After posting just last Friday about leucistic birds, I started wondering why I haven't seen as many birds with the genetic condition (recessive gene) around here as I used to when I lived in the foothills. Here I had only seen the common grackle with the "salt-and-pepper" head, and two very pale cinnamon female house sparrows. Out west, I regularly had color-challenged gray-crowned rosy finches, common redpolls, and one year a rose-breasted grosbeak. So, I was thinking about this yesterday as I was posting for OSI, and I happened to look up from my computer toward the bird feeder when, and I kid you not, a totally leucistic bird landed in a mixed group of starlings, cowbirds, red-wings, sparrows etc. I jumped up and grabbed the camera, knocking over papers and scattering startled cats in all directions, but I got him!
These shots were taken through the window with only the little 3X zoom, but I think you'll be able to see the faint light beige head and neck that make it a leucistic brown-headed cowbird male (it was clearer with binoculars). The other birds nipped and jostled him, but then, they all were doing that with each other, so I don't think he was being singled out. He was there for about a minute, and I haven't seen him back yet. But I'm watching!
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.