Monday, February 21, 2005

Addition to Life List

I’ve been a birder since I was a kid, and I still have my dog-chewed copy of Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds (1963 edition). Today I got to make an addition to the list of birds that I’ve spotted that is not in the guide: a mynah bird.

I heard it in my backyard this afternon with a bell-like call that I knew wasn’t a mockingbird. When I saw it on the powerline leading from the back of the house I knew what it was immediately; there used to be a mynah bird in a cage at Norm’s Appliances in Perrysburg when I was a kid, and this was a dead ringer for it – except this one didn’t say “Next!” (Norm’s was also the deputy registrar for Wood County, the place were you got your drivers license or license plates, and every March there’d be lines out the door as people waited to get their new plates.)

I’m sure that it’s an escaped pet; I see flocks of parrots and the occasional budgie or parakeet flying around, too, and I don’t think it counts as a legit sighting of what Peterson quaintly calls an “accidental.” But it’s still an exotic addition to life in the sub-tropical suburbs.