Ubiquitous

By Dave Hanks
9/30/10

Ubiquitous = omnipresent Ė Being or seeming to be everywhere.

We have ubiquitous birds around us that we take for granted. What is more so than the American Robin? It is probably the most adaptable bird we have. But do we really appreciate it? An exchange student from Mexico, who was in my Ecology class, saw a robin on a field trip. He had never seen one before, and he was enamored with its beauty.

Magpies are very beautiful, but are not considered so by the local folk. Itís a sad fact that: Commonality makes beauty, un-beautiful! People from the east come to see magpies. We go east to see Blue Jays, which easterners view in the same light that we do magpies.

The House Sparrow is considered ubiquitous by most, because they are everywhere around our homes and farmyards. But thatís misleading because you rarely see them anywhere else, even though they are the most widespread, permanent residents on bird guide maps.

The Downy Woodpecker is not thought of as ubiquitous, even though it is common across our nation. Thatís because it is not often seen - although it can off-times be heard drumming away.

Probably the most common bird in our yards and at our bird feeders is the House Finch Ė a bird that has spread north from the southwestern deserts. Itís attractive like the robin and magpie, but so common that its beauty is overlooked. The red head, rump, and chest would make us consider it in a more favorable light if it were not so common. Iím a victim of this phenomenon myself, as I have a hard time getting excited about seeing this bird. This most common species at our bird feeders, has an interesting song of high-pitched, three note phrases.

(The House Finch clothed in his subtle reds)


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