Bird’s Got Skills

3-5-2019 a“What kind of bird is that?” Louisa asked. Hector and I stopped walking and joined Louisa to inspect the river birch tree.

“What bird? I don’t see anything,” my eyes roved over the tree but I saw no bird.

“It’s right in front of you, Bernice,” Hector said. “Do you need glasses? I have a great eye doctor if you do.”

“I don’t think so,” I replied, understanding that I could not really know. Hector didn’t know he needed glasses for a long time before he got them. It was only after he started wearing them that Hector realized everything had been blurry before.

“Where is the bird? I just don’t see it,” I said, wondering if I really did need to visit the optometrist. But then I saw the bird and I don’t think it looked blurry at all. The colors of the white-breasted nuthatch were simply blending into the bark of the tree.  Furthermore, the tree bark had a lot of texture, making the bird difficult to see among all the shapes the bark itself made.

“Ah, I see it now! It’s a white-breasted nuthatch! It is searching the bark for insects to eat.”

3-5-2019 bThe bird walked all over the bark as though it were nothing. First it walked down the trunk of the tree, facedown, tail pointed to the sky. Then it changed direction and walked straight up the tree. It searched for bugs to eat the whole time and seemed not to notice we were watching.

“That looks scary” Louisa commented. “But I would like to be able to scale surfaces like that.  Would you?  It’s like Spiderman!”

Hector and I both thought it would be useful to be able to climb like a white-breasted nuthatch and told Louisa we would like to be able to, yes.

How about you? Would you like to be able to walk up and down the sides of things like a white-breasted nuthatch?

2 responses to “Bird’s Got Skills”

  1. Hi, Bernice. What fun that you, Hector and Louisa were out together and came upon the white-breasted nuthatch. I liked Louisa’s comment, “It’s just like Spiderman!” I’m glad I’ve gotten her so many of the old Spiderman comic books over the years. Remember last Haloween when I tried to make myself a Spiderman mask? Didn’t quite work, and I couldn’t figure out how to get spider webs out of my feet. But it was fun thinking about playing Spiderman. By the way, I was having some problems with my feet the other day and was doing research on what other animals have feet like ours in case I could find someone to talk to about my problems. Interesting question don’t you think? Reading an article I learned that we are even-toed ungulates (meaning we have two weight-bearing hooves on each foot – obviously). We are apparently in the order Artiodactyla which also includes animals like antelopes, cattle, goats, sheet, caribou, moose, hippos and pigs — pigs, who would have thought?
    Getting back to your post, Mom and I had been watching an old episode of Dancing with the Stars (limited to humans unfortunately) and the episode had one dance where the dancers seemed to be dancing on the walls and ceiling. Maybe dancers are related to white-breasted nuthatches. Seems unlikely but maybe many generations ago? Think I will practice my moon dancing which has me going backwards just like Michael Jackson made famous — closest I can get to doing what the white-breasted nuthatch in your drawing is doing! Watch out trees, here I come!


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