Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hosting Rare Birds

In birding, there is one thing quite possibly more fun than chasing a rare bird. That would be "hosting" one. When an exceptionally rare bird is reported, the birdwatchers will come out of the wood work to see these rarities, often bringing gifts to the host or hostess.

The host opens his yard or farm up to a variety of bird obsessed folks, and a whole new perspective of birding begins to form.

Bullock's Oriole in Woodsfield, Ohio photo by C. Harner

Currently (as of 4/21/11) a western bird, Bullock's Oriole is being seen in eastern Ohio. The gracious hosts, Bob and Martie welcomed people into their lives... and gained an unusual perspective on birding. Martie wrote a wonderful story, and I told her I would be proud to host it. So to read Martie's Oriole story- click on the tab, "Hosting the Bullock's Oriole" at the top of this page (and enjoy her clever wit.)

A what do rare birds have to do with botany?

Cut-leaved Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) and Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), at the Yoder Farm.

Yesterday, being a "weedpicker" paid off. While looking to re-located a Varied Thrush on Andy Yoder's family's farm... of course, I was looking down.... at wildflowers. I did stop to give every "Robin" the once over.

... Varied Thrush Photo by Minette Layne

I had no more arrived at the property when I can across the female Varied Thrush foraging through wet leaves a short distance in front of me. Utterly stunned- I froze. I even forgot to reach for my camera in my excitement! I tried to motion to the others without creating TOO big a scene, and by the time I turned back I had lost my opportunity for a photo.

And so, today many eyes are searching the wet woods in hope of catching a glimpse of this lovely thrush. My advice, keep your eyes on the ground! I am sure it will be re-found.

After all, we have the "Holmes County birding team" on the job!


  1. Really like the way you link the plants and birds and weave it into a cool story.

  2. Thanks Red!

    It is unwise to separate the two- birds gotta eat!