Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fifty days to Phoebe Day

Eastern Phoebe -- Central Park -- 4/2/09 --photo by Lloyd Spitalnik

According to Jack Meyer's calculations, the Eastern Phoebe, one of Central Park's earliest spring migrant arrivals, is due to arrive on March 17th. [Well, give or take a few days.].

Since March 17th happens to be St, Patrick's Day, and since the arrival of the first phoebe of Spring is a far more important event for Central Park birdwatchers than the date an Irish Saint rid the green isle of snakes, Jack is proposing that the holiday's name be permanently changed. He writes:

"When I get St Patrick's Day officially changed to Phoebe Day, all those who formerly wore green will have to wag their tails." *

* Explanatory note for a tiny minority of website readers who may be mystified by Jack's comment: one of the identifying field marks of the Eastern Phoebe is not a mark but a behavior. When perched, the bird repeatedly dips its tail slowly down and then up.

The Common Goldeneye was not seen on the Reservoir yesterday. The last sighting of the duck was on Sunday.

As a few readers have gently reminded me, the bird I chose to illustrate yesterday's posting was a drake. Meanwhile, last weekend's visiting Common Goldeneye was a female