On Thursday of this week I spent the day with a third grade class talking about tree identification, animal adaptations for living in forests, and how to be a good forest steward. During the animal adaptations part, a girl asked me if there was any chance we would find a parrot that could talk living in our forests here. I said that we probably wouldn’t unless a pet parrot escaped from its home, but went on to mention that crows and cowbirds can sometimes imitate people and other sounds they here. I also mentioned that there were some birds in the world that have incorporated other noises they hear–like car alarms–into their range of songs. At the time I couldn’t remember which bird this was, but when I mentioned the story to my father he pointed me to this youtube video:
This video is from a BBC Wildlife documentary hosted by Sir David Attenborough–in my opinion one of the very great naturalists and greatest narrators. He is 90 years old and I just recently saw a documentary where he climbed hundreds of feet up a rope ladder to visit a bee’s nest in the jungle!
This video is of the aptly named Lyre bird–please watch it all the way to the end! It is simply mind blowing.
It’s hard to believe that it’s real! What an amazing vocal range the Lyre bird has. It’s always interesting to see how animals adapt to the changing world human’s have created. At times it can be depressing, but it is also a testament to the amazing ability of Life to adapt and evolve.
See if you can find something this weekend that shows how animals have adapted to live in a very human world. For example, I once saw a duck making a nest out of a tire left in a creek, and on Thursday when I asked the children what a raccoon’s favorite food was–meaning crayfish–all of them said garbage. We need to do as much as we can to save animals’ natural environment–a raccoon shouldn’t have to eat our trash!–but we can also learn an important lesson about ingenuity and the will to survive. And if you are feeling down at any point, remember that we live in a world where the Lyre bird can exist, with the ability to imitate not just other birds but a car alarm, a chain saw, a camera shutter. How wonderful is that? Have a great Saturday!