It is odd how quick we can become jaded to what we see. We were driving around Bosque Del Apache, NM, looking to find all those exciting birds of prey: falcons, hawks & eagles, the big birds: cranes, geese and such. We were on alert for finches and other colorful birds. So many times we would see a flicker of wing, just a flash of a feather. We would stop the car, slowly scan the bush, only to have me dismiss the bird with “never mind it’s just a sparrow!”
We had stopped at a lookout deck where we had seen a few Red-wing blackbirds the day before. I love the Red-wing, it’s cry echos from my childhood with memories of fishing with my dad. I was a bit disappointed that the Red-wing does not have Red wings in the winter. It’s red chevrons are a faded dull orange and even their off season song is not the same as they sung from my childhood. Some things you just can’t reclaim.
As I was heading back to the car, imagine my excitement at spotting this bold, orange, black and white fellow. He posed and showed off what a handsome bird he was. Then I get back to the hotel and I’m reviewing my images. I then turn to my bird guides trying to put a name to the guy. I am looking at Orioles, Larks, Warblers, I can’t find him. Then I identify my bird. He is a Spotted Tohee (Pipilo maculatus). I am thrilled at such an exciting discovery. Then in the first sentence of his description, it states that he is a sparrow and my words echo…….”oh it’s just a sparrow”.
I felt he was smartly telling me to eat crow…..be careful how quickly you judge things on your journey††nada te turbe†††jim