Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hi, hi, black birds?

February 3, 2010

I wish the annual Audubon Bird Count was going on in Peachtree City yesterday. The trees around City Hall were aflutter with a veritable cacophony of little black birds migrating somewhere. I tried to get some pics by trailing their chorus through Picnic Park, but they hopped trees, en masse, so quickly that I couldn’t get close enough for an ID or snapshot.

Oh well. Since I was beside Lake Peachtree, a gaggle of coots came to see if I had food to share – the year-round resident Canada geese and mallards were trailing right behind them. The coots posed for my camera, but a lone bluebird streaked by too quickly for the auto focus to catch.

I confess, I’m actually not an avid bird watcher (or I would probably have been able to identify the little black birds by their call). I have a bird feeder, stocked with a variety of tasty treats from our local wild bird store, and I have a small book that helps me identify most of the standard suburban visitors. With that said, Peachtree City is a real birder’s paradise. The entire city is a designated bird sanctuary, and with 30% of our 24 square miles left as some type of natural green or open space, there are a huge variety of birds to be seen on our winding paths and in our nature areas.

I can now recognize with ease the regular red-tailed hawks and great blue herons fishing in our lakes and streams, but had the devil of a time identifying a juvenile green heron a couple of years ago. We’ve even had reports of several bald eagles spending time near the Lake Peachtree dam, but I wasn’t able to spot one.

So, with wet socks – it was a chilly, rainy day -- I waved goodbye to the flock of unidentified little black birds as they passed through our town. They brought a cheery note to what was otherwise a pretty gray Groundhog Day.

Contributed by Betsy Tyler, Public Information Officer/City Clerk