February: Peace

February 27, 2019. Hmm. Maybe 2019 was the year of the bird?

In February I traveled to Albuqurque to attend the Episcopal Archdeacon’s annual conference. It was surprisingly cold. In Albuqurque? Yes, said the local I asked about it. People often underestimate how cold it gets in Albuqurque.

So I really was not prepared to be out walking and shooting. But we always get a little time off at that conference, so I bundled up as best I could with what I had and paid a visit to San Felipe de Neri, the historic Roman Catholic church that dominates Old Town Plaza.

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

Unfortunately, the church was not open. Fortunately, many birds dozed and flitted about in the branches of the trees in front of the church. And there I had my first ever encounter with white-winged doves, a bird that has long made its home in Albuqurque.

They were mostly balls of fluffed up feathers against the cold and napping with eyes closed. I got a shot good enough for identification, but not for anything else.

Just a few days after returning home I was counting and photographing birds in my own back yard–something I did this year for the first time. And what a surprise. Could it be?

Indeed, a white-winged dove was perched with its eyes wide open, seemingly just waiting for me to poke my head out the back door. This was one of my most liked shots on Facebook this year.

What can I say? I was so blessed by that bird. It was almost as if she/he had followed me home.

Later I learned from birder friends that white-winged doves are expanding their range into Louisiana. Wonderful. But knowing that does not diminish my experience of a wonderful creature encounter.

#BestOf2019 #YearInReview #YearOfBirds

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