I’m using this photo I took yesterday of a Song Sparrow at our suet feeder as a segue to sum up the bird observation totals for this past year. The Song Sparrow is one of 50 species of birds we have observed in our back yard this year. During our walks in our neighborhood of Salemtowne we have seen 72 species. Expanding into Polk County we have identified 131 species, and the grand total for the state of Oregon is 182 species on 447 checklists. These statistics are all easy to come up with thanks to the great Internet site of eBird.org.
I’m sure it’s apparent to all of our readers that birding is our current passion, but it hasn’t always been that way. I remember in 1970 receiving a book for Christmas on how to tie flies, and for the next ten years or more fly tying and fishing was my major passion. Hiking, backpacking, and cross-county skiing all took up major chapters in my life along the way. And of course bicycling was a passion that both Jeanette had when we met, and have shared for twenty years.
As I reflect on this past year it’s become painfully obvious to me that we no longer have the burning desire necessary for intense physical activities. Birding however seems to be a good fit for our aging lifestyle and something hopefully I can continue to review annually for some years to come.