Medium Rare.

Saw a Sora.

That’s not a tongue twister. It’s a bird. Sora. A kind of rail, a small swamp bird.

Soras aren’t rare. Still, people don’t see them much. I call them medium rare, like a good steak.

This gets me thinking about rareness. And, by contrast, the ordinary birds I notice.

Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, Indigo Buntings, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Northern Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers, Cardinals and Blue Jays.

Friends in the serious birding world are yawning.

They’re out with scopes, going after Dunlins, Kittiwakes, Purple Sandpipers, Anhingas; lost or adventurous birds that are really rare.

I rarely do that.

Have I become lazy? Is that the two-fisted way? Hell, the two-fisted way is any way you want.

You tramp around in the wild, and mainly don’t play into a stereotype. (See “Ain’t me” on North American Birding).

Sometimes, you spot rare birds. I saw a Smooth-billed Ani on gray pebbles in the Bahamas. A beak to remember.

I saw a Kiskadee in Bermuda. Guillemots in Alaska. Brazilian Cardinals and Indian Mynas in Hawaii.

Okay, anybody can see exotic birds in faraway places. But I saw the Sora near Chicago.

In the same suburban forest, I saw two other medium rare birds on different days: an American Woodcock and a Summer Tanager.

My hikes in these local wilds aren’t rare, themselves. So I usually see the usual cast of characters.

The Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds and others I mentioned at the top. I also see vultures, kestrels, kingbirds, goldfinches, orioles…

These birds don’t blow up your skirts, as they say in the ad business.

But I keep wandering in the same buggy, muddy, wild-smelling timeless old woods and fields, and I’m fine with them.

Sometimes I see a Sora. And I think: Hey, medium rare.

3 Responses to “Medium Rare.”

  1. Flora says:

    one man’s medium rare is another’s common cast of characters, I’ll trade you my common anhingas for a bluebird or two…

    Flora in north central florida

  2. Two-Fisted Bird Watcher says:

    Hey Marc, thanks for the note about rare days in June. As it turns out, I had seen that post. I’m a fan of 10,000 birds, too, a really impressive website.

    Also a fan of memorable phrases. Who says a two-fisted birdwatcher can’t have literary interests? Sometimes fists are holding a book, sometimes binoculars, sometimes a Guiness Stout or two.

    An appropriate drink. (As Marc mentioned, June 16 is Bloomsday, celebrated in Dublin to honor James Joyce’s classic two-fisted novel, Ulysses. With my Irish roots, I ought to get there some June 16th. That would be a rare day.)

  3. Marc D. says:

    Apropos of your recent post on rarity, check out this link. There’s a bird connection here, i.e., 10,000 Birds, which you may have seen. Also, tomorrow is June 16, and you know what day that is. Marc