Here are a couple more pics of some of the more brilliant examples of our North American avifauna. The first is a Wood duck, one of the most common waterfowl in the northeast. Despite their abundance they're not often easy to see up close. They're shy, they inhabit wooded ponds and streams, and will often take flight before they are even spotted. Nevertheless, if the male can be seen at close range or with good optics in good light, it's stunningly colorful.
This next little fella' inspired one of America's most famous naturalists and artists, Roger Tory Peterson, to devote his life to the pursuit of birds. As a boy he was walking in New York City's Central Park one May, and a birder directed his gaze to a Magnolia warbler flitting in the bushes. Once he saw it he was hooked for life.
Finally, this last photo is of perhaps the most colorful songbird in all of North America. It's a male Painted bunting. These are found across the south and only rarely wander north of the Mason-Dixon line. Nevertheless, there was a female in Philadelphia's John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge throughout the winter of 2006.
Nature offers so much beauty to delight the senses and enrich our lives. It's a shame that we have so little time, and, sadly, too little inclination, to take it in.RLC