Tuesday morning I went to the Senior Seminar which was titled “Bird Talk.” I thought it was going to be someone doing bird calls but it was two women who talked about the birds you can see in this area,which ones are indigious to Missouri and which ones are not. They were quite interesting speakers.
The one amused me when she said she’s a lazy birdwatcher. She prefers to do it from a bench or the car or some place where she can sit. No hiking through the woods and craning her neck for her. She did talk about a place near where a particular bridge across the Mississippi River as a good place to go birding, especially to see the water birds and bald eagles.
I’m thinking a visit to that area she told us about might make a good mini-vacation. I’m feeling the need for one but haven’t been able to fit it in my calendar.
For several years now I’ve noticed flocks of some small bird which flies in circles over highway intersections where there are lots of electric wires. I never knew what kind of birds they are. I was able to ask about those flocks of birds I see flying around intersections. The speaker said those are starlings (not native to the U.S.) and the reason they sit on the power lines is those lines are heated. The birds can’t feel the heat with their feet but huddle down on the wires and keep their bodies warm.
Someone back in the 1800s had the idea that we should have all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare here in the U.S. so they imported some which were not native. Starlings were in that group. They are the “blackbirds” from the “four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie” which I wasn’t aware was from Shakespeare. I thought that was just a nursery rhyme.
Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye
Four and twenty black birds baked in a pie
When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing
Wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the King?