Everyone has that moment of clarity when they realize their calling to bird. When I figure out what mine was, I’ll let you know. (We all have those moments, we just don’t all remember them!) What I wanted to recall today was watching someone else’s moment.
At work we will frequently all run to one side, not because the building is listing, but because someone has just spotted a noteworthy bird. We spent nearly a week determining whether our visiting hawk was a Red-Shoulder or a Cooper’s Hawk. Every time the bird appeared, there’d be a run to the windows and a phone call to the lower offices to alert them as well. This is what happens when you work at a nature center.
The only avian activity this week has been the woodpeckers. Apparently there was a false alarm a few days ago regarding a Pileated Woodpecker sighting. We do have them, but bird in question happened to be a Red-bellied Woodpecker. So today, when the real Pileated made an appearance close to the center my co-worker was elated. He was the one to spot it and had enough time to run inside to grab binoculars for a better look. Standing in the cold sans coats, we watched a Red-bellied and Pileated systematically climb up the snags searching for grub. When he walked in well after the rest of us, he was glowing and not from the cold. In his future he perceived making plans and investments for a continued search for feathered friends.
Another birder is born! Trips to the Meadowlands are closer than they appear. Then Cape May, Hawk Mountain, and then the world!
In other news, “thesis” outline submitted to adviser!