Swimming in the pool, we would pause so as not to scare away the little mayang pula that gathered in the shallows to drink and splash.
|Monograph of Chestnut Munia, from Wikipedia|
Snooping for snacks in the kitchen, we laughed when the olive-backed sunbird made its loud, scissor-like swit-swit-swit call among the bougainvilleas.
Back in our temperate urban zones, we miss the bright colours and chattering numbers of our tropical birds, but there are plenty of feathered friends to see, especially in spring!
A red-tailed hawk flies over Manhattan - aside from pigeons, the most well-known NYC bird. One of the most famous of the species, Pale Male, was the first to successfully breed in the city and still roosts at his nest on 927 5th Avenue.
Some urban hawks are actually employed as pest control. Gloria, a Harris hawk, keeps the pigeons from mobbing Kings Cross and other open-air train stations and is so tame her handler can drop her leash without worrying she'll fly off.
Magpies go house-hunting in a busy London neighbourhood. These are some of our favourite birds. They waddle like pompous businessmen in formal suits when on the ground, but in the air they're a graceful delight to watch.
A blackbird takes off from a walled garden. We're always happy when this bird returns in spring: it has a beautiful song that carries through the trees - a great soundtrack for the walk home from work!
Someday we'll figure out how to reconcile an urban habitat with local wildlife. Until then we'll keep appreciating the birds we already have in our life - and we hope you do, too!