I know that may sound a bit close-minded, but birds never seemed as cute as furry little puppies and/or kittens. And for me - that was a problem!
Because I’m naturally drawn to adorable little mammals with fluffy tails, soft paws, warm/wet noses and Bambi-like eyelashes, it took me a few moments and even some years to appreciate the wonder of birds.
Certainly not at all like Big Bird, Sesame Street’s adorable 8-foot, 2-inch yellow bird who lived next to Oscar's trash can.
Seriously! What was nature thinking?
Besides adding color, sound and visual interest to any outdoor landscape, I've learned within the bird kingdom, there’s always some drama being played out, which made me wonder how I missed that gossipy fact in the first place.
I mean every bird, regardless of its species, is dealing with something. (Sound familiar?)
It may involve the important struggles of eating, mating, finding and protecting a safe habitat and/or trying to feed and protect their young. They may also be taking care of their personal hygiene and health by sunning, bathing or sleeping. (Note: It can be tough to sleep in a forest of nighttime predators.)
From dawn to dusk, there doesn't seem to be an end to their busy little lives and unique personalities. And speaking of personalities, my husband and I have designated a few birds including the following as our "favorites" entirely based on their interesting personalities.
(Not very academic, but it makes us smile.)
Crows are funny, noisy creatures that caw loudly and let everyone know they’re in the room. (A little like some people I know.) They love to play and show off gravity-defying dive bombs and death rolls. They’re smart, comical and hysterical to watch.
And if Canada Geese weren't already the most cantankerous of birds, during the season of mating and caring for their offspring, they're 100 percent worse making them downright laughable. The other day we watched a policeman attempt to shoo a gaggle of them off the road. They not only stood their ground, but took off after him. (Wished I had gotten it on video.)
Flitting little sparrows made the "fav list" just because they have a ton of moxie. This is especially obvious when these bite-sized morsels launch massive air strikes against their Red-tailed Hawk enemies. They not only chase hawks out of their territories, but also dive bomb them while in flight demonstrating exactly who’s boss. (Napoleon complex I am guessing.)
Woodpeckers of all varieties (and there're a lot) provide a frenzied musical backbeat with their industrious drilling into forest trees making the woods seem like a set from the Lion King.
Barred Owls are always patient, wise and noiseless flyers. They can sit quietly for an eternity on a pine branch at Jeffrey Woods waiting in silence for their next victim. And while they're truly amazing birds, they're also stealth-like serial killers that rarely miss their mark. Note: Owl pellets filled with their dinners can be discovered on Jeffrey Woods' trails.
Mourning Doves are my favorite and definitely the Winnie-the-Pooh within the bird kingdom. They have a gentle nature and their soft, melodic cooing creates a hypnotic lullaby sound. A naturalist recently told me that in the spring when males gently push and nudge each other to win a female's attention, they frequently just tumble over. LOL
foliage in the woods and the increased population and activity of its high flyers.
You won't want to miss this episode of the “The Real Birds of Bexley Ohio.”