As part of my job I have the opportunity to visit local nature centers, classrooms, and other educational facilities to do programs and presentations. Today a co-worker and I had such an opportunity. I decided to use this time - before, during, and after the programs - to do a little Bigbying.
What a rewarding day. In addition to the myriads of Red-winged Blackbirds, and a few American Robins (which always make me happy), an immature Bald Eagle flew into a nearby tree and just hung out there for a while. So I left the class in the hands of my co-worker to take a closer look. It looked like maybe one more year and it would have its adult feathers, but for now, it was looking a bit scraggly. Still, it was awesome to see. This particular nature center is right in the middle of a neighborhood, near an over used, overly polluted river running through the city.
Many communities are making great efforts to clear this river corridor, and make it a nice place for people and wildlife to visit. And it is working in many areas. Obviously, if eagles are visiting, something right must be happening. We also saw a Kestrel, and another hawk (coopers or sharp-shinned) flying by. So with these "top of the food chain" type birds around, that says something good about the habitat.
After work I decided to take my dog on a walk and do a little more Bigbying. Well, there were tons of Starlings, as expected, but to my delight and surprise, I also came across a little group of Dark-eyed Juncos. Now I am embarrassed to say that I have lived in this neighborhood for almost 4 years and never new there were juncos here. And to make it even worse, they were 3 houses down from mine. I just don't usually take my binoculars out with me when I walk my dog in my very busy, cement and asphalt covered neighborhood. I have my BIGBY to thank for that little change in procedure.