Birdology

Not so terribly long ago, while living on a couple of acres in North Texas, I was privileged to have the company of a number of creatures – rabbits, goats, sheep, horses, cats, dogs, ducks, geese, turkeys, and chickens.

One among the latter was a Rhode Island Red hen, not so creatively named Red.

At her own insistence, Red Hen was the number one hen. Nearly all of her time was spent the way hens usually spend their time, scratching in the turf for insect morsels, pecking complaisantly at the feed trough, disdaining the attentions of the more amorous roosters, advising the other hens about what might not have been any of her business, visiting the rabbits in their pen.

But during the long hot summer afternoons, Red had one other avid interest. Each and every day, like clockwork, she would amble in the back door, walk determinedly across the room, seat herself comfortably on the arm of the couch, and intently watch the thirty minute rerun of Wheel of Fortune. When the show ended, she would rise, exit, and return contentedly to her barnyard world, as if all was now right with the world. She never watched another show: only Wheel of Fortune, but that with the deepest and most avid concentration.

As you may well imagine, this and numerous other such experiences with that animal menagerie have led me to a keen appreciation for the personalities of birds – and toward an avid avian interest.

In consequence, I was delighted to find Irene Wanner’s review of Sy Montgomery’s new book Birdology: Adventures with a Pack of Hens, a Peck of Pigeons, Cantankerous Crows, Fierce Falcons, Hip Hop Parrots, Baby Hummingbirds and One Murderously Big Living Dinosaur in the Seattle Times. I hope you like it, too.

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Published in: on May 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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