1. Tom Gobbles doesn’t live here anymore. In mid-February, Kendall Square’s Mr. Gobbles was injured by a passing car while he was roaming on Broadway Street. I only found out over lunch last week in Cambridge, when Mr. Gobbles was mentioned by a friend who works in a building facing Tom’s daily route. According to this article, he has since been taken to the Animal Rescue League’s Dedham Refuge. Sadly for us morning pedestrians, his 5-year stay in Cambridge, which consisted of ponderous walks, chasing squirrels and contemplating his own reflection in tinted glass windows, has come to an end. Hopefully, he will recover completely and have a good time in his new surroundings, with other turkeys and away from barbaric rush-hour drivers.
2. Robin Song: On a (still bare) tree near the Kendall Square Cinema bus stop, a robin sings its heart out every evening around 6:30 pm. It’s always on the same tree and in roughly the same place, which is why I think it is the same bird, though I might be mistaken. The song sounds somewhat like this recording from Nature Songs. It is quite sweet, and clearly audible above the din of traffic, though you might miss it if there is an Ipod plugged into your ears.
3. Radio Program: A young birder I met at Mount Auburn Cemetery last week gushed about a radio program called Birds to Listen and Look for in Your Backyard. It aired two weeks ago in an episode of ScienceFriday on Talk of the Nation on NPR (where else?). Audio is 42 minutes long and well worth listening to, whether you have a backyard or not. It discusses the huge spring migration and the opportunities that it provides for casual and fun bird observation, and touches on conservation issues. There are some beautiful clips of bird song. Ira Flatow’s questions are pertinent and well-framed and yields useful answers from his interviewees. I hadn’t realized, for instance, that there could be hummingbirds in Manhattan, or that city lights can sometimes play havoc with a bird’s migratory journey, or that the experience of observing large sandhill crane flocks in Nebraska can get “football-stadium-loud!” I liked it a lot and felt it was really cool of ScienceFriday to prepare a radio program where enthusiastic callers from across the country could share their experiences of birdwatching.