Thursday, September 2, 2010

The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs.

Bird hanging off of a poem about Roseanne from one of Nic's writer friends

I like birds. I also like the song that goes, "I like birds." When you think about it, there are a lot of good lines about birds (I'm not going to go into them here). Anyway, I don't love birds. I love bird things. I've never been bird watching, nor do I intend to give it a go anytime soon. We had parakeets growing up, but believe me, that did not contribute at all to my adoration of birds. If anything, I should hate birds with a passion because let me tell you our parakeets were stanky and creepy. The only thing I liked about them was that you could call them budgies. Sure, I felt bad when they died and I was morbidly fascinated by the one that broke its neck in the cage wire, but I digress.

More birds!

I like bird decorations--fake birds. I like the dyed feathers on the little bird shaped styrofoam bodies. I like the bizarre, unnatural colors they come in. I like it all! I have lots of birds around my house. Some people have affectionately dubbed it "the aviary." It has been called worse. I think my router was named "Lincoln's Tomb" (not by me of course).

This little bird came from a dollar store in Iceland called "Tiger."

I've also been thinking a lot about this crazy Radiolab I listened to the other day. If you don't know about/don't listen to Radiolab you should. The episodes are full of interesting factoids that are waiting to be bust out the next time you're looking to impress. Plus, it's how I learned all about stochasticity and will blow your mind every single time. Anyway, this was this one Radiolab that talked about a rare yellow bird, the Kirtland warbler, that was almost extinct. Researchers and forest rangers were going to great lengths to make sure this bird lived, even though it meant killing thousands and thousands or these cow birds.

This is fitting because it's a dead bird. It's also an oil painting I bought at an estate sale. Best. Find. Ever.

The cow birds would be all tricky and knock the warbler's eggs out of the nest, lay their eggs in there, then the warbler would hatch the cow birds eggs before the warblers hatch. They grow faster, become the dominant feeder, and essentially make it so that the warbler mom ends up giving all the food to the cow bird and her own little birdies starve/don't survive. In order to make sure these warblers have a chance, fish and wildlife trap cowbirds and squeeze them with their hands "thoracic compression." It kind of makes me think about 2 birds in the bush/bird in the hand saying. If that nifty story doesn't make you want to watch Radiolab, what will? I like fake birds in my house!

Birds on a wire!

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