Warbler Staredown

maybe a yellow warbler

What are you looking at? Aren’t you late for a tattoo or something??

[Guest birdwatching report by special correspondent Juan del Llano]

Okay, this guy (?) was in a ponderosa pine tree 10 feet from where they took the previous picture. I think it’s a yellow warbler, except it doesn’t have a streaked breast and I swear it’s bigger than a warbler. And have you ever noticed how bird books generally aren’t worth a damn? The photos never look like the bird you’re looking at—well, close, but who can remember if the silly thing had a yellow patch on its tail? Or if it went “ki-ka-CHEEP” instead of “oowah-oowah” or just sat there? And what good does calling it “four and a half inches” do me? Am I supposed to get it to land on a freaking ruler?!? What’s the matter with these people? I bought the Audubon “Birds” app for the iPad and it’s really cool but has the same damn problems. Enter “yellow” and scroll through 10 million birds and not a one of them looks like this. Not exactly, anyway. What, do birds go to salons to have their beaks colored? John James Audubon had the right idea: all his portraits were of dead birds he’d killed. That’s probably where it started, too. Paint a few streaks on the little bastard’s breast, who would be the wiser? The whole thing is a giant conspiracy to sell binoculars and telephoto lenses the size of elephant dongs. Life lists, you say? You saw a WHAT?! How do you even know??? Oh, you have a book? An app?? A bunch of dead birds in the freezer???

This one’s yellow, sort of. It flies.

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

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