Sunday, March 29, 2009

Birds have wings

... and show up in the strangest places.

We went birding today, in the far, far wild, unspoiled, pristine environment ... of an office park.

That's right. An office park. We saw a life bird - a Harris' Sparrow - at a bird feeder behind some corporate office in a corporate park in the very corporate town of Columbia, Md. You know the type of place - identical red brick office buildings, with parking spaces, corporate signs and nice landscaping, with (in this case) a sorta pathetic (corporate) picnic table out back. Very unobtrusive street signs. Chain restaurants nearby. SHOOT ME. Some good soul had placed a bird feeder behind one of these buildings, right next to a measly ravine where a rivulet ran by. You could hear the traffic whiz past near by and see some humongous warehouse across the road.

National Wildlife Refuge this wasn't. But as any good birder knows - birding doesn't always take place in the most romantic of places. Gulls and crows at landfills. Rails and waterfowl at sewage treatment plants. Hawks by the side of the Interstate highway.

And there it was. A Harris' Sparrow. Way way *way* out of range. This is a Midwestern/arctic tundra bird. How had he found this little bird feeder in the back of an office park in Anywhere Town USA? We are left to wonder ... and think about all the birds out there that we never see.


8 comments:

Kallen305 said...

So neat!!! I can't believe it found its way there of all places!!!

Thanks for the tip of water tretment plants. I never knew that and there is one 3 miles from me!

dAwN said...

Did you just happen upon the Harris or was it a bird alert?
We tried to see one that was hanging out in florida...decided to hide and not show its face when we were there.
oh well..
nice sighting!

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Kallen,
Yes, the joys of water treatment plants and garbage dumps! Great for dates or anniversay trips...

Dawn,
The Harris was a bird alert through our MD listserv. Good find and nice of the finder to let everyone know. How great would it be to happen upon something this rare?... someday...
L&W

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment! Congratulations on the cool find of the Harris' Sparrow. I haven't been able to add that one to my birding list yet. Isn't it exciting to have a "find" like that. My newest "finds" this spring have all been wildflowers: Bluebells, Cut-leaved Toothwort, Toothwort (aka Pepper-root or Crinkle-root: its roots are crinkly- and tasty- but not necessarily "peppery") and a few more that are new to me that I won't bore you with- but I will be adding them to my blog as I have time to research them. Thanks again for dropping by. I will continue to follow ya'lls blog. I love the header on your blog.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Daniel,
Thanks for stopping by here! I am proud to say that my Cute Husband painted the header for our blog!Sooo... thanks for enjoying.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Posting this for John Briggs of www.birdingmaine.com

John, thanks for stopping by, and sorry for the troubles posting a comment:

Congrats on the Harris' Sparrow! It's great you were able to get photos.
Thanks for stopping by my site. You can find the info you requested on attracting Orioles and the rib recipe under your comments on my site.

Kathiesbirds said...

Wow! That's awesome! And who is he hanging out with?

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Hanging out with two very handsome Fox Sparrows! Not a bad little feeder....