Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2017, 9 am 57 degrees
People of all ages enjoy a morning outdoors on Fair Oaks Bridge.
Families are out walking, joggers shake the bridge as they pass and I hear cyclists on the American River Parkway less than 100 yards away. The air is warm, with no breeze, yet filled with the calls of birds hidden in trees that hug the riverbanks. With heavy cloud cover, the sun barely shines through.
People climb the Fair Oaks Bluffs to enjoy the panoramic views, cross the bridge, stop to enjoy the river and see the wildlife at play and at work.
Seagulls call as they fly over the river, some landing in the water to call again. One bird song reminds me of a calliope with its high pitched whoop. Buffleheads skirt the water, leaving ripples as they rise out of the water and fly low across the river. Watching the river all year long, I only see these daring little ducks in fall and early winter. I presume they live somewhere else during other parts of the year.
Do birds know today is a holiday for people because we show up in larger numbers than other days?
This looks like one more workday for them in their ongoing search to find breakfast. A woman arrives on the boat launch ramp to throw seeds. Nearly 20 birds and waterfowl rush to get their share. Seagulls call out to each other. One gull lands in the river to nibble at a dead salmon floating slowly downriver. A very busy day on the American River.