Pine Siskins, House Sparrow, Red-tailed Hawk, Golden Eagle… More to come.
The song is called “Circulatory.” I made it with turntables and a guitar.
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This is a song I made many years ago after I “borrowed” my sister’s old clarinet. The rhythm track is a loop made from a tape recorder that was left on in my backpack as I walked near Golden Gate Park. If you have headphones on, you will hear a House Sparrow chirp was recorded into the beat. A mournful tune in honor of a much maligned great survivor.
I was amazed and delighted to see these “sparrow baths” made by a group of House Sparrows returning to the same spot everyday to bathe in the dust. Inside the dust was very fine, sifted by feathers. Outside the ground was hard and crusted over. It must have taken some time to form these lovely bowls.
Unfortunately, the Sparrows left the baths upon the car’s approach – which is why I noticed them in the first place. Had I more time I would have staked it out to get a bathing shot, but I had to leave and only managed this image which at least provides a sense of scale.
House Sparrows, often much maligned, are tough charismatic little birds, great survivors, and attentive parents. This duo found an opening in the structure holding up a satellite dish and filled it with tiny sparrows who need a lot of food.
She pauses, vocalizing quietly, before entering with a mouthful of worms.
Many bird photographers struggle to keep any indication that humans exist out of their pictures. I’m very interested in the fact that some birds have adapted to the structures we’ve created. It is a part of their lives for better or worse. Sometimes they thrive as a result and sometimes they are challenged. I enjoy witnessing their behaviours and documenting them. I love a pretty picture and I think a pretty picture with a “hand of man” element is often just that much more interesting for the juxtaposition. I’m also a fan of all birds… invasive or not. Us griping about invasives is surely the pot calling the kettle… Birds are just trying to survive. We’ve stirred up the pot and are trying to deal with the oscillations we’ve set in motion. I’m not going to pretend that these aren’t important and serious issues… I’m just not going to harbor any judgement or animosity toward creatures that are just trying to make their way… even if that means they are nest parasites, or like to eat fledglings. It’s all interesting to me.