The first bird I saw this morning while I was peeling an orange for breakfast was a Blue Jay perched in my back yard--making it the first bird of the year and christening 2009 as the Year of the Blue Jay. That's fine with me--Blue Jays are intelligent, handsome, and gregarious--not a bad inspiration for a year in which I have a lot of things to do!
After my quick breakfast, I took a 3 mile walk and found 22 other species. Mostly I just walked and listened, but I did stop at one point where 9 Blue Jays and a couple of Tufted Titmice were calling and peeking into a hole in a tree. There was probably a screech owl in there. For a brief moment I thought I saw the reddish feathers of the owl's head in the bottom of the hole opening, but it was too quick to be sure. I'll have to go back down there by the creek with my owl tape one evening and see if I can call it out.
It was really, really cold and windy out, but nice to have the hike and bike path along the creek mostly to myself and the birds. Happy New Year everyone.
What was your first bird of 2009?
Neil Hayward Gunning for ABA Big Year Record
9 hours ago