It’s National Audubon Day. Audubon was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter noted for his extensive studies of American birds and his detailed illustrations of the birds in their natural habitats. Audubon’s greatest work was The Birds of America which is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. His work in this book contains more than 700 North American bird species with 435 hand-colored, life-size prints of 497 bird species.
I have an ongoing love affair with back yard birds. I have feeders and water out for them and suet for the woodpeckers, most of the time. I like to watch them and enjoy their unique colors; the red of the cardinal and the blue of the blue-jay. We had company for dinner one day and the question was, “Do I have birds that color where I live?” We chuckled and said, “Of course.”
I know most of the names of my back-yard birds, but I have can never remember if it’s the cat-bird or cow-bird that has the iridescent eggplant colored head. I mentioned those two birds to give you a nudge to go to the library and borrow an Audubon book so you can see the difference. Oh, never mind, look them up on Google.
My house is decorated with birds; figurines and pictures in the family room, pictures in the living room, curtains and matching quilt in the bedroom, shower curtain in the bathroom. Some might think I have gone overboard with the birds, but I like them. I am also a realist, if I buy a bird, it has to be the correct colors and size, or I don’t want it. Just a little anal, but don’t tell anyone.
Sometimes I miss my back-yard birds because they aren’t coming around because we also have a pair of hawks that live in the woods behind our house. When you are out driving, or enjoying a walk, look for birds if you never have. Make a game out of learning their names and thank James Audubon for the wonderful lifelike pictures of them in their natural habitat.