Screech-Owl in the Kitchen

from Talkin’ Birds Ambassador Don Amiralian, Burlington, MA

One day in February, I got up early and went into the kitchen for coffee. Still a bit sleepy, I noticed a brown stocking hat on the windowsill. I then remembered that I don't own a brown stocking hat. I looked again and was startled to see a rufous-phase Eastern Screech-Owl playing possum on my windowsill.

I immediately called the animal control officer in town. After hearing my story, he said that he would send over a raptor rehabilitator. Ten minutes later, the owl lady arrived. She quickly captured the bird by throwing one of my dishtowels over its head. She then deftly but gently snatched the bird, controlling its sharp talons. The bird woke up and began snapping its bill rapidly. It was quite angry.

I later found out that the owl lady had a veterinarian examine the bird. It was determined that the bird was blind in one eye, so they decided not to release it because it would not fare well in the wild. The last I heard, the bird was doing quite well and was eating mice provided by the owl lady.

To this day, I can’t figure out how that bird got into my house.

The First Hudsonian Godwit in San Diego County

from Talkin’ Birds Ambassador Rodney Gast, San Diego, CA

The first ever recorded Hudsonian Godwit made an appearance in San Diego County this week. The discovery was made by legendary birder Guy McCaskie, marking his 500th bird for the County. The American Birding Association wrote an article on the event, and local birder Anthony “TooFly” made a video, which is below.

Birders from Arizona and surrounding counties have made the long drive in hopes of checking this bird off their life list. Meeting and talking with them has been a joy.

As a new birder and Talkin Birds Ambassador, I wanted to share this rare event with the Talkin’ Birds community. The excitement generated by this sighting has been an experience I won’t forget. It has strengthened my passion for birding and I am eager for the next rarity to makes its appearance.