Beautiful Bird Discovered

Not “discovered” in the sense that I saw it first, but in the sense that I’ve seen it for the first time myself.

When our family was camping in the mountains a couple of weeks ago, I was the first one awake and went out to get the fire started.  As I sat around for a while, I saw the most colorful bird I’ve ever seen in nature flit by the camp, stopping to peck at the ground, then zipping up to the top of a nearby tree, then diving down to a little shrub next to our tent to look around.  Then, he was joined by several of his friends.  As the kids started to wake up, they got to see some of these birds, too.

When we got home, I googled the best description I could come up with: “bird with yellow breast and red head.”  Amazingly, I found what I was looking for right away: the bird was a Western Tanager.  Here’s the picture from Wikipedia:



I especially liked this line from that entry: “…when a non-birder tells a birder, “I saw the most amazing bird!” the birder can guess it was a male of this species.”  I’m proof of that!

I’ve never been a bird watcher, but perhaps I’ll pursue that merit badge when I get to that part of my Man Scout Project.

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