Beyond Pigeons: Bird watching catches on in the urban jungle

“Okay, so he was dead. But he was also the most stunning wild bird I’d ever seen—probably ever would see. I’d been walking the city alleys of Bloomington, Indiana, when I nearly stepped on a lovely-but-lifeless Indigo Bunting. I recall lightly pinching his paper-thin body between my thumb and index finger. With the smallest movement of my wrist I could make his electric blue head flop from one side to the other. His snapped neck made sense. After all, the neotropical migrant navigates with the stars. Flying at night, he probably never noticed that eight-story brick building smack in the middle of the city’s buzzing downtown—until he smacked into it himself, of course.”

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