When you move from one place to another, the big changes are evident first. Snow in winter. A new, unintelligible language. Whether cars drive down the left or right-hand side of the street. These changes are big. Adjustments are necessary. You must learn the basics all over again: how to walk, how to speak, how to live.
Only after you adjust to the landscape and the currency of your new home do you begin to sense the other, more subtle differences:
The average height of women in Norway is a full two inches taller than the average height of women in the U.S.
Police officers walking their beats do not carry guns.
The bills of the magpies in the tree just outside our window are black, not yellow. Would anyone notice that except me?
Birds filled the skies, trees, and fields of my California childhood. Long-billed curlews dipped their curved beaks into the turf of the high school football field at dawn. Mountain blue birds fluttered into our backyard like fragments of sky. The killdeer scurried across vacant lots crying about murder. Our parents taught us to identify them all.
Now, no matter where the path I'm walking leads, I notice the birds.
Flocks. Gaggles. Charms. Suits. Murders. Exaltations.
We'd lived here only three months when I stopped in a bookstore and asked where I could find a book on fugler . Birds. Armed with our new full-color guide to the birds of Norway , Jonathan and I have been setting out to find and identify them. To make sense of this subtle, feathered shift in the scope of our new home.
Because I haven't been able to find a good online source of info on the Birds of Norway (or the Birds of Oslo), I thought I'd make one myself. Photos are sourced from Wikipedia. If/when I take passable photos on my own, I'll note that, as well.
The following are all the birds we've identified here in Norway. English name, Latin name, Norwegian name.
Note: Click on the image for a larger version.
Common Wood Pigeon
Great Spotted Woodpecker
More to come as we continue staring at the sky.