benchmark birds

Dan Victor dcv at
Wed Mar 22 08:04:34 PST 2000

Back in the seventies my wife and I lived in an apartment which had a
flat-roofed house below. A one-legged gull used to land there and we
started tossing him some scraps. We named him Peg Leg.

To increase our enjoyment we put a small homemade birdseed shelf on one of
the window sills and enjoyed watching the little sparrows coming to feed.

Suddenly, one day, a large beautiful bird landed and started picking out
the sunflower seeds from the mix. It was spectacular, with a black
crescent under the neck, a spectacled belly, long beak, and a red
moustache. It showed reddish under the wings when it flew. We couldn't
believe it!

I went to the bookstore that day and poured over the bird books trying to
find it. Finally, there it was. That Red-shafted Flicker made a
birdwatcher out of me.

Dan Victor, Seattle, mailto:dcv at ___.-////
Web = \_>

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