Letter to MOBirds mailing list:
My kind-hearted friend Ruth Hartsell (whom I met on an Auduon Society bird walk!) took me to see Cahokia Mounds. Of course I looked up the website, but yet did not realize that it’s a great spot for birding! In between being amazed at an ancient civilization, and its wonderful societal heirarchy, I was also delighted to see several birds. Some of them were new to me, and I did miss having someone more experienced with me; but for the most part, they were known friends, from the Turkey Vulture that soared overhead, to the delightful Eastern Bluebirds that flitted to and fro.
The beginning, of course, was the pleasant surprise when I saw the home of the Purple Martins in the parking lot.
I thought of John Miller and others who have so carefully worked to foster these birds, which depend upon us for their homes.
I took a short video to document their chatter
A very big thank you to John, Jim Wilson, and Chris Ferree, who introduced me to this bird first at Forest Park.
There were a lot of Flycatchers in action; I saw Eastern Kingbirds, Eastern Phoebes
and one long-tailed variety that I could not id (I didn’t have a bird book with me, and now I cannot remember much from the fleeting glimpse.) House Sparrows (OK, invasive species, but then, so are many of us “invasive species” in this country!)
May I say to the experienced birders, who bird “by ear”, that I am very angry with the Northern Mockingbird. I hear a new, different call, I rush towards it hopefully…and there that dratted bird is, again, gleeful at having pulled yet another successful trick on me.
As for the Chipping Sparrow,
I’ve put some photographs on a Google album at
I can share the access with anyone who’d like to see them. They are also on FaceBook (public album)…
Sorry about the irreverence… I assure you, I take my birding seriously, but when one is at my level of ignorance, one can only indulge in levity!
My heartfelt thanks to Ruth, who takes me out to all these interesting places.