I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Birds

So little and Lost---the Dovekie!
Brrrr! An unusually cold and very windy January so far here at the beach!

I've been reading online about the tiny Arctic Auks called "dovekies" that were blown ashore on Cape Cod by the high winds of the Christmas blizzard. Apparently people were calling the Wildlife Center and saying they saw tiny penguin-like birds in their yards! How fascinating! I'd never heard of a dovekie, let alone seen one...

MA Audubon photo

Apparently they choose to live their entire lives off-shore in the Arctic ocean (why!?!), only coming ashore to breed in the far north. It seems they cannot really walk any distance---picture sparrow-sized penguins---and cannot take flight from land, only from the water. Thus, they need to be rescued, watered, fed, then sent on their way, in the open ocean.

Since I had never seen or heard of dovekies, I was looking for them last week when I finally go to the snowy beach.

 And much to my amazement, I found one! Sadly, it was a washed-ashore, dead dovekie.

A sad but interesting find on my winter beach....



gone to the beach.....