Birder's Eye View

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A cuckoo weekend

"Any day could be a special day, and probably will be, if we just go out and look." - Kenn Kaufman

This weekend has been extremely special -- and surprising -- in more ways than one.

First of all, I graduated. Yay! I'm off to college this fall. And secondly, I finally found a new bird to add to my year and life lists! It's been over a month since I've seen anything new, so I'm ecstatic.

I started hike guide training today and at the end of class, we took a hike out on one of the short trails. We had just started off, when I saw a strange bird fly behind a cypress tree.

"Oh, there's a cool bird over there," I pointed out, just having glimpsed it. It was brownish colored, with an unusually long, white-tipped tail and seemed to have dark coloration around its eyes.

At first, it was dismissed as a mourning dove, but I wasn't quite convinced.

"Wait a minute," said one of the other trainees. "That's a cuckoo!"

I knew it! I wished I had said something, but I didn't trust myself enough. Plus, I've been wanting to see a cuckoo so bad, I couldn't believe I had actually found one without even looking!

The Yellow-billed Cuckoo hopped further up into the trees, and unfortunately I wasn't able to get a clear picture. Nonetheless, there were enough witnesses there to confirm the sighting, and for me to add it as Year Bird #88.

Happy birding!

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