Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn An Oasis for Birds and Birders | Page 8

The Birding Tribe: “A few years ago, one spring morning I watched with a friend as a Mourning Dove built a nest with its partner. The nest was totally exposed to view on a flat part of a low, sturdy branch of a tree. Each flimsy strand of grass was brought and placed with care. We thought it was great for viewing but maybe not the safest place for a nest. Since then I have seen several similar Mourning Dove nest construction sites. It is clear that Mourning Doves know something about their species that we don’t know, and that’s why there are so many of these beautiful birds.” — John Sharp “One Sunday in June 2011, a friend and I came upon one of the fledged Great Horned Owls high in a pine in the Dell. Suddenly, two adult Red-tailed Hawks flew up to the top and noisily began lowering themselves down to the owl as we watched in horror. We were helpless and so was the bird. Then, just over my right shoul- der, long wings rushed to the pine and perched to the right of the trunk at the same level as the endangered chick. The Red-tailed Hawks hastened away. CAN YOU GUESS WHO FLEW IN? It was the sibling chick!!! Sibling love and concern.” — Sonia Ketchian “I can vividly recall the first time I set foot in Mount Auburn, some 30 years ago. I wandered around not knowing where to go until stumbling into the Dell, where a crowd of people were staring at an adult Great Horned Owl sitting out in the open and staring back. This was the first Great Horned I had ever seen and, to this day, I am still astounded by the size of that bird.” — Cliff Cook Osprey dive at Sweet Auburn by John Harrison “For the past ten years I have gone to Falmouth on Cape Cod photo- graphing Ospreys every summer. For a photographer, you always hope to catch the exhilarating Osprey dive for a fish. Ironically enough, my only Osprey dive catch was right at Auburn Lake. On September 28th of last year as I was photographing Red-eyed Vir- eos at the Sweet Bay Magnolia tree along Auburn Lake, I saw an Osprey flying over. I moved between trees and watched and photo- graphed as the Osprey dove right before my eyes. It disappeared for a moment and then emerged from the water. It’s fitting and proper that my only Osprey dive would occur at Sweet Auburn. It’s a place of surprises...” — John Harrison “Sweet, sweet Auburn—I am so fortunate that I am able to enjoy Mount Auburn’s nature and beauty year-round. Let’s never take this very special place for granted.” — Michele Parham “Mount Auburn is where I was first introduced to birding. I was in junior high and my dad brought me along for an “Arbor Day and Spring Migration” weekend event. We joined the early morn- ing bird walk led by Bob Stymeist. I knew lots of trees, but I had never even heard of a warbler. One of the first birds we saw was a Black-throated Blue Warbler foraging in full sunlight at eye level amongst the flowers of a crabapple tree. I was amazed at the beauty of the sight, and have been interested in birds and birding ever since. After that first encounter with a warbler, I followed Bob on many other bird walks at Mount Auburn. He was Black-throated Blue Warbler always so laid back; I didn’t realize by Brooks Mathewson until much later that he was such an important figure in the birding community. I feel very fortunate to have been introduced to birding by such a knowledgeable, humble, and patient mentor.” — Jake Barnett “I’ve been birding at Mount Auburn Cemetery for over 30 years and have had many treasured moments. I remember walking one early morning in May on Indian Ridge when a large group of Scarlet Tanagers were sighted around Auburn Lake. Everyone was in awe. The nesting, fledging, and flights of the Great Horned Owls in the Honey Locust tree was a community event. Everyone Wood Thrush by Sandy watched and wondered and came together to Selesky share in the magic. I remember hearing my first Wood Thrush in Consecration Dell and thinking it was the most beautiful sound in the world. Walking with the expert birders at Mount Auburn including Bob Stymeist, Wayne Petersen, and Jeremiah Trimble, has made me a better birder and helped me appreciate what a magical place Mount Auburn truly is.” — Helen Abrams 6 | Sweet Auburn “One of my fondest memories is sitting at Spectacle Pond on Mother’s Day, watching a Baltimore Oriole weaving its nest, and sharing the magic of that sighting with others who passed by. Another favorite memory is relaxing in the D