Its Going to be a Big Year

Its not a baby. We watched one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies the other night, The Big Year. Its about birding. Then a few days later I saw on the internet that May 4th would be a Global Big Day where people all over the world would go out and see as many birds as they could in one long day of collective effort. Our family was motivated. We saw a few, but being novices it was some work. However, it is good to put a name to some of these birds we are seeing around the neighborhood. (These are not my photos; they all came of the www.ebird.org website.)

Winner for the loudest bird. The Hadada Ibis. They always come in pairs and make a loud squawking cry when disturbed.

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The most majestic. The African Harrier Hawk. The pair of them have a large 3-4 foot wide nest in a huge tree just outside our yard. They have one of the most persistent whistling cries.

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The cutest. The Red-billed Firefinch. These are tiny and could easily sit on your pinkie finger.

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The one that shimmers with iridescence. The White-fronted Bee-Eater

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The one with the coolest nest. The Baglafecht Weaver. They make hanging nests that look like gourds. Just outside the hospital there are probably 10 nests hanging in one tree and the air is full of these birds in the morning when I walk in.

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The most black and white? The Chin-spot Batis.

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