Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's Canada Goose not Canadian Goose

There is a new love in my life. Recently I have spent hours staring at this new love with desperate fascination. I'm so infatuated that I'm into serious stalking...with binoculars. So what if the object of my obsession has feathers. I'm not ashamed to admit that I am on my way to becoming a serious Birder. Don't laugh. The birds are safe. In spite of my most stealthy self, they won't let me get close.

Last weekend I witnessed something rare among the Anseriformes at Heppler's Ponds. In the midst of 200 waterfowl emerged 6 Canada Geese which were in the aristocratic company of 4 Tundra Swans! I watched, transfixed, as the unusual group swam to the edge of the pond, got out, waddled across the snow and took off together. Wow. It was surprising to see how much the svelte Swans towered over their unlikely companions. I did not know Tundra Swans and Canada Geese hung out.

By the end of this semester I must identify 200 species of our avian friends for an ornithology class. What an exciting challenge. By the way...the Red Jungle Fowl is the ancestor to what bird? (Hint: it tastes like chicken).