Western Meadowlark by Terry Gray
You can tell when American Idol has selected their final 24 contestants because just about simultaneously the best bird singers are returning to Avimor. Last year, it was on March 4th that I recorded the first Western Meadowlarks of the year. As the Red-winged Blackbirds showed earlier this season, spring migration is trending a couple of weeks ahead of last year's schedule. I was surprised to hear three of them singing from the tops of sage and bitterbrush on the western hills across the highway and I was able to spot them through my binoculars. The pitch of their song pierced through the din of traffic and Starlings and Red-Wings.
It really was a fantastic morning bird walk. A coyote yipped from the eastern hills. A pair of fat cottontail rabbits (pregnant?) nibbled nonchalantly on new grass shoots within just feet of me and hardly seemed to notice me near. A Ring-neck Pheasant uttered its loud ka-tuck ka-tuck ka-tuck and I heard the distinct buzzing trill of the Spotted Towhee. Both birds heard, but not seen. A Downy Woodpecker zoomed up and down that still winter barren branches while Black-capped Chickadees cheered me with their calls. Not to be outdone, Song Sparrows were singing for the lives hoping to be included in the Idol top 10.
Momma Great Horned Owl looks comfy on her nest. She didn't even bother to open her big beautiful amber eyes at me this morning. Perhaps her way of snubbing the paparazzi.
Just another beautiful day at Avimor!