Bob the Birder
New York has recently played host to all sorts of wayward rarities from a Magnificent Frigatebird out of the Caribbean to a Western Kingbird from, well, out west. Credit the insane storms that have plagued the U.S. Over the weekend, I was supposed to go after the twitch of the year, an adult male Black-throated Gray Warbler. This bird, which rarely ranges further east than the Texas panhandle, has only been recorded in New York only 7 times in the last 75 years or so. Yet one specimen has been holding court in Forest Park in Queens for the last week, just waiting for me to drop by. Alas, our meeting of the minds was not to be! My busy life conspired to block me from adding this particular black-throated gray to the Core Team life list. There will undoubtedly be more, though probably not within 15 miles of my apartment.
As if to offer me comfort in a time of woe, or more likely to mock my suffering, Mason’s Sunday morning children’s shows offered decidedly bird-themed content this past weekend. Thomas the Tank Engine featured one segment in which a train had to carry a freight of bird watchers to spot a pair of Golden Eagles. Of course, Thomas, like any other train with half a brain, wanted to see the rare raptors as well, so he pushed his responsibilities on a friend and hilarity ensued. The happy ending here is that everyone got great views of the eagles.
Bob the Builder was even more avicentric. In succession, Bob and his friends constructed a bird blind (hide to our UK readers!), built a squirrel-proof bird feeder, and devised a sunflower storage unit to protect the crop from marauding crows. Sounds more like Bob the Birder to me!