I and the Bird #12: The Canterbirdy Tales

2005 December 7
by David J. Ringer

I and the Bird #12: The Canterbirdy Tales

Now when the cold December breezes blew,
November’s final colored leaves did lose
Their grip upon the scaly-limbèd trees,
And all the ponds and streams began to freeze;
The chickadees fluffed up their feathers bright,
While grouse and grosbeaks feasted ‘gainst the night —
Then birders from across the sea and land
Converged to make a journey (what a band!)
To Michigan, the home of Cindy M.,
Because they hoped that she would welcome them.
“Let’s story as we travel on our way,”
A bright young man was heard ere long to say.

The first to speak was Amy of WildBird on the Fly. She told a tale of her pilgrimage to hear a renowned Grail Bird seeker, who showed his audience wonderful things during the Ivory-bill keynote speech.

Then Vicki of Outside In spoke of another woodpecker, a pied dame who raises her children each summer and tries her best to build them a castle. Vicki had pictures of the lady a-feasting, on a Saturday Sabbatical.

The Yuletide season was not far away, and a Wise Crow told his companions about three legendary Christmas Bird Counts, inviting the Northerners to escape the bitter winds and join him in Texas if they could.

Dani of Danielle’s Den remembered a recent Tuesday’s Events; she had celebrated new arrivals to her yard but also mourned the loss of an unfortunate visitor.

“Cruachan!” cried an Aussie, Duncan of Ben Cruachan Blog. He had journeyed to magic mountains, and the other travelers’ eyes grew bright as he told of the exquisite flowers and delightful birds he’d seen Up on the Moroka.

Mike, a seeker of 10,000 Birds, recalled an encounter with some special blackbirds — and plenty of other feathered winter residents of the mighty city he calls home. Right on Rusty!

A scholar then began to speak, inspired by a recent feast. An learner and an writer too, John publishes A DC Birding Blog. He taught the crowd many things that day, of Turkeys, Wild and Otherwise.

Cindy M. of WoodSong sent a message to the travelers, telling them of her love for Northern Cardinals, the “soul-warming red birds.” One of Cindy’s own deeply beautiful photographs illuminated the letter.

Call, author of The Clog Almanac, creates spectacular pictures with his words, and when he finished speaking of his encounter with Hooded Mergansers, the birders sighed with delight.

On moonlit nights in Firefly Forest, a pair of mighty hunters prowls. Beth produced her stunning pictures of the fearsome birds of darkness: Great Horned Owls in the Treetops.

Then in a peculiar juxtaposition, Pascal of Research at a snail’s pace presented a breathtaking picture of his own. A dainty lady perched upon a thumb, waiting quietly: A bird in the hand.

“The holidays approach,” someone said. “Oh what shall I get for my friends who bird?” But the Keepers of the Birding Gear Big Board did not let him despair too long, piping up in quick succession with over a dozen grand ideas: Holiday Gifts for Birders – Books.

Peter of B and B spoke up next and began his tale. He had traveled to the winter home of one of North America’s rarest and most magnificent of birds, and there he watched the Whoopers put on a show that few others will be ever be privileged to see.

A wandering minstrel began to sing; his name was Dave of Bird TLC. He sang of a beautiful, legendary bird who was stricken from the skies one ugly day and found help in the hands of a healer. Maimed, he lives, giving life — One Wing’s Gift — to his brethren.

Birding is not a crime!!!! told of high adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun. From a shrine to some restrooms, from the garbage cans to a garden, a parade of colorful lifers presented themselves: From the Field: Birding Tokyo at the Meiji Jingu Shrine.

Rexroth’s Daughter of Dharma Bums was the next to speak. She presented a perennial mystery — and one solution — in pictures and in words, and the birders looked with her through Novice Eyes.

From the far land of India had come Ami, of Frozen in Time. Ami’s tale concerned a day at the lake — and the newly discovered joys of birding. His pictures of many strange and beautiful birds aroused the wonder and envy of the travelers, but it was all in a day’s Birding @ Pashan for Ami.

Traveling with the company was Lynn, a fervent damsel whose revelations are For Elect Eyes Only. She spoke of a recent Lesson in Listening, and she rejoiced in new birds seen on an unusually warm winter bird count day.

After a thoughtful silence, Clare of The House & other Arctic musings stepped forward. He recalled a particularly vivid encounter with a showy woodland enchanter, and he reminded his listeners why it’s sometimes such a wonderful thing to be Birding Alone.

With a heavy heart, Pamela of Thomasburg Walks spoke of tracks in the snow, tracks that told her The Last Chapter in the tale of a family of Guineafowl.

Charlie of Charlie’s Bird Blog tossed out a challenge: Are these names fake or real? Then one by one, he provided answers, conjuring images of fantastic birds from all across the globe. Quiz #1 was a show not to be missed!

Another traveler began to speak, Rusty of Mokka mit Schlag. He’d been to fair Geneva, and he had tales to tell, of a hairdresser and delightful birds, and a lifer at a castle. There was more to his tale, but he didn’t tell it all just then: Birding Geneva, Part 3.

Chris likes to spend his time Birding in the Arivaca Cienega. He told the birders of a morning that started off quite cold but warmed as he glimpsed a very special bird — a lifer and a rare find in the Arivaca Cienega.

Gwyn of the Bluffs and Valleys tells her Bird brained stories! to all who’ll listen, and she had a special tale for the birders that day. Although her Dreams of boreal species never came true, she had a memorable encounter with a wanderer from even farther away: the Arctic tundra.

Nuthatch of Bootstrap Analysis warned of a black plague that had begun to creep across the land. It kills trees, but its impact does not stop there, for sudden oak death = fewer birds.

As the birders grew silent, YC Wee, a fellow of the Bird Ecology Study Group, took his chance to present a priceless photograph, and to tell a captivating story: Pink-necked Green Pigeons 3 – Sharing of duties.

David was the last to speak, as he often is. He talked of Merlin … a Merlin … the Merlin, the gray lady, who winters at a hospital and serves as a reminder to hope.

Your host next time is namèd Cindy M.
To her or Mike send all your links by when?
December 20, that’s the deadline day,
And do you want to miss it, friends? No way!

16 Responses
  1. Cindy M. permalink
    December 7, 2005

    the bard of bird-blogs!! excellent presentation David, brilliant writing, I love the theme!

  2. Mike permalink
    December 7, 2005

    Brilliant, David!

  3. Duncan permalink
    December 7, 2005

    Great job David, as an occasional poet of sorts myself, I love the concept and intro!

  4. P.M.Bryant permalink
    December 7, 2005

    Great job! I’m looking forward to lots of great reading here.

  5. Dave permalink
    December 7, 2005

    Here ye, here ye. Awesome job David.

  6. Pamela Martin permalink
    December 8, 2005

    Wonderful presentation of a great collection! Thanks David.

  7. John permalink
    December 8, 2005

    Great presentation!

  8. Dani permalink
    December 8, 2005

    Very clever and creative. I dig it! ;-)

  9. TroutGrrrl permalink
    December 8, 2005

    Wow. Just as I was wondering how anyone could possibly think up a new IATB presentation idea…

    Great job David!

  10. vicki permalink
    December 8, 2005

    I feel so welcome to a wonderful neighborhood! David- you have a great site- the birder in me will be spending many hours here. ARGGHHH! And you did such a splendid job of presenting all these links- thank you so very much.

  11. May 6, 2007

    your article have helpfull for another birdwatching lover. can we make network comunity about bird and exchange information. (sorry my english not good)

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