Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn An Oasis for Birds and Birders | Page 9

A Celebration of Mount Auburn’s Birding Community “One of the many wonderful things about working at Mount Auburn is the opportunity to take regular birding lunch breaks. I was a casual birder before coming to work here and I am still far from expert, but the numbers and variety of birds I have seen here have definitely sharpened my skills. One of the things I enjoy most about my regular outings is the opportunity to learn more about bird behavior, which is just as fascinating as their plumage and aerial feats. From the fierce Red-tails to the plucky chickadees, every bird I see is an illustration of the incred- ible diversity of the avian world, each individual species so well adapted to what it does. It is truly a wonder and a privilege to behold.” Female Downy Woodpecker — Regina Harrison, by Regina Harrison Mount Auburn Cemetery Staff “Every spring at Mount Auburn Cemetery, among many favorite mo- ments, my first favorite moment is always when I greet my fellow birders after a long winter away from birding. I am just as happy to see my favorite birders, as I am to see my favorite birds! I am glad to join in our fellowship of bird watching and conservation, of citizen science. We exchange stories of winter travels and winter birds, and we all look forward to another spring of seeing each other every day, while marveling at the return of our tiny feathered friends as we check them off our Mount Auburn lists. Sadly, as May winds down, we once again say our goodbyes to the birds and to each other until next migration; but until then, it’s strictly ‘bird- ers of a feather flock together!’” — Audrey Stanwood “My wife and I have traveled a fair amount to see birds, but the wonderful thing about living in Cambridge is that all you have to do to enjoy this pleasure is to visit Mount Auburn. And it’s not just one month a year. There is something to see every day. Sure, there will be tons of warblers in the spring, but you are also bound to come across something interesting on a cold day in January. There just won’t be as many people angling for a good view. Photography is a hobby for me and I get to try out the new things I learn on a weekly basis by taking my camera to Mount Auburn. I find that the other photographers (and birders) are approachable and willing to chat about what they’re seeing and even the equip- ment they are using. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of expertise at Mount Auburn Cemetery. Great Blue Heron by Sal Perisano Every now and then someone at my office asks me on a Monday morning what I did over the weekend. I love to say that I hung out at my local cem- etery. By now they know what that means.” — Sal Perisano “I have always been fond of finding a reference from ornithologist and Mount Auburn Trustee Thomas Mayo Brewer (1814-1880)of a Mourning Warbler at Mount Auburn: Late in May, 1838, I have a note of having met with this species (Mourning Warbler) in Mount Auburn. The bird was fearless and unsuspecting, busily engaged, among some low shrubbery, in search of insects. It suffered our near presence, was often within a few feet, and was so readily distinguishable that my companion, with no acquaintance with birds, at once recognized it from Audubon’s plates. — from A History of North American Birds by S. F. Baird, T. M. Brewer and R. Ridgway (1875) — Janet Heywood, former Vice President of Interpretive Programs, Mount Auburn Cemetery Great Blue Heron by George McLean “One of my most memorable moments at Mount Auburn was the day I met the Great Blue Heron for the first time. I was by myself (as usual) at Auburn Lake when I saw the great bird fishing at the farthest end. I slowly approached and sat on the bank. After talking to him quietly over the course of an hour, I crept in increments within 20 feet. I have a folder of his photos that I took over a four- year period as we became friends. Truly, I have so many favorite moments, I would need a pages to list them.” — George McLean Make sure to visit our website: (www.mountauburn.org/birdsandbirding) to learn more about birding at Mount Auburn. And don’t forget to visit us in person this May so you can see the magnificent spring migration for yourself and meet some of the many individuals who make up our community of an- nual birders! Turn the page to see more images from our birding community. Mourning Warbler by Ryan Doherty Spring/Summer 2012 | 7