Hump Day Haiku For Bird Lovers


California Quail - MarinA top knot convoy
bobbing through the backyard grass
California quail



Crow - Marin 2016
Crow – Marin 2016
American Robin
American Robin – Marin 2016


I am an absolute bird lover. It’s one of the reasons I’m so happy to be back in California. Our yard in Marin is home to golden- and white-crowned sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, Bewick’s wrens, and California towhees with daily visits from scrub jays, Anna’s hummingbirds, crows, and a breeding pair of mourning doves. Occasionally, we are graced by American robins, goldfinches, and redheaded house finches. A rare treat. Red-winged blackbirds and mockingbirds can be heard singing in the wetlands across the street while turkey vultures glide overhead. Just down the street, dried pellets from a Great Horned Owl can be found littering the sidewalk under a large palm tree. Once, we even had a Cooper’s Hawk dive bomb into the yard as it gave chase to a smaller bird. The hawk was unsuccessful and perched empty clawed on the fence for several minutes before flying off.

California quails perched on fence - Marin 2016
California quails perched my fence – Marin 2016

It’s truly a bird lover’s paradise. So you can imagine my glee this morning when I spotted a convoy of California quails prancing cautiously through the yard. I love these little birds with their bouncing plumage and round bodies. By far, one of my favorite birds. Naturally, I wanted to document the event with photos. Being surrounded by large windows, I tip-toed over to where I keep my camera and began snapping images through the glass. I usually like to have nothing between me and my photo prey, but I couldn’t risk spooking them by going outside. As a result, most of my images were a little on the soft side, but a few came out all right. Either way, my day was made all the same.

Here are some images of other birds captured in the backyard. Please let me know if I have identified something wrong. I’m still new to this whole birding thing, and some species look very similar.

Male House Finch - Marin 2016
Male House Finch – Marin 2016
Female Lesser Goldfinch - Marin 2016
Female Lesser Goldfinch – Marin 2016
Turkey Vulture - Marin 2016
Turkey Vulture – Marin 2016





Cynthia Varady

Cynthia Varady

Cynthia Varady is an award-winning freelance writer and co-owner of the book review website, She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. Cynthia has her BA in English Literature from Sonoma State University, and her Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Occasionally, Cynthia can be found voicing characters in casual video games, including Stella in the Aveyond series. She is presently working on a young adult fantasy novel.

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