**For The Birds

They’re neither Swans, Geese, Ducks,
Not Partridges, Grouse, Pheasants, nor Turkeys,
From places as far flung as Calgary and Caledonia they come.
Though not New World Quail, Loons, Grebes, nor Albatrosses,
Neither Shearwaters, Storm-Petrels, Tropicbirds,
But give a polite listen as they brag of their Tiffin.
They’re neither Boobies, Pelicans, Cormorants,
Not Anhinga, Frigatebirds, Bitterns, Herons, nor Egrets,
But they leave some locals with bitter regrets.
Though not Ibises, Spoonbills, nor Storks,
Neither New World Vultures, Kites, Eagles, Hawks,
Flock here nonetheless they do.
They’re neither Osprey, Caracaras, Falcons,
Not Rails, Gallinules, nor Coots,
But to Phoenix they’ve come to roost,
Though not Cranes, Plovers, Stilts nor Avocets,
Neither Jacanas, Sandpipers, Phalaropes, Allies,
They’ll catch the early bird specials and crowd up the booths.
They’re neither Gulls, Terns, Jaegers,
Not Skimmers, Pigeons, nor Doves,
But they fly low, slow, and steady in wheelchairs, golf carts, bicycles, and rickshaws.
Though not Parrots, Cuckoos, Roadrunners, nor Anis
Barn Owls
Neither Typical Owls, Nighthawks, Nightjars,
By the hundreds of thousands they arrive each winter.
They’re neither Swifts, Hummingbirds, Trogons,
Not Kingfishers nor Woodpeckers,
But they’re birds of a feather.
Though not Tyrant Flycatchers, Shrikes, nor Vireos,
Neither Jays, Magpies, Crows, Ravens,
They’ll sing the weather’s praises.
They’re neither Larks, Swallows, Chickadees, Titmice,
Not Verdins, Bushtits, nor Nuthatches,
But they’ve built quite a nest for themselves.
Though not Creepers, Wrens, nor Dippers,
Neither Kinglets, Gnatcatchers, Old World Flycatchers, Thrushes,
They chirp about prices and politics and seasons.
They’re neither Catbirds, Mockingbirds, Thrashers,
Not Starlings, Wagtails, nor Pipits,
But they’ll spread their wings and fly on back home come May.
Though not Waxwings, Silky-flycatchers, nor Olive Warblers,
Neither Wood Warblers, Tanagers, Emberizine Finches,
They’ve gathered two by two for shuffleboard and golf.
They’re neither Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Buntings,
Not Icterids, Finches, Goldfinches, nor Old World Sparrows,
the winter visitors of the southwest known jokingly and lovingly as snowbirds to locals.

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