I want to share a little story about making wishes come true.
In September, I wished I could see and photograph a Rufous hummingbird. Within weeks, I had seen and photographed my first one. In fact, my only Rufous, as all of the hummingbirds left for migration season shortly afterward.
Some of being able to capture this bird on camera was luck, and some of it was me paying attention to what areas in my neighborhood attracts birds, then sitting in that spot with a camera and waiting.
It took about 10 minutes before hummingbirds appeared in front of me and about 40 minutes before I captured these shots. While I waited for the hummingbirds, I tested how close I could get to the birds. I also tested exposure and aperture settings on my camera for the time of day and the amount of shade I was in. I paid attention to the hummingbird’s habits and realized it had a favorite perch. It took preparation and patience, and course, the incredible bit of luck that the variety of hummingbird that I wanted to see was visiting. I had a realistic wish though, and a plan to make the chances of it coming true a little more likely. I had done my research and knew that hummingbirds were common to the region. Since I had not seen that variety in our yard, and hummingbirds can be territorial, I thought a Rufous might be frequenting a different local “hot spot.”
I hope talking about birds makes you increasingly aware of how much bird activity is right outside your door when you take a minute to quietly watch and enjoy the simple things. If you are not a birder I think you will be genuinely surprised to realize there are SOOOO many birds in your yard at any given moment. Train your eyes on a tree and wait until you notice movement. Likely, it's not a leaf.
In the meantime, if you live in the United States on the West Coast, there is a free birding class online this Thursday. However, I do strongly encourage you donate a little bit when you sign up, even if it's only $1-$5, as that money goes toward bird conservation. This year, there was a mysterious migratory incident where possibly as many as a million birds died suddenly and dropped from the sky across the southwestern states. This is an opportunity to contribute to one of the aviaries that researches and protects birds: https://6059.blackbaudhosting.com/6059/Conservation-Events