Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Yup.  You read the title correctly. My math is funny.  But it makes sense. Really. My pic is my proof......

Yes, the picture sucks, but look past that annoying detail, please.  There is a Snowy Egret here.  It is the smaller of the two birds (the other one being the larger cousin to the Snowy Egret, the Great Egret).  In addition to the smaller size, the bill is a give-away.  Black. Not yellow.  Ta-dah!

So, what is the big deal?  Ohh, about 150 feet.  That's the big deal.

As a birder (substitute "weirdo" as you see fit), I keep lists.  As a regular reader of this blog, you might know that I have a list of all birds seen in Wayne County and I actively pursue birds within the county so I can add more to the list.  Prior to just a few days ago, my Wayne County list was 279 birds.

I was paid a visit by a birder and he told me of TWO Snowy Egrets along Harbin Drive.  Harbin Drive is in Wayne County, but only by a matter of feet.  Maybe 100 feet or so.  The Egrets were north of Harbin Drive in the marsh (where they were actively feeding on minnows and such as they so like to do). Adding the width of Harbin Drive to the distance from the  county line, these birds were in Wayne county by no more that 150 feet when I took this picture.  

It should be noted that this bird has a largely southern distribution.  Seeing one is Michigan is always nice.  But I would bet most Michigan records are from Monroe County.  Specifically, I would bet most are from Pointe Mouillee State Game Area in extreme northeast Monroe County. Knowing this place is such a bird magnet, the thought that a Snowy Egret (or two) would leave primo-habitat in Monroe County and skip into Wayne County is really kinda cool. They simply don't do it that often.  

From a lister's standpoint, distances matter not.  150 feet.  2000 feet.  14 miles. Who cares. The bird is in the county, or not.  It is like pregnancy.  One is pregnant.  Or not.  Yes or no. There is no maybe.  

So, with the presence of Snowy Egrets (two in this case) on the fair side of the county line by only a matter of 150 feet, I added my 280th species to my Wayne County list.   Thus, my math: 2 birds + 150 feet = 280 species on my Wayne County list.  

Lake Erie Metropark is only 2,700 feet away (Google Earth is awesome).  So, if one bird does a short flight in the right direction, my new math would be: 1 + 2,700 = 252.  

I love math.

No comments: