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May 17, 2010

I know all about the dangers of seeing a black cat cross your path. But what about coming upon a howling OWL on a residential street? I hope that constitutes good luck. Great luck, in fact. The poor owl created quite a traffic jam! We all got out and tried to help him across the street; he was resistant and finally hid behind a parked car. I wish I knew what kind of owl it was — grey, furry, about a half-foot tall. Stunningly cute (in spite of its loud yelping). In fact, he looked like a stuffed animal.

Shortly before that, I stopped my car on a different residential street in order to make a phone call. (Ontario law now states that using a cell phone while driving will set you back $155. Great law, overall. And I’m certainly discovering more side streets on account of that law, since I now have to park, then talk.) And suddenly, I saw this:

I’m pretty sure I saw a cardinal. Of course, it could well have been a scarlet tanager — or some other exotic red feathered wonder that lives on the side streets of Toronto. Since I’m only a somewhat birder and very much a pre-beginner at that, I never really know what I’m looking at. (I feel like people are overly modest these days, and call themselves Beginner Birders when they’re already at the stage that they have some 200 odd species under their belt but simply have a hard time remembering the Latin names for things; well, that puts us honest-to-goodness beginners in a rather difficult taxonomical position, so that’s why I have no other choice but to refer to myself as a pre-beginner.) In any event, the bird sighting felt like magic!

I’ll take all of this as two fantastically fabulous omens!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2010 9:08 pm

    We see cardinals in the trees by our all the time– are they unusual? Also, today I saw a bird and looked in up in my bird book in your honour. It looked like a red-wing blackbird but the wings were yellow. Somewhat anticlimatically, I think it *was* a redwing blackbird, but with the red not so visible and the yellow stripes moreso. This was in Queens Park (where all the trees are now labelled, FYI, on the off-chance you want to become an almost-treewatcher too).

    • May 18, 2010 10:33 am

      Cardinals are only unusual in that I think I actually identified one. Birdwatching is challenging cause not only do I usually not *see* the bird, but then there are tons of them that look the same. oh well. a work in progress. Thanks for the Tree-watching tip. I’ll save that for retirement-type-age; I’m also saving cruise-vacations for that tender age as well. When i become less mobile, I’ll definitely become a tree-watcher.

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