This fellow showed up at the feeder late yesterday evening, at almost 8 o'clock. Not a rare bird by any means, but a first for the backyard for 2008.
I find it frustrating, almost incomprehensible, that most people are oblivious to these colourful, noisy, active animals. When I lead bird walks for novices, often seniors, I'm showing them things that have been all around them their entire lives. Why don't they already know about them -- maybe not the official common names, but at least that they exist? I show birds to complete strangers too. At first they're confused, but often end up delighted. It's like giving someone an unexpected gift. Here you go, a Red-breasted Sapsucker!
When did I get inoculated? Was it when I was five and my dad held me up to the kitchen window to see a family of Blue Jays? Was it earlier than that? Would it have happened anyway?
My children are definitely inoculated. My son's first word? "Bird!" (It was a Northwestern Crow.)
Not looking at birds is like not listening to music. Or something. From now on, on every occasion -- birthday, wedding, Chinese New Year -- I'm giving suet.