds we've seen since moving to St. Paul-- and by birds, I don't mean backyard songbirds. Those, we've had relatively few of. Though I think the local birds have recently discovered our feeder and are showing up a bit more often. But it appears that the frequent presence in our yard of a certain large white dog might be keeping some birds away....

I'm talking about what I consider to be relatively rare birds: bald eagles, herons, and egrets. I can say for certain that I've seen more bald eagles here in our urban neighborhood in the past 5 months than I had seen, combined, in my 34 years of life. One day, when Daniela's mom was visiting, we took a walk to the nearby park where I had seen several eagles on dog walks. We hoped that we might see one with her.

Instead, we saw many. Many, many, many. Like as many as 8 or 10 in the sky at the same time. Incredible.

I'd say that over our time here, we've seen a bald eagle at least every 2 or 3 days.

Then there are the herons.

Along our usual route home, between the interstate highway and our house, we almost always see a Great Blue Heron flying overhead. If not a heron, then an egret.

We're not that good at telling the difference between Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets (can't always see the color of the feet!), but it's certainly not for lack of practice.

I don't know if I've lived in the wrong places before this, or if the Twin Cities are unusual, but to me, it's nothing short of incredible to see bald eagles and various herons on a more or less daily basis. In the CITY, for pete's sake.

(all pics from Google)


At 10:47 PM, Blogger Pug&MooseMama said...

The last time we saw a bald eagle I was almost like, 'oh yeah, a bald eagle...whatever' like it was a finch or something! It really is amazing.

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An I had 3 mallards in my front yard eating at the bottom of my bird feeder at 9 pm two days ago. The birds ARE living amongs us! Mamita

At 8:24 PM, Blogger leigh andrew said...

incredible! i love great blue herons - probably my favorite. but, i am slowly turning into a night heron fan - i bet you have them too.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Just an update-- the other day while walking Moose, I was musing about this post, and wondering whether perhaps I had overstated the frequency of our bird sightings. Just then, I glanced up at the sky and saw (a block from our house) a great blue heron flapping along. I thought to myself, "OK, there's my daily heron..." And a moment later, I looked up and saw a bald eagle soaring overhead. Within 30 seconds of each other. Crazy.


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