birds! birds! birds!

Owls have such awesome names. I do think the one I saw was a Barred, because I have heard it screeching. In general, though, owls are not my bird. My favorite (common) birds:
1. Great Blue Heron
2. Red-tailed Hawk
3. Red-winged blackbird

These birds are all found plentifully near Buffalo, which is where I first began watching birds; it was the heron who first won me. On his Transient Views of Western New York, Terry Cuddy has some awesome heron footage from the path behind Ellicott at UB (mostly of territory wars).

I have loved other birds. But always the heron, always the hawk. I’m also a fan of the Raven, since it brought us light (this is a slightly different story than the one I’ve heard, but you get the picture). And I like less usual birds, who could turn away a rainbow lorikeet?

There are lots of hawks in Western New York. The most I have seen in a day was 22, of which 20 were red-tailed. Driving, one can see them on a clear day sunning themselves in trees on the roadside, you can pace off their ranges and know when to expect the next one. I have been within inches of these birds and they are huge and scary and wonderful. When they are hunting, to feel the rush of their wings unexpectedly behind you is awesome, in the traditional sense of the word.


About Jessica Smith
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9 Responses to birds! birds! birds!

  1. Lyle Solla-Yates says:

    Barred owls are my favorite owl. Did you hear a call like the stereotypical owl call? “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”

  2. Jessica Smith says:

    I haven’t heard its call, only (what I think must be) its screech. I wonder if I’ll be lucky enough to see it again?

    Barred owls are your favorite? 1. You have a favorite owl? 2. Barred, really?

    I thought Shanna, Lorraine, Ryan, Susana and I were the only weirdos at the bird teaparty. Welcome. Make yourself at home. Have a cookie.

    i like the teensy barn owls. best is when they’re fully white like snowies. but they’re more affable than snowies.

  3. Lyle Solla-Yates says:

    I absolutely have a favorite owl. One day a few years ago and had to decide which I liked best, and I studied all the owls I knew that were around central Virginia, and I found barred owls were my favorite by far. And I love their call, it’s very spooky. They had an important role in Twin Peaks also, as you’ll recall.
    I don’t believe barred owls screech. You may have a different owl.
    I’m allergic, but I’d love some tea. Birds are fantastic. If my life were more settled, I’d fill my bird feeder and get a bird bath. Perhaps this summer? And some bird-friendly plants as well. I acquired a list from a bird-loving developer. Fantastic.
    Barn owls are totally cute. I don’t like their call as much and I don’t find them as haunting as barred owls, but they’re great owls, really.
    And don’t take this the wrong way, but in the Woolen Mills, we get herons, and they are gorgeous and majestic.

  4. Jessica Smith says:

    wait, how would i take it that would be the wrong way? i’m not sure what all “woolen mills” refers to anyway. is it a specific building site or a whole area?

    you’re allergic to tea or to cookies? (i bet you aren’t allergic to etea and ecookies, here … )

    they have some beautiful bird baths at wild birds unlimited on the 29. i’ve thought of getting one myself, or at least a bird feeder. here i have a giant tree outside my window that attracts many small birds and my cats love to watch them.

    i never thought about what kind of owl it was in Twin Peaks, but that makes me a little creeped out about Barreds.

    what kind of owl was in “secret of nihm”? (sarah! you weren’t born yet when nihm came out, you should see if you haven’t)

  5. Lyle Solla-Yates says:

    Owl from Nimh?

    Wonderful movie. I would call that a made-up owl that doesn’t look like anything specific but is very owl-like. It looks like an old Chinese sage.
    And I was wrong about Twin Peaks. Those are Great Horned Owls. Totally different, much spookier looking. I think they used the Barred Owl call though. I’ll check next time I watch the series.

    The Woolen Mills is the village I live in, currently split between Charlottesville and Albemarle County. It was originally settled in 1790 and has a long and interesting history and is beautiful. I love it. I’m working with my neighbors to preserve it for its historical and cultural value.

    I’m allergic to wheat and dairy, which makes me doubly allergic to cookies, but I will eat your ecookies with savor.

    I’ll check Wild Birds Unlimited out. I worry about the cats. There are some in my neighborhood. They eat the birds. It’s upsetting.

    I was concerned that I don’t communicate as well in text as I do in person. I’m very expressive: gestures, expressions, physical cues.

  6. Jessica Smith says:

    Eeek! Yes, that owl. That scared me when I was a kid.

    my cats dn’t eat birds. yes, i know it’s a problem. my cats aren’t allowed outside. and actually, they never try to escape (unlike ginny’s cat)

    oh wow, it’s beautiful out in woolen mills.

    there’s no wheat or dairy in these e-cookies! i made them just for you.

  7. Lyle Solla-Yates says:

    Yes, I was afraid of the owl also as a kid. Not so much now.

    Good for you, you are a good cat mom.

    Yes, the Woolen Mills is very beautiful. I love it.

    Perfect, thank you for the e-cookies.

  8. Ryan W. says:

    I like big solitary birds that you can only creep up on in a sea kayak. I saw Winged Migration recently. Blew me away. Parrotlets are my favorite bird. I like the traditional awesome.

  9. Moranna says:

    I live in Spain and although I often hear the owls, I haven’t yet seen them. I see quite a lot of Eagles and buzzards over our Valley and kestrels over the orange groves. I have never been to New York but I am surprised to learn there are Hawks over New York .

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