Thursday, July 31, 2008

Urban Nature: That Rarest Bird

the elusive pie-eyed bluefarb
(click image for larger view)


This morning, not twenty feet from the kitchen window, a pie-eyed bluefarb (PEB) sat preening in our pear tree.

Why it picked our yard, I can't be sure. In a fair world, a just world, a visitation like this would only fall upon the a lifelong ornithologist with a passion for this bird, not some mid-town schmuck like me, whose bird-savviness ends with "robin" and "hawk," and who only happens to know anything about the PEB vicariously, through snips and scraps of someone else's bird-lore.

Maybe the rumor's true that the PEB is part sprite, and fond of irony. Any rate, this time the irony was in my favor, so I don't plan to raise a stink about it.

And I sure won't complain that I manged to come away with the photo above. Imperfect as this shot certainly is, I'm happy with it. Having just looked online, it is thrilling -- if perhaps a little presumptuous -- to think this might indeed be the clearest image of the pie-eyed bluefarb in existence. At any rate, nothing much has come up after several Google queries.

This much, though, is sure: while regrettably I wasn't able to get in any closer, or pull off a completely unobstructed shot (damn that leaf!) , it's clear that this is, indeed, the Bird Itself. Nothing else comes close to that remarkable shade of indigo, that seemingly translucent sheen. I was able to snap the shutter only once more before the bluefarb was gone, and frankly it's a terrible shot -- just a tiny blur of blue glass as that mysterious bird, startled by my intrusion, took wing and shot out eastbound across our neighbor's garden.

3 comments:

Kathy Barron said...

I'm sure your dad got a big chuckle out of this "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" thing. Personally, I wish you had provided all sorts of (made-up)scientific data, like your dad does when he posts a photo of some interesting organism.

Nathan First said...

Kathy: I was thinking the same thing. Initially I considered a series of such posts (like today's Red Fiddle) that play on the idea -- or rather, the simple fact of the matter -- that I'd love to be a nature writer like Dad or Wendel Berry, but somehow have wound up a city boy instead, with little access to, or knowledge of, the grass under my own feet. I claim to love nature, "the earth," and "the environment", but lately I've wondered: how much I can really love what I know so vaguely?

fred said...

Now what the heck is that thing? Never in my bornd days have I seen the likes of it, and to have my IdiotDreaming city boy son make such a find is humbling indeed. A grudging congratulations on this stunning shot.