CUC Bird Walk Report: Sun Mar 2

Bird Walk Results
Sunday Morning Mar 2

Report filed by:
Rev. LoraKim Joyner, DVM

Time of observations: 8:30am - noon EST
Site: Grounds of Community Unitarian Church, 468 Rosedale Ave (approx. 8 acres)

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, immature
This morning's bird walk was simply balmy, more than 20 degrees warmer than the last walk. The nine of us didn't quite peel off the layers down to t-shirts, but I did begin to trust that soon we would be sipping lemonade on the porch after the walk instead of huddling in front of the fire and drinking hot tea. The swelling red maple buds do not lie - Spring is coming!

Our theme this morning was Avian Zen, using Zen Buddhism as a means to show the spiritual and health aspects of bird watching. During the walk we both intentionally listen and seek to identify birds, and then at other times we simply walk, or be, so that we in essence can grow our compassion for all beings. We also highlighted a few koans, which are Zen's way of puzzling the student so that they can see that there is no difference between themselves and others. The most challenging koan for the morning, however, was identifying certain birds. We will never know who the two high flying gulls were, but we did figure out that the brown woodpecker was an immature yellow-bellied sapsucker - a new bird species for CUC grounds!

While walking around we noticed several bird species sparring with one another, a sign of spring coming and male territoriality. Males will be quite driven by their hormones, as Spring brings on what is known as gonadal recrudescence. For example, the male robins' testicles will increase in size over 500 times. That's a lot of hormones!

We reached 23 species on this walk, an all time high. Each of these counts is entered in eBird and you can review these lists by going www.ebird.org and seeing what birds have been seen on our property. You can also come see the birds in person, learn fascinating facts about birds, experience a nature spiritual practice, and enjoy one another's company.

The next bird walk will be on Sun Apr 20.

See you there,

Here’s the complete bird list:

Species Seen Sun Mar 2

Dark-eyed Junco
1 Red-tailed hawk
3 mourning dove
1 red-bellied woodpecker
2 downy woodpecker
1 hairy woodpecker
1 yellow-bellied sapsucker
3 blue jay
2 black-capped chickadees
1 tufted titmouse
2 white-breasted nuthatch
1 Carolina wren
3 American robin
3 European starling
1 song sparrow
2 white-throated sparrow
5 dark-eyed junco
3 Northern cardinal
2 house finch
2 house sparrow
14 American goldfinch
8 Canada geese
2 gulls
5 common grackle

Previous Bird Walk Reports (click on date)
Sun Feb 9
Sun Jan 5

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