Learn Something New Every Day!

Where’s My Backpack? is the blog that hosts a weekly travel theme.  This week, the travel theme is BIRDS.  The following is my submission on this theme.  To see how others have responded, visit Travel Theme: Birds.

Birds: A Few of My Favorite Things

I have always liked birds, but I became a “birder” when I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, and a friend introduced me to bird watching.  With binoculars and field guide in hand, I would catalog the birds I saw.  My life list back then had more than 100 birds recorded.  Eventually I drifted away from taking official birding trips and stopped adding new entries to my life list.  But I still love birds and notice them wherever I go.  And I delight when I see a new species for the first time. 

Western Gull, Monterey, CA

Western Gull, Monterey, CA

laughing gulls 2aMy favorite birds from living in South Texas were Laughing Gulls.  They are not very unique down there, but they were different than the gulls from Southern California.  Besides, their name was apt:  their calls really did sound like they were laughing and cackling and chortling.  Every time I would travel to Padre Island, flocks of Laughing Gulls would come around, looking for popcorn or chips.  They were always quite fun!  And if we did not feed them quickly enough, they would dive bomb us. They would even invade the blankets when we looked away, pulling things apart looking for food.  

This video lets you hear them laughing!

laughing gulls 3

feeding gulls

I also used to travel quite frequently to Ashland, Oregon.  And when I did I would always visit Lithia Park.  It is a great city park with a babbling brook, hiking trails, and gorgeous trees and flowers.  It also was home to some swans and a variety of ducks.  I was especially intrigued by the Mute Swans, noting that they reportedly mated for life. Although the specific swans have changed over time, Mute Swans have been a part of the park’s Upper Duck Pond for at least 70 years. 

Here are some photos of the Mute Swans from one of my visits:


swan side view

swan wings

swan upclose

The Mallards and Wood Ducks visit Lithia Park often as well:

female mallard


wood duck

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 “I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.”   Henry David Thoreau

 “Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”    Henry Van Dyke

 “No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”   William Blake

 “In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”  Robert Lynd

 “I don’t feed the birds because they need me; I feed the birds because I need them.”  Kathi Hutton

“Birds have done great jobs for the progression of humanity:  They kept alive our love for freedom and they insistently motivated us to reach the skies, to reach the stars!”  Mehmet Murat ildan

“I hope you love birds too.  It is economical.  It saves going to heaven.”  Emily Dickinson

Comments on: "Travel Theme: Birds (A Few of My Favorite Things)" (9)

  1. Cheers to your love for birds . but I never knew you were a birder. 🙂

    • Yeah. I am a birder, but it is not a label I have been waving lately. But I do stop to watch a hawk soar or some red-winged black birds dart among the reeds. Ya no, some cops are not happy when you stop along the road for things as frivolous as watching birds! Happy New Year!

  2. We have a quite a lot of laughing gulls here in southern Massachusetts along with several other species. Last summer I watched one of those crazy laughing gulls perched on a piling literally throw his head way back as he laughed…just like he was having the time of his life.

  3. Beautiful images, Patti.

    Wishing you a wonderful and Happy New Year!

  4. […] have written about birds before whether out in the wild or on display at a zoo.  Hummingbirds are especially glorious!  But all […]

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