A little more than two weeks ago, I wrote about an avian phenomenon in my back yard that had generated major excitement in the Chicago birding world. Specifically, a bird called the Varied Thrush had adopted the area around our yard as his temporary home. Varied Thrushes are a very big deal in Chicago because they are spotted here only once or twice in any given year (they are fairly common in their normal range in the Pacific Northwest).
So for the past two weeks, dedicated birders (are there any other kind?) have been braving the cold, standing in the alley behind our fence. They are carrying binoculars and cameras with massive zoom lenses, hoping for a glimpse of the fabulous Varied Thrush.
I’ve wondered just how long this phenomenon would last. Would the Varied Thrush tire of the Paparazzi and find himself a new home? Would we run out of Varied Thrush enthusiasts, resulting in an empty alley?
Well, fear not. Fame has not yet soured for our friend the Varied Thrush. And Thrush-o-Mania remains strong, although perhaps a little reduced in intensity. There were at least a dozen bird watchers who showed up in the alley today. I think they all got what they were looking for.
I’m thinking about monetizing this Varied Thrush happening. Can I persuade the Varied Thrush to stay longer term? And if so, how about a line of Varied Thrush merchandise – sweatshirts, caps, mugs, Varied Thrush Action Figures … The kids of a friend of mine are suggesting selling hot coffee and those Styrofoam Also, I really need to think long term. If the Varied Thrush becomes a permanent resident, eventually the excitement for local birders will have to fade. So can I engineer the arrival of other rare birds? Must work on that.
Has your house or garden ever gotten unexpected attention?