Monday, February 2, 2009

Paying attention to ducks

CB and I went birdwatching today, at some wetland areas on the west side of Tucson. It was a really nice day, in the 70's and sunny. The last couple of times I've visited, it's been gloomy or rainy, so it was really nice to get out and enjoy some nice weather.

We saw mostly local species, including a pair of hawks that would cruise over the other birds and kind of stir things up a bit. CB really knows his stuff when it comes to birding, and when we go birding together, we have a system. He doesn't say what a bird is, he lets me try to figure it out (which is part of the fun, btw) and if I don't know it, he tells me. He's good that way.

We had just about walked around the length of the loop trail when we sat down to watch a bunch of ducks. Nothing earth shattering in terms of what species were there, but it was really neat just to sit and watch them for half an hour or so. Most of them were surprisingly busy. They'd be getting food, preening, getting into little scuffles with neighbors, but always on the move. They were close, so it was easy to get a good look at them, and appreciate some of the subtleties of the ones that can look similar other species. It was like a duck city, where they all had stuff they needed to do. Maybe all the action was because it's a good time to put on weight for migration.

I like that aspect of bird watching, when one is more concerned with what the birds are doing - appreciating them in some kind of context - rather than just checking off what the bird is.


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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.