A change of place

I’m back in England for a few weeks, so you will notice a change of place.

It is autumn here, and although the colours are not as dramatic as in Maine, they have a subtle beauty:

 

DSC00791

Did you notice the egret flying across the photo above? Here it is in closeup, with its bright yellow feet:

DSC00888

The jackdaws are everywhere.

DSC00672

Their scientific name, Corvus monedula, tells you they are small corvids, and they are famed (like magpies) for stealing shiny objects and hiding them. They mate for life, and they are communal birds, often seen in large flocks, sometimes nesting in old buildings, like these sheep barns:

DSC00755

They are a Eurasian species, not native to the Americas. For some reason, while other corvids (especially crows and magpies) now frequent large cities, including London, I see them mainly in the countryside.  But they do like people:

Golfer With His Pet Jackdaw, 1933

A Golfer’s Unusual Companion: ‘Jack” the 16 months old Jackdaw pet of Mr AW Aitken of Ventnor, Isle of Wight, accompanies its owner everywhere he goes and is here seen perched on Mr Aitken’s shoulder whilst he has a round of putting.  ©1933  Hulton-Deutsch Collection via Getty Images

Read more at https://www.countrylife.co.uk/nature/jackdaw-bird-just-loves-people-178185#LHos2FZBO1rXdAum.99

PS Jackdaws were studied by the famous ethologist Konrad Lorenz, and he noted that in captivity they often make same-sex bonds. Bruce Bagemihl wrote extensively about same-sex liaisons in jackdaws and more generally in the animal world, and Bruce was once a linguist like me, so my two worlds collide again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s