Thursday, July 19, 2007


One goldfinch ("That's not a yellow butterfly, it's a bird!")

One red-winged blackbird (not near my house--on a family visit)

What is it about the red-winged blackbird that tugs at my heart? There are plenty of medium-sized black birds around. But the sight of that red and yellow epaulet . . . tells me I'm in the country. Grackles and starlings seem common and ordinary. The red-winged blackbird is a wild bird.

Update (August 21): I have seen the goldfinch twice more since then, once in the same location and just today, in another spot about half a mile away from the original sighting. I assume it is the same bird. They must have their own territory. The second time, I also saw him with a plain brown bird which I assume to have been his mate.

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