Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I mentioned to friend Margie that I was trying to select an appropriate photo for this Father's Day tribute, but I hadn't thought out which bird fathers contributed to the family structure. After we talked a little, it became clear that we humans could take some lessons from our critter friends when it comes to parenting. Apparently, almost all bird daddies share in the child rearing activies. Our Florida Scrub Jays are certainly prime examples of a solid family structure. Sandhill Cranes marry for life, and you nearly always see the children with both parents. The little Cardinals that come to my courtyard typically come as a family. The Woodstorks in Matt MacQueen's beautiful photo look as though they are posing for this year's family Christmas card.

Margie volunteers at the Florida Wildlife Hospital. One of the hospital's educational birds is Gonzo the Screech Owl, a male who fosters baby screeches. The hospital folks actually had him gender tested, so they know he's a he. They didn't know he would act as a foster parent (he came in as barely more than a baby himself) until they put some young ones in with him so the little ones could see an adult. He immediately began caring for them and became quite protective of his babies. Now he fosters babies every year. (Gonzo photo by Florida Wildlife Hospital)
So a very happy Father's Day to both human and critter fathers!

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I did same "sort through photos exercise" to find appropriate one to make Father's Day card for my son-in-law on his first Father's Day. I decided on the one that had the father Canada goose standing guard over the family of goslings I used for first blog post.
I love that "foster dad" Screech owl.