Sunday, September 03, 2006

Season of Baby Birds

Along with summer here, I missed the “baby bird” season, at least the early part of it in July. Caught the tail end of “begging food from parents” season, a truly precious time of year. In August, though, the babies are grown enough to come to the feeder by themselves, and we see hordes of young scrub jays, finches, baby towhees, even doves looking for food. The parents almost seem to have disappeared, but perhaps we aren’t looking closely enough to distinguish them from their nearly-grown offspring.

The scrub jays are hoarding, not eating, and would empty the sunflower seed feeder several times a day if I refilled it. Many years ago, observing our scrub jays this time of year, I put their story into limericks. Can this be a more effective way to do environmental education? Painless, even? It’s certainly more fun!

The Circle of Life

A garrulous bird is the Scrub Jay
He sits and he cackles all day
     For sunflower seeds
     To meet his winter needs
Then hides them wherever he may.

From sunflower seeds put away
By Scrub Jays against a cold day
     And never recovered
     My yard is now smothered
With sunflower plants gone astray.

If Scrub Jays could plan while they play
I’m sure they’d be happy to say
     These sunflowers reseeding
     Are going for feeding
A new crop of Scrub Jays next May.

Scrub Jays were an early topic of this blog, when I started it in March. For photos, see Lining up for breakfast, and for a jay adventure, see A Scrub Jay in the Hand.


Dave said...

Some weekend when I don't have anything to do, I plan to compose a rock opera that teaches all world history effectively and painlessly. My complete lack of musical training has made the project more difficult. Limericks could be the answer!

Such projects seem to slide down the slippery slope, but poems like yours really could be seeds for a new crop of kids. Consider Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax."

S.L. White said...

I don't know, Dave, I really like the "rock opera" idea. You just need a "score" guy to do the music part while you do the lyrics!

The Lorax, yes, exactly what I was going for... (grin) Hmmm... a whole book, eh?

Thanks for stopping by...

p.s. Are you old enough to remember a little film called "3000 years of art in 3 minutes"? Maybe your world history epic could be something like that. Think I'd set aside a little more than one weekend tho!

Dave said...

Ah, but the other problem is that I'm not so good with lyrics either. I did do my first-ever haiku for Cat Woman last week, but a world history in that form seems very unlikely.

I'm old enough to remember almost everything if I didn't forget so much of it, but I don't remember the film, and can't google up anything that looks like it. "The Reduced Shakespeare" (all of the Bard in 90 minutes) is another possible model.

We were convinced for years that my elder son took the Onceler, who destroys the Truffula Trees, to be the moral center of "The Lorax." He insists that he got the point of the story (and his actions in the world support him), but he just thought the pipes were cool.

S.L. White said...

Okay, now I'm going to have to READ the Lorax... I do get the point of the story, tho.

Probably would have helped if I'd given you the full title: God is Dog Spelled Backwards, or 300/0 years of art in 3 minutes. The link gives you a tiny preview, click "back" for more on the filmmaker. OR, if you search on "God is Dog..." you may find more on it. Good luck!

p.s. Where's the haiku??

Jane said...

Several Scrub Jays come for breakfast each morning and one will even perch on the screen guard of the door that leads out to the back of our place.

We have a large stand of Scrub Oak, in which they live and from which they nag me for peanuts.

There are two, now who will take the nuts directly from my hands while the shy ones hang back and wait for me to toss them.

You're right, this time of year they begin to stash them, and I swear they hear my coffe grinder each morning, and know that it is breakfast time.

Cheers, from another Front Range gal.