One of the joys of birding for me are those moments (frequent, thankfully) when I get to watch a bird just doing what that bird is supposed to be doing. Now, I grant you that what they’re supposed to be doing is purely subjective and admittedly influenced by my misanthropic biases. Nonetheless, I like to see birds doing what they did before we arrived and forced many of them (with the threat of extinction) to adapt to our presence. Gulls feeding in garbage dumps, woodpeckers on feeders, and peregrines nesting on skyscrapers don’t entice me. Sure, I’m happy they’ve adapted, but it doesn’t get my blood flowing when the birds are using human artifacts to get by in an altered world. Eastern Phoebes may prefer bridges these days, but the phoebe that’s most special to me is the one I watched bringing food back to its nest in an overhanging rock beside a waterfall in a wooded ravine off the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania. Show me a thrasher thrashing, a flicker flicking, and a creeper creeping. And if you really want to make me happy, show me some Cedar Waxwings cavorting in a Cedar! It doesn’t get any more proper than that!