As I write this, it is snowing again in Indiana. We are only supposed to get six to ten inches though, so it’s really not one of the worst storms we have had so far in 2014. The temperature tomorrow is also supposed to be in the low 20s, which is pretty warm so far for the year. In all, I think I can count three days where the temperature has gotten above freezing since the beginning of January, and I have only birded twice in that time. It’s pretty difficult to have a successful strategic year with stats like those. But I do have some good birds!
I was fortunate enough to have my camera with me one day when I found this American Kestrel eating lunch out by the airport. Despite the sheer numbers of these tiny, colorful falcons present in the great corn desert, I have never gotten a photo of one.
I also had a very good yard bird yesterday. Jaime gets credit for hearing this Barred Owl first, and then I was able to spot it in the Norway Spruce separating our yard from the neighbors’. Walter’s room is decorated with owls, so it was pretty cool to see this one at eye level right outside his window. It stayed for over an hour, calling almost continuously. We have dubbed him Owlbert, and he has given much weight to the theory that the general public is more receptive to owls than other types of birds. Along with the Snowy Owl from December, the picture of this owl garnered intense outpourings of love from my Facebook friends. Meanwhile, I could post a photo of the rarest bird on earth and get two or three likes. Perhaps owls are the gateway drug to get people into birding? I should try and test that.