Monday, January 30, 2012

Snowy owl

You can tell I*m not a real birder, though there is much bird blood in my family.  My great-grandfather, Thomas Sadler Roberts, wrote the definitive Minnesota bird book in the early 1940*s (appropriately called Birds of Minnesota).  When I first heard the term: Little Brown Birds (LBBs), I was bemused until I learned that it was a classification for all those small brown birds that are so hard to distinguish, one from another.  Not so the snowy owl.  With a wing span of four to five feet, they are huge and white and unlike any other bird.  I understand they*re even eating seagulls and rats   (When in Chicago...)  
I may have to seek one out this winter, even though I am not a power-birder.  They will be bird number one on my first ever life list.

I love birds but
I do not keep a life list.
I do not go out on January 1
To see the first distinct
Little Brown Bird (LBB)
Of the year.
I am not a power bird-er.
I do not utter
In the same sentence.
I thrill to juncos.
I am awed by cardinals
Brilliant against the snow.
The first robin back in spring
Means the season has finally arrived.
Trees full of redwings
Make my heart sing.
Now I hear
The snowy owls have made their way south
From the tundra.
There are simply not enough voles
In the North
To feed them.
I am not a power bird-er.
I do not keep a life list.
I would love to see a snowy owl
Hunting voles,
However he chooses,
However she chooses.
I am not a power bird-er but
I know I will recognize him,
Recognize her
When we meet
At last.

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