Thinking Citizen Blog — Birds and Bugs — Time to Share Stories

Thinking Citizen Blog: Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day

Today’s Topic: Birds and bugs — time to share stories

Kids love animals. Kids are fascinated by animals. They move. On their own. It’s crazy. Bugs are especially interesting. They look like aliens. Dogs and cats are so cute, of course. But birds fly! And parrots can talk! Do you have a favorite bird? A favorite bug? A most hated bug? a most hated bird? Perhaps you, like Lucille Ball, or anyone else who has who has been attacked by a bird or watched Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” have ornithophobia. If so, I’m very sorry, because I love birds. And what about bugs? Today, it’s time to share bird and bug stories to ignite or re-ignite a fascination with these astonishing creatures. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

THE MYSTERY OF THE VIOLENT POUNDING ON THE FRONT OF MY HOUSE

1.This morning at about 7:00 am I heard an extremely loud pounding on the front of my house that could only have been a rogue construction worker with a jack hammer doing a little spontaneous re-modeling of a stranger’s house.

2. When I asked my wife if she any idea what the source of the sound was, she took me downstairs to the basement and pointed at a window on the west side of the house. There was the culprit. My wife had seen the exact same bird doing the exact same thing at the exact same time yesterday.

3. The bird was pounding its beak into the glass. As soon as it saw us it vanished.

NB: Was the bird trying to mate with its reflection? Or did it mistake the reflection for a rival? Any other explanations? Has anyone else witnessed a similar incident? Or any unusual avian behavior?

THE PROBLEM OF EYE WITNESS IDENTIFICATION

1. My wife and I could not agree on the color of its breast.

2. My wife saw orange. I saw white. But she saw the bird twice. So I think it was more likely to have been a robin.

3. On the other hand, we both agreed that the beak was not a robin’s beak — it was long, black, and curved. When I checked my handy “Birds of Massachusetts” book, the closest match was a Northern Mockingbird. (See above).

NB: If I hear the sound again tomorrow at 7am I will go outside and take a photograph. The whole experience drove home the problematic nature of eye witness identification in criminal cases.

THE GIGANTIC PILEATED WOOD PECKER

1. If you ever hear a distant sound like that of a town work crew tearing up your street half a mile away, you might get closer and realize it was just a gigantic red-headed pileated wood pecker.

2. A typical downy woodpecker can make quite a racket especially if it takes a liking to the wood siding next to the window of your office.

3. But a dashing red pileated wood pecker is easily 3–14X the size of a downy (18 inches versus 6 long and 14 ounces versus 1 ounce in weight).

NB: You do not want to be attacked by a red pileated woodpecker. They “make such large holes in dead trees that the holes can cause a small tree to break in half.” They can drill a hole 8 inches deep in no time — up to 30 “taps” per second!!!!

Pileated woodpecker

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_robin

Northern mockingbird

Definition of Ornithophobia

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YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to climate change or the environment. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to climate change that the rest of us may have missed. Your favorite chart or table perhaps…

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.

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Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.