Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bird of the day

During this time of year, I keep an eye out for flocks of snow buntings as I drive along the country roads. I have seen flocks of 50 to over 100 birds in past years. It's a glorious site, seeing these stark black and white birds, and the way they swirl over the snow covered pastures.

Today I saw only a half dozen or so birds. Their behavior outside of a large flock seemed different. The way they flapped their wings was butterfly-like, and it took some time for my brain to accept that they were indeed birds. But there's no black and white butterfly of that size which lives here in the winter.

This year there's quite a few sitings of unusual birds, though I haven't seen any. Honestly, I enjoy whatever birds I see, rare or not. This winter we've got an infrequent but regular visitor to our feeders, a red breasted nuthatch . The photograph at the Cornell Lab link doesn't do the bird justice. They are sleek and elegant, to my eyes.


BitterGrace said...

I would love to see a flock of snow buntings. Several years ago we had a lone stray snow bunting show up with our feeder birds. He seemed to have attached himself to a flock of white-crowned sparrows, a species that always winters here. It was a strange thing, but I have heard of other strays like him. He was beautiful, but I always felt a little sorry for him.

jmcleod76 said...

Oooh, purrrrty!