A Pair You What?

“Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! Germans? Forget it, he’s rolling.”  Seemed an appropriate opening since I’m pretty much on a bird post roll at the moment.  Today was a hell night on the pavement with the heat and humidity putting the hurt on (mind you not at heat stroke level in case a certain wife happens to be reading this – just hot and sticky).  The hope was it would rain on me but nooooo, it has to wait until I get home before the cooling water pours out of the sky.  Oh well, just means I’m better prepared for the Bix which is approaching FAST. Keying off the FAST word, apparently I was able to score this new featured bird thanks to some quick camera work.

Northern Parula shot at Allerton Park in Monticello IL.

That very soft specimen is a Northern Parula.  This is another new bird from the trip with Ron to Allerton Park.  The sum total of shots I got of this Parula is TWO.  Two shots taken in rapid succession and then nothing.  No shots before it, no shots after it.  I vaguely remember noticing a bird in my peripheral while trying to track a Brown Thrasher that was occupying a good portion of our time.  Golden Rule, if it has feathers take at least one shot regardless of how many times you’ve put it the tin previously.  Guessing I was passing this off as just another Warbler and went back to trying to get a sharp picture of a Thrasher hell bent on putting a branch between him and me at all times.  While going through the shots in the digital darkroom, the unique coloring caught my eye.  Sure enough, it was not just a common Warbler .. it was a Parula which represents a +1 for me!  Unfortunately, Ron failed to get this beauty in the tin.  We sync’ed up our camera timestamps for this very reason – cross validation – but he claims those times in his collection were void of Parulas – bummer.

Northern Parula shot at Allerton Park in Monticello IL.

To be honest, the deep ridge in the chest might indicate some eggs were on their way – not sure about that… maybe I’ll ask my brother who is slowly building a nice collection of ….let’s say.. very affectionate birds.  Oh, and again, sorry for the softness of the shots.  With only two shots I have to rush to the facts.  First interesting fact to relish is … is …. is … The Parual has nested several times along the Northern Coast of California.  THAT’S IT… THAT IS THE ONLY INTERESTING FACT THEY HAVE ABOUT THIS BIRD?!?  Wow, that is total crap.  Cornell, you have been found wanting.  Wait apparently the Southern variety nests in hanging Spanish moss, where the  Northerners prefer the old man’s beard lichen.  Again, total crap – I don’t remember any beard lichen anywhere near this spot. (truth be told I had to look up what beard lichen was).  That was totally weak.  They do carry a Least Concern Conservation Status and definitely observe a very rigid Eastern half of the NA continent.

On that note I’m calling this post.  I feel like I’ve let you down, cheated you out of your educational value and possibly soured you on the whole birding genre.  I’d feel bad but now I get to go add a check mark to my Birding Life List – at least one of us is damn happy hehehe.

L8r Loyal Readers!

3 thoughts on “A Pair You What?”

  1. Yes, at least one of us is happy about you having a Northern Parula, and it’s not me!! That is at least two birds that you got at Allerton or Chain o’ Lakes that I do not have any pictures of! I’ll have to keep my eye on you when you turn quickly to take one of these opportunity shots.

    This is a very cool looking bird! I went to find some interesting facts about the Northern Parula and — wait for it — there are none. Absolutely none. A bird nerd.

    BTW, the bird song CD set that I have pronounces this bird’s name with the accent on the first syllable, not the second that I had always assumed. But then I’ve found that different birding experts pronounce bird names like “Towhee” in different ways, so I need to get a second opinion.

    My photos of affectionate birds are totally accidental, for the record…



  2. I wish I had executed a little better on this but literally it was like a 3 second span of pictures. You are the last person to be complaining about not getting a bird … how many have you racked up in Chicago as of late? 20, 30, 40? My paltry 2 isn’t going to touch that


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