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March 23rd, 2010

warbler birds

Tonight after work I drove to Fairview to attend a meeting of the Prairie and Timbers Audubon Society. Roughly thirty-something other people came to the meeting. Folks were really nice, and stopped to chat. Prior to the meeting, I looked at the photos on display in the meeting room, which had been part of the Heard Natural Science Center photo contest. Some had huge blue ribbons, some white ribbons, some honorable mentions. Lots of the photos showed wildlife and scenery from far away, suggesting to me that lots of people get to take cool vacations.

The first part of the bird meeting was an educational introduction to warblers. We all went down to a classroom downstairs, where now-departed warbler skins were shown to us and birdsong recordings were played for us. We saw Wilson's Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Chestnut-sided Warbler and Yellow Chat. I learned a lot from that brief introduction.

Then Dr. Doug Wood, the ornithologist at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, gave us a slide-show about several warblers, providing us with lots of great information about their year-round habitats, their migration, where they hang out and what they eat. He also had recordings of the songs of each bird displayed. He had just returned from Panama, so he could not resist throwing in a picture of a lovely non-warbler bird called a Rufous Mut Mut.

I paid the modest dues to join the national Audubon Society and paid another dues for the local society. I was very impressed with this small group. I forgot to ask someone to identify the bird in the photo in the display which is identical to the one I keep seeing at Oak Point Nature Preserve. They do a bird walk at Oak Point Saturday. Maybe I'll learn it then.

I hear warblers in the woods already this Spring, but I rarely see them. Now, I will know a little about them if I do.