My name is Ezra and I'll be your blogger for this evening, and beyond. In the coming months I hope to inform and delight on a variety of topics, all related, in one way or another, to getting the absolute most out of your visits to Seadrift and West Marin. If there's anything I can do for you, anything at all, please don't hesitate to ask.
For the over 50 million birders (bird watching enthusiasts) in the US alone, Marin is a very special place. There are nearly 1,000 species of birds in America and more than 450 of them have been spotted in Point Reyes. And even closer to Seadrift is the Audubon Canyon Ranch, a mere 10 minute drive away. If you're not much of a bird person yet, you really owe it to yourself to go birding the next time you're in West Marin. It'd be like avoiding the pyramids while in Egypt because you're "not much of a triangle person." Go birding now; thank me later. You might just be lucky enough to see a red breasted merganser (complete with a sweet mohawk), like this newly-minted birder.
When I was traveling in Costa Rica (a slightly longer drive from West Marin, but also with very good birds), I had the good fortune of taking a walk with a friend, Frank, who was crazy about birding. I knew nothing about it, but Frank made up for that when he started shouting fanatically, "Quetzal! Quetzal!"
I hope to one day be as happy as Frank was when he saw that majestic, long-tailed bird. I'm pretty sure I never will be, and that's okay too (after all, he was euphoric). He called over other birders that were on the same trail and they were likewise ecstatic.
Even better than seeing the quetzal, I saw a new way of experiencing nature. All around us were the rarest living treasures, birds you could look for your whole life without seeing. When Frank saw that quetzal, it was the fulfillment of a desire he had for years. That's a feeling worth feeling. It was then that I realized that birding was a hobby worth pursuing.
Now that I've converted you all into die-hard birders, foaming at the mouth for the next glorious chance to get out to Marin and immerse yourself in wildlife, let me tell you a story about what happens when the birds come to you.
A week ago my parents had the chance to nurse an injured humming bird back to health after it flew into their window. After waiting to see if the humming bird would die or fly away, it did neither and was hanging on to life, now in severe need of food. This is how my mom tells it:
"Dipping my little finger, I offered a single drop [of sugar water]. But my pinky looks nothing like a flower, so he wasn’t interested. 5 minutes of continuing to offer a drop suspended from my finger, [the bird] thinks, 'Not my usual fare, but this lady’s trying awfully hard… so… what the hell?' Out darts his teeny tongue and he’s lapping the water! YES!
"For the next 2 hours [my husband] and I take turns feeding Hum who gets stronger and stronger. It’s incredible!! (Who says there’s no nutrition in sugary drinks?!)"
Go here to read the rest of the story. It's pretty incredible.
So, now that you all have a deep and abiding love for birds, here are ten ways how you can do your part to protect them from needlessly smacking into your windows.
True, you won't get a chance to nurse a humming bird back to health, but you'll be happy with the knowledge that the birds will be out there the next time you get to come to West Marin. Frank would be proud.