What do city people want to know about PIGEONS? What can I say that will make me sound like an editorialist? How does an editorialist sound? It’s a mystery to me.

*****

STILL APRIL 26: FIELD TRIP WITH ELLISONS

At BLODGETT’S BEACH we saw TREE SWALLOWS, COMMON MERGANSERS, ROBINS, HERRING GULLS, BUFFLEHEADS, a SONG SPARROW, a CARDINAL, and a GREAT-BLACK-BACKED GULL. In the MARSH IN BACK OF GENERAL ELECTRIC (which is near Blodgett’s Beach), we saw CARDINALS, MALLARDS, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. The Ellisons say this is a great spot for SPARROWS in the fall. In May there will be KILLDEER, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS, SWAMP SPARROWS, AND CAROLINA WRENS.

On the farm road in the INTERVALE, the group saw a YELLLOWLEGS but I missed it. We also saw MALLARDS, COMMON MERGANSERS, a group of SAVANNAH SPARROWS on the ground, a line of GEESE flying over, a CARDINAL, SONG SPARROWS, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, KINGFISHER HOLES in the riverbank, HERRING GULLS, a PURPLE FINCH, BARN SWALLOWS, GOLDFINCHES, CHICKADEES, a FLICKER, a VESPER SPARROW, a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, JUNCOS, ROBINS, a RUSTY BLACKBIRD in the swampy old oxbow area, which Walter says is good migratory habitat, a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS (one soaring, one perched in a tree), BANK SWALLOWS, a PURPLE MARTIN, a GREAT BLUE HERON, a HORNED LARK (SKYLARKING is a bird singing while it’s flying around up in the sky). Walter heard an UPLAND SANDPIPER, but we never saw it.

At the DUMP, Walter heard a LEOPARD FROG. We saw 5 CATTLE EGRETS hanging around the WDOT tower, MALLARDS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, TWO PARALLEL LINES OF GEESE (a V with two tag-along lines), a PINTAIL, a SWAMP SPARROW, a COWBIRD, a RED-TAILED HAWK perched in a tree, LONG-BILLED MARSH WRENS, and a GALLINULE. In May, SORA and VIRGINIA RAILS will be here.

On the road above the dump, we heard a MOCKINGBIRD singing a variety of songs. Walter identified the songs of a CHICKADEE, CARDINAL, UPLAND SANDPIPER, BLUE JAY, KILLDEER, ROBIN, STARLING, NUTHATCH, and something Walter called a song of its own.

*****

STILL APRIL 26: I wrote some notes to myself, which I entitled “Homework for the NEW YORK TIMES”:

Go to library and read Hoagland’s stuff
Call Hamilton Davis
Think about PIGEONS editorially.

Then I wrote the beginnings of a draft:

Pigeons have been living among us for a long time. Shortly after human beings began to see the advantage of living in cities, pigeons saw the advantage too. There they found a concentration of food and protection from predators.

Pigeons remind us of how adaptable some life forms are. In a world where snail darters and Furbish’s louseworts are threatened with extinction, pigeon populations continue to explode. Pigeons are doing well while other species are suffering because they have adapted to living comfortably among burgeoning populations of human beings….

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