"What’s In A Name?"
Have you ever wondered what’s in a name? Is your 6 foot, 18 year old friend called Little Clinton because he has father’s name and his father used to be bigger than him? How about Pam because Pamala is way too long to say? Or, how about Pollywog because that mean kid’s name is Paul? Were your teachers only known as the "good teacher" or the "strict teacher" in school?
Even in the bird world there is name calling. The American Redstart is called "the butterfly of the bird world" because of its bright orange color on the wings and tail, and its quick fluttering motions. Others call it the "latrine bird" because it looks for flies around outhouses and garbage dumps to feast upon. To others it is known as "the flushing bird" for it uses its colorful wings and tail to flush out tasty insects. In the tropics it is known as the "Christmas Bird" because it appears in the region at Christmas time. Many call it a generic "flycatcher"... because it’s unfamiliar, and they see the rictal bristles at the top of the bill (modified contour feathers) that are used to help capture flying insects. To me... the beautiful American Redstart is "the bird I want to see again, and again."
The American Redstart breeds from southeastern Alaska east to Newfoundland, Canada, and south to California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and South Carolina. They leave their breeding ground sometime around late July to head for warmer country like Texas, southern California or the tropics. Their routes may cover 2,500 miles as they cross the Gulf of Mexico and head towards the Bahamas or on to the Caribbean, Central and South America. They migrate at night, each group looking for a safe warm haven for the coming winter months.
Seeing an American Redstart in southern Utah is a special occasion. A brilliant male was seen in Zion. A female was seen at Tonaquint. Hopefully sightings are sent on through the internet so others can look for them. It is a great sport.
Brenda Rusnell is the artist for the American Redstart. What a treat for us to see beautiful birds like this, that are possible to find locally. We thank you Brenda.
You are invited to the Fall Potluck
Get-together, Book Exchange, and Book Sale, sponsored by the Red Cliffs
Audubon. Wednesday, October 8, at 6:00 p.m. - held at Tonaquint Park,
1851 South Dixie Drive. Come enjoy the potluck, meeting new friends,
and bring any good outdoor books presently overstocking your
bookshelves. Books that need to go to someone who will love them like
you. Proceeds from the donated books will go to fund future Audubon
Projects (Winter Bird Festival, Christmas Bird Counts, Student
Education Day, etc.) Remember to bring a pocketful of change so that
it’s possible to take home as many good books as you brought. For more
information about the American Redstart or the Social, call Marilyn
Davis 435 673-0996.
Days and Good Memories"
"Where's Sherlock Holmes When You Need Him?" (YB Cuckoo)
"Tale of Four Birders" (Western Scrub Jay)
"East Zion Continued" (Golden-crowned Kinglet),
"Aerial Wolves" (Sharp-shinned Hawk)
"From Clown School to Pond" (Ruddy Duck)
"Shades of Red" (Red-tailed Hawk).
"Predatory Songbird" (Northern Shrike)
"The Cagey Killdeer"
"A True Bird Story" (Willet)
"A Song to Remember" (Hermit Thrush)
"To Catch a Fish..." (Green Heron aka Green-backed Heron)
"No Spring Cleaning" (Brown-headed Cowbird)
"Look-alikes Galore" (Sage Sparrow)
"A Jazzy Singer" (Cassin's Finch)
"Salute the Coot" (American Coot)
"Put a Smile on Your Face" (Greater Roadrunner)
"The Tale of Fred and Ethel" (Mallard)
"A Flutter of Sparrows" (Clay-colored Sparrow)
"A Sight to Remember" (Blue-gray gnatcatcher)
"About Night Life" (Northern Saw-whet Owl)
"Black and White and Smart All Over" (BB Magpie)
Dinner... of Fine Wines and Bugs" (RN Sapsucker)
"A Life List" (Painted Redstart)
"Bird-Brained" (Flammulated Owl)
"Needle in a Haystack" (White-throated Sparrow)
"Booby Hatch" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"The Crowd Pleaser" (Western Tanager)
"Seeds and Civilization" (American Tree Sparrow)
"A Childhood Treasure" Black-headed Grosbeak
"Those Itchy Red Bumps" (Cliff Swallow)
"Is There a Bee in Your Bonnet" Utah bees
"Where's My Winter Coat" (Great-tailed Grackle)
"Ice Age Tree Planter" (Blue Jay)
"An Uncommon Beauty" (Black-and-white Warbler)