Common Birds

Keeping common birds common is a mantra I’ve been hearing lately, as conservation often waits until something is closer to the abyss of extinction to act.  A lot of common birds have been declining–tree swallows and Northern flickers among others.

red-bellied-woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker, blurry.

So I’ve been thrilled to see a red-bellied woodpecker hanging out at the local bird feeder. They do have a red belly, but it is the bold red stripe down their head and the black and white back that makes them unmistakable. (I had a professor tell me once that birds were often named after they’d been shot for collection, so the names often don’t reflect what you can actually see about a bird going about its bird business. Case in point.) Ordinary Eastern America birds are worth looking for and they deserve our active support in a world often hostile to birds.

Looking forward to a winter watching noisy chickadees, acrobatic nuthatches, and any other common birds that show up around my neighborhood, and hoping that they will remain common for millennia to come.

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