Here at the edge of the wood we wish you a happy summer. The squirrels, chipmunks, birds and turkeys are taking a vacation from their modeling and educational work here at the blog. Don’t forget to keep your eyes and ears open. Some creature might have something to teach you. We will see you soon.
At the edge of the wood we always appreciate a good hair day. But the clever Blue Jays actually communicate mood with the crest feathers on their heads. When the crest is erected, making a prominent peak, the bird is excited, surprised, or aggressive. If the jay is frightened, the crest bristled out in all directions. If the bird is relaxed, the crest lays flat on the head. Here we have a relaxed Jay basking in the glow of this squirrel’s admiring gaze. Yes, we wish we could fly like that too.
At the edge of the wood sometimes the feathers fly and not while flying. Here we have a Catbird and a Cardinal having a disagreement. During mating and nesting season Cardinals are obsessed with defending their territory against any intruders. Birds may spend hours fighting these intruders without giving up. Impressive for such a little bright package!
We here at the edge of the wood are head over heels about the many wild turkey chicks in our midst. Zoologist Konrad Loranz argued way back in 1949 that the typical baby face – big eyes, small noses and heads that are large in comparison to the body – turned adults into happy baby-tending machines. So why does that transfer to animals? Well, it turns out our brains latch on to pretty much anything with the same criteria: big eyes, large heads, small noses, unsure gait. Well, here’s to biological cute. How lucky we all are to have it.