Larks!

Oh, I finally found out who is my bird friends who twitter and zoom around!

They’re Horned Larks. Eremophila alpestris.

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“This ground bird thrives in extreme habitats such as plowed fields, beaches, airport runways and other barren areas that have few places to hide [yup] and no protection from cold winter storms. During the winter Horned Larks are inevitably in flocks, often with other open ground birds, where they run looking for seeds and then fly on to the next field in a tight flock trying to avoid marauding falcons and hawks. During the summer the flocks break up, and pairs nest in poorly vegetated fields [yup], alpine areas and arctic tundra. They are so tough that even in northern states they are one of the first birds to start nesting – as early as February. They often sing while flying and fluttering high over head [yes!].” (askabiologist.asu.edu)

That’s exactly what they do, they zoom around, but around here they do it just a few feet off the ground, twittering like crazy. In pairs.

And they’re in decline in California, Colorado, and Utah.

This morning a female was perched in the junie near the truck, so I opened a side window and draped the computer mic right outside the window, and then since she wasn’t making a sound I longed for her to do that. Then she flutters over to the open window, not three feet from where I am sitting inside the truck, and hovers there for a second! I wish you could hear it, the mic picked up the fluttering. I suppose she wasn’t happy to perch on the sill there, so she went over and sat on the rearview window and chirped a while. Oh!

Then the male sang, and I finally got a good recording and was able to find it online. Yay.

While I was writing this, some little jet-packed birdie flew over the truck at warp speed, yelling and swerving, chasing insects I imagine. A new UFO! It’s just that when I see a bird or plant or bug or even animal I haven’t seen before here, it’s like the place is opening to me, unfolding itself, as if I’m earning its trust. Well, I don’t know that trust has anything to do with it, or just that I myself am becoming more aware. It’s just beautiful and so exciting.

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