I hear the soothing call of the Common Loon (GaviaiImmer) and am instantly relaxed. Rare is the bird call that is equally melancholy as it is uplifting. Maybe it’s because I only hear its call while at the cottage where schedule and pattern melt away like the ripples off the dock.
I know model railroads are the world’s most popular hobby but amateur bird watching is also one of the most common. Not that I can claim to be an avid birdwatcher yet considering I do absolutely nothing to attract them at the cottage, I am amazed at our frequent flying visitors. So much so that I now own a powerful set of Bushnell binoculars alongside a copy of Ted Floyd’s Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America.
There has been one constant barb in my bird watching. I consider myself a pacifist but am ready to stage a full scale assault on the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos). It’s obnoxious Caw! Caw! Caw! reminds me of those detestable self-centered loud mouths constantly stealing the limelight. Mr. Crow has me overtly plotting his ultimate demise. “I’m buying a B.B. Gun!” I grumble to my husband in the pre-dawn cottage morning hours. If only the loon was more egocentric in its early morning conversations – just loud enough to block out the unbearable Crow and his repugnant band of brothers, the Ravens (Corvus corax).
If there was one consolation, it’s that their chatter is limited to the morning hours only (though you do have to be an early riser to consider this a consolation!). Rarely do they interrupt my evening routine with the Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) or my late afternoon chat with the Osprey (Pandion haliatus) who graciously (along with my Loons) alert our fisherman to the whereabouts of the day’s catch.
Aside from the more common sightings of the Ruby Throated Hummingbird (Archilocus colubris), Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus verius) and numerous Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata), I am proud to report that this summer I have also visualized a Pileated Woodpecker (Sphyrapicus verius) and a Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula).
Someone please tell me what is to be done with these American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos)? Even their scientific name suggests they no longer belong on this earth and should have died off with Tyrannosaurus! I will not plot their ruin with a B. B. Gun but am not certain can we live in peaceful harmony. Adding insult to our co-existence that they follow me home and plague me and my garbage all winter long as well. I am also not comforted knowing that the life expectancy of this flying pest can be up to 30 years! This means the same crows may haunt my cottage mornings until well into my 70’s. Eewww. Somehow I will have to content myself with the fact that more birds bring joy to my cottage days than those who do not.
Long live the Loon!