Posts Tagged With: sapsucker woods

Passenger Pigeon


Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon, died September first, one hundred years ago. il_340x270.524207042_jzy7 She stares glassy eyed

(of course; they’re glass)

her rose throat faded

dust on her smoke-blue head

She’s been dead 100 years

lonely last of her kind

that deafened as they rose

to the morning sky

An endless feathered river

they broke branches,

whole trees in their roost,

died in tens of millions

until the great river ran

down to one lost drop IMG_0059 This statue set outside the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is part of Todd McGrain’s Lost Bird Project, memorializing five iconic species lost to extinction.

Categories: postcard poems, Rara avis, Why? | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Cornell again, 10/23 – 24

It was First-Year Family Weekend at Cornell. Did you know Velociraptors are not allowed to ride bikes there?

No Velocipediraptors allowed!

Great to see our firstborn becoming comfortable in his new habitat, and to have the time to explore the Ithaca area more. We walked along the bottom of the gorge and the rim trail at Taughannock Fall State Park — really spectacular. I’d love to see it in spring thaw.

We also revisited Sapsucker Woods and took a birding tour one morning. It wasn’t the liveliest birding I’ve ever done, but not bad for late October. A Male Hooded Merganser (a bird I haven’t seen in ages) was displaying for his small harem. I love the way they dive and come bobbing to the surface, like rubber duckies held below the bathwater.

Red-winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch, European Starling, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Dark-eyed Junco, Black-capped Chickadee, Mallard, Canada Goose, Hooded Merganser, Blue Jay, House Finch, Tufted Titmouse, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, Downy Woodpecker, American Robin, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Kestrel, Wood Duck, Hairy Woodpecker, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Red-tailed Hawk, Rock Pigeon.

25 species, 1 new to this list.

Sunday afternoon we walked down along the gorge running through the campus. As we were leaving we met this skunk. Pardon the blurry photo — we proceeded quickly and discreetly in the opposite direction, although the skunk showed no alarm, trundling along in an abstracted and one might even say academic manner as befits a campus critter.

Categories: Field trip, Mammals too, New bird, Species count | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Sapsucker Woods, 10/8/10

We went up to Cornell to pick Will up for the weekend and finally managed to time it so we could visit Sapsucker Woods and the Cornell lab of Ornithology. Wouldn’t you like to work here? I told Will he should visit when he needs a serene place to study.

Bill, basking in the sunlight and contemplating moving in.

This wall is 30′ long and 2 stories high, looking out on a pond, and the other window overlooks several bird feeders and wildlife plantings.

We rambled around the grounds and trails for a few hours. I felt kind of disloyal birding Sapsucker Woods with the National Geo. guide instead of Peterson’s. Not a whole lot of bird activity, but the paths led to a few surprises.

I loved this peaceful vista over a little pond, the path covered in fallen leaves.

As we wandered, I saw this huge stone egg and said, “That looks like an Andy Goldsworthy sculpture,” … and I was right! It was so amazing to come across a piece by my favorite artist, and even more wonderful for it to have come as a complete surprise to me.

And just to prove that I really do exist:


Me and 'Sapsucker Cairn'



Categories: Field trip, Mammals too | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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