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My Life’s Birds: #30

November 21, 2007
JUNE 3, 1993 – Ozark, MO – There are certain birds that every listing birder needs to see, especially when they first get started. Birds that seem to exist only to pad trip lists or day lists or life lists. They lack the cachet inherent in the birds we tend to get the birding bug from, but they’re still there, always. No less a tick on the list then that Curlew Sandpiper or that Northern Jacana. So it is with the humble Rock Pigeon. We all tick it on our lists almost as an afterthought, but oddly I remember mine almost better then I remember some of my more obscure sparrows. Today was the day the Rock Pigeon became no longer another town bird, but a life bird.In my hometown of Ozark, Missouri, there’s an old mill that was one of the first structures built when the town was founded. The mill is abandoned now and had been for nearly 50 years, I suppose it would be considered an eyesore if it wasn’t for it’s historical significance. Once some investors decided they would turn the old building into a fancy restaurant. They cleaned it out and installed windows overlooking the waterfall that now cascades over the millpond dam. The idea had some promise and people were excited to see the building once again become a functional part of the town, but it didn’t work out for some reason or another so it stands again empty but for the Rock Pigeons that nest in the attic. (edited to add: and apparently the loads of crap Bass Pro puts in there. Thanks Sniderman)

They’re always sitting on the bridge, easy to find. We saw them on this day while we took the scenic route to the store to get supplies for our family vacation, a trip to Florida that was to a great extent, the impetus for beginning my life list on this particular month. We’d leave the next morning for the Gulf Coast, and all the birds I imagined I’d add.

I’m taking the rest of the week off from blogging to spend holiday time with the family, as is the style for the season. To my dear reader(s), have a Happy Indigenous Persons Exploitation Day! Or is that Columbus Day? I always get these holidays mixed up…
photo from wikipedia
  1. SNIDERMAN permalink
    November 21, 2007 2:59 pm

    Bass Pro uses the mill to store crap.

    Lots of crap.

    A restaurant would be more fun. Nice digs behind the building too… occasionally the cams get the chance to go back when doing a story.

    Maybe we’ll bump into you in town, N8. Happy turkey.

  2. Greg permalink
    November 22, 2007 10:52 am

    I heard that the original plans for a restaurant were scrapped after it was discovered that there was too much literal rat crap to adequately sanitize the building for use as a restaurant. When I have been in the building during the annual Bass Pro garage sale for conservation, the smell of rodenticide has been very strong.

    The fox population in the vicinity has been very adaptable; food supply ranging from rats to rock pigeons to domestic waterfowl to scraps from the Chinese restaurant nearby.
    Also, when I was crossing the bridge a few years back, I saw a Cooper’s Hawk nail a Rock Pigeon on the bridge supports directly in front of my eyes. It was great!

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