Growing up, I have many fond memories of watching birds with my grandparents. We often drove to a bird sanctuary near the Jersey shore or watched the bird feeders in their back yard, which backed up to marsh land. My grandfather loved painting Northern Cardinals. They are one of my favorite birds. And they are the state bird for seven states, including Virginia, which is where I live.
Although I have a very small yard with a single Crepe Myrtle tree, I am fortunate to have a tree preservation area just behind us. Somewhere back in the woods is a rumored Bald Eagle’s nest. I haven’t actually seen it with my own eyes, but a serious bird watcher in my neighborhood says there is one. I have seen a young Bald Eagle recently, eyeing my dog like its next meal, so the rumor is probably true. I picked up my little guy and ran home. It is necessary to have tree preservation areas where I live, although it seems like the laws are always changing to give way to generating tax revenue.
I live in a D.C. suburb that has more than 5 million square feet of data space, meaning 70% of the world’s internet traffic passes through here. Data centers are big ugly buildings that sit on a lot of land. Residential construction never seems to end as new homes crowd out farm land and destroy forested areas. When we first moved here, there were cows. They are gone. Now black bears occasionally roam into neighborhoods as we destroy their natural habitats.
Oops! A bit of a tangent there. Back to bird watching. The birds are also losing their natural habitats and as that happens, we are losing birds. According to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, we have lost 1 out of 4 birds since 1970.
“We’ve lost 2.9 billion breeding birds from North American skies.”
– from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website
I have a small birdfeeder in my tree and I am working on ways to add stands for feeders to my fence. I often enjoy watching birds while I have breakfast, and when I have time during the day. And I often see birds when I am out walking my dog.
Today, I snapped a few photos on our walk, and since I haven’t written recently, I thought I would share one of my interests with you – bird watching.