To help me in my rewilding journey I have been going on daily walk/runs. These walk/runs are anywhere between 1/4 of a mile to about 4 miles long depending on the day and how I feel. I do the walk/runs in or around my neighborhood and I like to do them right away in the morning. There are several reasons I like doing these treks early in the morning. It gets my body moving right away which wakes me up and revitalizes me for the day. Also, it is a good time to see the world, it's quiet, the air is crisp, there are a lot of birds out, and the best part...there are not a lot of people, cars or man made noises. I like to think of this time as my "gathering" time, I gather my thoughts, ideas and emotions and what's more, I like to imagine that I'm gathering the herbs and plants that I would be using for the day's meals, like people had to do many years ago.
I would like to relate some of the wildlife I've seen on my daily treks. I'm lucky, at my condo complex there is a small pond that I can walk around and a park near by that has a long canal trail, both create decent habitat for critters, especially birds. So far on my treks I have mainly been seeing birds, the following is a list of the birds I've seen during the month of January.
* Mallards: Anas fuligula - I always see a lot of mallards and they are definitely out and about now.
* Canadian Geese: Branta canadensis - There are a lot of these guys around this time of year and their scat too...watch where you step.
* American Coots: Fulica americana - There are around a lot also, they like to chase us because they think we have food for them. They don't even get detoured when the dogs start barking at them.
* Gadwalls: Anas strepera - I've been seeing a few of these around, but not too many.
* Ruddy Ducks: Oxyura jamaicensis - There are definitely a handful of these guys around they are so cute and little.
* American Wigeons: Anas americana - I have seen a handful of these, every now and then, on the pond at our complex.
* Hooded Mergansers: Lophodytes cucullatus - I've only seen a couple of these, but if you look closely they are here, diving for fish.
* Pied-billed Grebes: Podiceps nigricollis - I've only seen one of these lately, it was hanging out in the pond, diving, swimming awhile under water then surfacing again. They are so fun to watch and they're so tiny.
*Mountain Chickadees: Parus gambeli - I actually saw these birds when Dan and I were snowshoeing up in Tahoe Meadows. They started dive bombing us which we thought was strange. However, we ran into some hikers later who told us that they are very tame and will come and eat out of your hands which is what they were trying to do with us. I find that fairly sad, although it must be a neat experience to have a "wild" bird land in the palm of your hand.
* Northern Flickers: Colaptes auratus - I've been seeing at least one of these a day, they are so pretty with their bright orange shafts. I might be seeing the same one every day, but it has been in different locations, so I think there is more than one.
* Downy Woodpecker: Picoides pubescens - I actually saw this bird while sitting on my couch, I just happened to look out the window and it was hunting for a meal on the tree outside my window.
* Red-tailed Hawks: Buteo jamaicensis - I hear them a lot as I'm walking and we usually have a couple circling the hills behind my complex, looking for a meal.
* Swainson's Hawk: Buteo swainsoni - There are few of these who hang out in the large cottonwoods around town.
* American Robins: Turdus migratorius - I love how bright their red breasts appear in the winter time.
* Scrub Jays: Aphelocoma coerulescens - There are a few of these haniging out in the trees around our neighborhood.
* House Sparrows: Passer domesticus - I see many of these little birds in the bushes all around town.
* Black-Crowned Night-Heron: Nycticorax nycticorax - There is one who hangs out on the banks of the pond, you can also see it sitting in some of the trees around the lake.
There are also some smaller sparrows, finches and black birds I've been seeing, but I need to get better at identifying them before I add them here.