Wednesday, June 01, 2005

another happy coincidence

The back yard is getting overgrown, and the berries are attracting several kinds of birds. My ability to distinguish one kind of bird from another is spotty at best. I'm pretty clear on penguins versus ostriches, for example, but I couldn't tell a wren from a sparrow if I had one of each up either nostril. And there's been a particularly charming reddish fellow keeping me company as I gnash my teeth over the boring part of my big project. So I thought I'd look him up, but couldn't find a workable guide.

Until I started dabbling in hem's archives, and found the tool for identifying birds she blogged quite some time ago. And it really works. It's a little slow, but makes much more sense than the other ones I found, which asked me first for the bird's species--as if I knew that! Do I look like an ornithologist? Give me questions I can answer from observation, like "what color is it?" and "what shape is the bill?". Each question narrows down the choices until you find your answer. Simple and elegant.

Welcome, little house finch.