Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Never, in all my twenty-plus years of watching birds in the wild and in my backyard, have I ever seen an evening Grosbeak. Two weeks ago, while surfing the confines of S.B.'s recliner, half watching Rory Mcilroy fall apart in the final rounds of the Master's, half eyeballing the goings on at Snow White's Freakin' Wilderness Sanctuary, I saw two of them, a large male and his mate, him outfitted in neon yellow, gray and white, she slightly smaller and a tad less colorful. They were only here long enough to have quick sip from the birdbath before flitting away in a flash of color. I didn't even have time to grab my camera.
Moments ago, I saw them again. And again, no time for the camera.
Still, it was a lucky ducky sighting, because these fellas are not only rare, but rapidly declining in numbers. According to a FeederWatch report, their sightings over all have dropped by fifty percent between 1988 and 2006. At sites where they are still reported, average flock size has decreased by 27 percent. No one knows why.
I'm glad I got to see them at least once, make that twice, in my life. Hopefully, more.
Come back, birdies, come back!
If you watch birds, what's the rarest species you've ever seen?