Thursday, September 14, 2006


THE NATIONAL BIRD


Most nations have a national bird, it's just a thing nations do, they have national flowers and trees and even fish I suppose, though none have a national vegetable or appliance, there are limits to these things.

Japan's national bird is the pheasant. The bird is on the money. The pheasant is described as "characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, with males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. They are usually larger than the females. Males play no part in rearing the young." I wouldn’t have minded being a
cultural fly on the wall when that choice was made.

Other nations have made interesting choices for national bird too; Australia, for example, chose the Emu-- rather hastily one suspects. Canada opted for the common loon, which many see as unfortunate; Egypt hasn't even bothered to select a national bird, since they have the pyramids and the sphinx; nor has China gone the bird route, what with Mao and the Great Wall; the French bird is the rooster, which is somehow a propos...

I doubt, though, that any of these selections involved such heartfelt parliamentarian pleas for various avian candidates as there were back when America chose its bird: not Franklin's turkey, heaven forfend, but Jefferson's favorite, the bald eagle-- which, though photogenic, maybe wasn't all that good a choice.

Anyway, my vote goes to Charlie Parker.

5 comments:

saz said...

We should have had the raven as the national bird - they're so darn smart. But then maybe that wouldn't represent what we've become lately.....so the bald eagle it is.

Maya's Granny said...

I live where bald eagles, ravens, and crows abound and the corvids are much smarter. Indeed, the Tlingit consider the raven an avatar for the creator.

Oddly enough, my post today is about a crow.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I vote for Charlie Parker too Robert. After all, he IS the king of Birdland.

Anonymous said...

i very like birds! now i living in Keene Valley, NY. and we have a lot of nice birds!

http://galkin.pp.ru

Anonymous said...

and i now, that a lot of people love birds, like me...