19 October 2013

Urbane Autumn Visit of Prairie Meadowlarks

After an extended walk up and down the hills on the west side of the Missouri River valley while retrieving aluminum for recycling purposes, and following a bicycle-based survey of birds based upon a long and detailed view of an area oxbow, my movement was quashed by the surprising sighting of a single meadowlark.

This bird was going about its usual larkian antics during the midst of a Sunday's time. It was walking about the low-shorn grass looking for a tidbit to eat, its mode of movement mostly dependent upon its two feet. While making its way along the side of a hill, when a local resident of color and unknown nationality stopped for a moment to glance at this particular bit of birdlife, he then moved along. The lark just walked a bit quicker away. During its transit, it moved a little bat faster and had to resort to a quick burst of flight to transport it from 49th Street into the adjacent, asphalt-covered parking lot where beer cans often lurk. Otherwise? Well, the situation ended in a manner which does not require an otherwise ... except one of continuation of a bird in action.

As it is autumn along the Missouri River valley, this migratory species more often seen about Nebraska grasslands, was walking around a tiny bit of green turf just south of 49th Street and Hamilton Street. There is no prairie expanse or even any sort of a bit of a natural grassy place which a wandering meadowlark might seem to prefer. Yet this lark of the east was satisfied with the situation.

The obvious occurrence conveys, once again, a meadowlark in the neighborhood. Seen mid-day, it was not seen later in the afternoon while gathering aluminum cans strewn about the area, while on a walk-about to note the local birdlife on a splendid autumn day when being outside was a preferential place.

While purchasing refreshments at the Hamilton Convenience Food Mart on Tuesday the 15th, the clerk Walt said there had been a meadowlark out in the parking lot yesterday. The date of occurrence was repeated three times, upon a request to get a particular indication of when there was still a lark within the city confines.

On the day he noted the visitation by a meadowlark, he talked about Red-tailed Hawks which nested in the vicinity, and about a protective parent focused upon a young bird on the ground. The youngster did not survive he said, and the cause of its demise seemed to be a cat, according to his perspective. His comments were nothing new, as he had indicated that some other patron had taken a picture of a small owl, immediately southeast of Metcalfe Park, as he was shown the picture. Some time many months ago, he indicated the visiting gulls and a Bald Eagle eating a squirrel in the same property lot where the meadowlark lingered.

Some people in Carthage appreciate birds and pay attention to their presence, and also, more importantly share their views.

Perhaps that is why there is food provided to the local birds at the place? Walt now throws out seeds or some other sort of food appreciated by the autumnal flocks of House Sparrows. Some of these flighty birds are a sight preferential to looking at the many aluminum cans or whatever other trashy items get tossed away, at particular places in the neighborhood!

While looking towards the ground a lively meadowlark is obviously a better seen.

Observations of a meadowlark in Carthage were another opportunity to appreciate this species. On October 18, 2012 a meadowlark was seen at the same place.

Might this be visitation by a single bird which during its migratory flight has found that Carthage is a place to visit? Only the bird(s) know, and their perspective is not written in any book.