Friday, June 29, 2012

Major League Bird Mysteries

Are you always birding?  Even when you should be just enjoying some other activity?

Wednesday night I took my son to a Phillies game, and couldn't turn off the birds.  There wasn't a whole lot of birds to see, mostly just Chimney Swifts darting around over Citizen's Bank Park at dusk.  But there was one pigeon that seemed to want to get in on the game during the top of the first inning.
What's that trying to steal home along the third base line?
Major league pigeon
Since the Pirates didn't score during the first inning, but Utley and Ruiz back-to-back homered for the Phillies in the bottom of the 1st, I thought for sure this must be a lucky pigeon.  But then it disappeared, and the Pirates ended up winning 11-7.  So was this a lucky pigeon, that we needed to see more of during the rest of the game, or a bad Pirate pigeon coming to steal the game for the Phillies?  I guess we need more data on this one, so perhaps folks who spend more time at Phillies or Pirates games can tell me more about the relationship between these teams and these birds?

For birders, here's another major league mystery--is the Phillies Phanatic actually a bird?  Here he is doing the customary 7th inning dance on top of the Phillies dugout.
Notice the tail.  Sure looks like feathers to me!  So is the Phanatic really some sort of flightless tube-beaked bird?  Can I add him to my eBird checklist for Wednesday night?  Does he count on my ABA list?  Perhaps we can get the eBird folks and the American Birding Association checklist committee to chime in on this one!

In the meantime, have fun out there, and bird responsibly!


  1. Well, if the Phanatic were the Pirates' mascot, I'd say it was definitely ship-assisted.

  2. Ha! Awesome. I've definitely been watching the birds when something else is going on, but I don't even know where to start in identifying the Phillies mascot.

  3. I have reverently and quietly enjoyed birds at funerals and weddings. The only way I endure family photos is by identifying birds by ear.

  4. Hi there - nice post! I once stopped a meeting at work because a group of large black cockatoos landed outside the window! It kind of cemented my reputation for eccentricity!

    Stewart M - Australia

  5. Very fun post! Thanks for the chuckle.

  6. This is very funny story :D! Thanks this post!

  7. Common Nighthawks at a Yankee game a few years ago. Yanks lost.

  8. Common Nighthawks are great sporting event birds. So far this year my only Common Nighthawk was a bird that flew over my son's little league game. My only one last fall was a bird flying in the lights over our local high school football game.