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6.7.10 It's a Bird!

I've always been into birds. Where I grew up, in Santa Cruz, California, we had lots of bossy Stellar blue jays, noisy woodpeckers, seagulls, and hummingbirds that drank from our bottlebrush bushes. But I developed a great passion for spotting birds when we were in India. Gliding along the backwaters of Kerala in the South, binoculars glued to my face, I saw some truly exotic beauties—tiny, vividly colored kingfishers, long-legged herons, split-tailed drongos—and I was hooked! My girlfriend Lisa and I even kept a list of our sightings. It was truly a thrill to watch it grow. With the advent of spring, and G's frequent replenishment of our feeders, our yard is full of bluejays, mourning doves (I adore their sorrowful coos), waxwings, red-breasted robins and lots of other little brown birds I have yet to identify. And on our forays beyond, we've encountered many others, such as the enormous turkey vulture, above. The fringe-like quality of its wings makes it easily identifiable, and they're often circling in groups of three or four. This weekend we saw one hunched over a dead deer at the side of the road. They're rather ugly, these carrion-eaters, and yet they have their place in the cycle.