Laurasjoquist's Blog

arts, crafts, photography, and joy

Top 10 birds

I thought for fun this year I would also list my top 10 birds for the year. I ended the year with 108 (different) birds, bring my life list total up to 131.

Top 10 Birds of 2013

1.Royal Tern- We saw these in Florida.  They always face into the wind.  And that’s cool.

2.Dark Eyed Junco- I put a feeder in the backyard this year, and (in conjunction with the neighbor’s large pine trees) have been enjoying a cold weather visit from these cute little birds.

3. Bufflehead- Jack and I spent a day in early spring birding at Rock Cut State Park and found buffleheads on the lake.  How can you not like something called a bufflehead?

4. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher- Of the small birds, these are my favorite.  I spent a pleasant (but short) time watching them make a nest this year.

5. Ruby Crowned Kinglet- I started volunteering this year as a net checker at the bird banding station near our house.  This was the first bird I removed on my own from the net.

6. American Coot-  Funniest.  Bird.  Ever.

7.  Palm Warbler-  I had never even heard of this warbler until I saw one at the bird banding station.  And then I saw them everywhere.  I especially like their little reddish caps.

8. Osprey- I was very excited to see this bird of prey hanging out for a while in Rock Cut State Park

9.Ovenbird- So named because it builds a small kiln shaped nest on the ground.  Also.  Cutest.  Bird.  Ever.

10. And lastly Mountain Bluebird-  We saw these birds on our trip to Colorado this summer. They hung out in our campsite.  They were beautiful.

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2013 Top 5 Books

I completed my goodreads book goal of 36 books for the year.  It was actually 38, and I will probably finish one more before the end of the year, but who’s counting…Oh, wait, I am.  I spent the second half of the year reading books for classes, so my list isn’t that exciting this year, but I will see what I can drag out of it.

1. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn-hands down the best book I read this year.  It was required reading for my Environmental Biology class and really put Western culture into words for me.  It is always nice to find a book that puts into words your own incoherent, internal musings.

2. The Walking Dead Compendiums 1 & 2 by Robert Kirkman- I know, we are all so over the whole zombie thing, right?  Except I’m not, it makes for good bonding with Jack. (Not that I would let Jack read these adult themed comics.) Sadly, as much as I enjoyed the books, the show is better.

3. I Am Half Sick of Shadows and Speaking From Among the Bones(Flavia de Luce Novels 4&5) by Alan Bradley- Murder, mystery, and chemistry. Need I say more?

4. Changes In the Land:Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England by William Cronon- I can’t tell you how many times I shelved this book in the many years I worked at the bookstore on campus.  I finally had to read it for a class of my own and of all the books I had to read, I liked this one the most.  I think the title it the best description.

And 5.  Tyrannosaurus Sue:The Extraordinary Saga of the Largest, Most Fought Over T-Rex Ever Found by Steven Fiffer- I enjoyed this book because: a)I have seen this T-Rex at the Field Museum in Chicago and b) I volunteer as a tour group docent at the Burpee Museum on Natural History here in Rockford.

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