Bird #202 — Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

polioptila (from polios, gray, and ptilon, feather) caerulea (blue)

Saturday, May 2, 1981 — 1:00 pm

Barrington, Illinois — Crabtree Nature Center

Sal and I allowed ourselves to be talked into working as Sparks leaders at Des Plaines Bible Church during the 80/81 club year.  It was not fun.  I soon figured out that Sparks-age children were not my gift.  I couldn’t reason with them, so I couldn’t control them. I never found a way of coming down to their level so I could communicate with them.

My college roommate Larry and his fiancée (now wife) Jan also worked in Sparks.  Jan, Sal and I took a few of the kids to Crabtree to fulfill one of the requirements in their handbooks.  We walked around with them for a while, and then the girls took them home.   I stayed.

I was walking the path through the woods along Bulrush Pond near the blind.  I heard a high-pitched song coming from high in the trees.  I spotted the Gnatcatcher flitting very rapidly branch to branch high overhead.  It paused every few seconds to give its song, a short, buzzy trill or occasionally three buzzes with the middle one on a different pitch.

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