Thursday, August 20, 2009

Answer me THIS one, Bird Watching Answer Book lady!

Blue Jay
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Okay--here's my question for The Bird Watching Answer Book. I live in northern Minnesota. One time I heard a tour leader telling a bunch of birders about how great our area is for finding "beautiful birds." I made my beautiful, musical squeaky sound and flew in with my most graceful movements. Everyone naturally looked up, but then the guide said, "It's just a Blue Jay," and turned his back. I mean, he didn't even lower his voice, as if I couldn't understand him or didn't have feelings or something.

Then not ten minutes later he and everyone were exclaiming and all jubilant and thrilled because they saw some dingy little Boreal Chickadee. I mean, come on! They're sort of cute in a drab sort of way, but are hardly beautiful, and the best sound they make sounds like a Black-capped Chickadee with a terminal disease. We Blue Jays are gorgeous, intelligent, sociable, fun, and we warn everybody, those Boreal Chickadees included, when there is any danger lurking. Mark Twain loved us--he said "It ain't no use to tell me a bluejay hasn't got a sense of humor because I know better."

My question--what makes birders turn their backs on us?


Barry Boreal said...

Uh, Excuse me, Mr. Arrogant Blue Jay, but we Boreal Chickadees are too beautiful. I agree that it's not fair that birders turn their backs on you, but it's also not fair that you disparage our looks and songs and calls. My mother and father, and my mate, and my children are all beautiful! So there!

Jean said...

Not ignored. Not at my house, you get peanuts for a song. Or a shriek. I prefer the nice whistle song though. If you don't mind. Especially at 6:00 a.m.

lectric lady said...

Dear Mr. Blue Jay

This is an awfully late response to your post, but I hope you will appreciate it.

In 1980's, the International Ethological Congress had its annual meeting in Madison, WI. A graduate student friend of mine was assigned to go on a canoe trip down the Wisconsin River with mostly foreign attendees. She asked, at the end of the amazing birding trip, "which was the most spectacular bird you saw?"

Well, I expect you know the answer right away:

The Blue Jay!!!