by Bryce W. Robinson
Every year, birders around the nation gather for the Christmas Bird Count. Such a Christmas tradition centered around birds brings another wonderful aspect to this magical time of year. Celebrating the season serves to distract us from the harsh weather, and center around good food, family, and friends.
I have settled upon two traditions I hope to carry on through the years. First, I plan to have a Christmas Eve Owl Search beginning at dusk every Christmas Eve. Owls are marvelous, and the search and discovery of a bird on Christmas Eve can only add to the spirit of the season. Last night I took my brothers and sisters out into the night to find an owl. We found many feathers and a few pellets, but this year there was no owl to be seen. I’m sure there will be better luck in years to come.
The second tradition I have decided to undertake is painting a Christmas bird every year, and gift it to a loved one. Each year will be a different species that captures the season and celebrates the start of the winter solstice. For the Christmas Bird of 2011, I have chosen Bombycilla cedrorum, the Cedar Waxwing.
Merry Christmas to my brother Travis and his wife Makayla, and happy holidays to all. May the winter be full of good birds, good music, good food, and good times.