bird brain

If you're small and on a search, I've got a feeder for you to perch on. ~ I Like Birds by The Eels

I have always been an animal lover but I never really cared much for birds growing up. I am not sure why. Maybe it was watching Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, or having a bird swoop down and steal my food at Disney World, or the time I was dressed in my finest clothes and a bird pooped on me. Whatever it was that caused me to dislike them, it stuck around for many years. Perhaps dislike is a harsh word, maybe indifference to birds is more accurate. I just never paid attention. I didn't care.

Recent present from a friendWhen I met my husband he slowly began to change my perspective on birds. He is an avid woodsman and loves all wildlife. He can recognize many different birds and likes to point them out to me when he spots them. He can even do some very convincing loon calls, which always amuse children. My friend even lovingly nicknamed him "the bird lover" after observing him very carefully manoeuvre his car to avoid hitting a pair of ducks. My husband's interest in birds has slowly rubbed off on me and I find myself keeping my eye on my bird feeder more often, and looking new ones up on the internet.

When we moved to Manitoba it opened up new birding possibilities. The first interesting bird we spotted was the wild turkey. They are everywhere! I remember quite fondly our first Thanksgiving weekend in Manitoba when my parents flew from Nova Scotia to visit. We took them for a drive around our community and they had quite a giggle when a flock of wild turkeys were proudly marching up and down the street, completely unaware that it was one of the biggest turkey eating weekends of the year. More recently my husband came home from work one day excited to share some news. He was hesitant to tell me at first, afraid I might think he is crazy, but basically he saw a big bird running across a field that resembled an emu. He realized this sounded absolutely insane but was very adamant he was speaking the truth. I did think he was crazy. He asked some locals and did some research and it turns out it was a very large Sand Hill Crane. I was relieved I wasn't going to have to commit him to an institution.

Do you pay attention to the birds at your feeder or in the wild? Have you seen any interesting birds in Manitoba? Have you ever considered going on a bird watching expedition?

For more information on Manitoba birding please visit www.birdingmanitoba.com.