[at-l] birds, Slate

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Wed Jan 19 12:44:49 CST 2011

Last Friday's article in Slate might appeal to those who are looking at
birds these days. Seems it's becoming a vogue thing for the aging
population, even sparking an upcoming Steve Martin movie. See
http://www.slate.com/id/2280960 for the whole article, here's the lead


"For a few days this month, America became a nation of bird-watchers. More
than 3,000 dead black birds started raining from the sky
shortly before the new year broke in Beebe, Ark., prompting widespread
concern about ecological disaster
na-and-arkansas-tied-to-the-bp-oil-spill> , government conspiracy
sting-result/> , and the Rapture
<http://www.allaboutgod.net/forum/topics/35000-dead-birds-100000-fish> .
This was not the first time feathered creatures landed recently in public
life. Birding, these days, is everywhere. In Jonathan Franzen's best-selling
e=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0312600844> Freedom,
paterfamilias Walter Berglund becomes a bird fanatic to conjure meaning in
his drifting life. (Freedom's cover-maybe you have seen it?-sports a large,
teed-off-looking cerulean warbler.) Annie Proulx's new memoir,
e=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0743288807> Bird Cloud,
flatlines "into long descriptions of bird watching," wrote
<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/books/05book.html>  the critic Dwight
Garner. These next months, meanwhile, Princeton will publish three
e=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0691135592>  separate
e=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0691147787>  bird guides
e=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=069114849X> ; Steve Martin will
star <http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62A0C120100311>  in a screen
version of
e=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001O9CHPW> The Big Year (a
tale of pan-continental birding); and the nation's leading bird-art
exhibition <http://www.lywam.org/birdsinart/>  will turn 35. If American
life is, as some people like to say, a tree of many branches, it is starting
to seem a good idea not to stand beneath it."


My recent life birds include hybrids of Mallard Ducks crossed with Black
Duck, Northern Pintail and Gadwall. Canada Geese hybrids with Domestic
Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose and possible Swan. The big sighting was
the Pink-footed Goose, only the 3rd bird seen in MA historical records! All
seen since Thanksgiving .



(Arthur Gaudet)

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