No Rules

Birds have a “no-rules” approach to life. They don’t necessarily accept boundaries.  They’re impatient free spirits, and go where they please, when they please.  The Red-eyed Vireo in your crabapple tree might have been in Texas last week.

Don’t get scientific and point out that biological imperatives prevent birds from doing whatever they want.  Chicago’s House Sparrows won’t migrate to Miami.  Mallards won’t hang on afternoon thermals with Turkey Vultures.  Backyard Grackles are as locked into the regimentation of raising two broods a summer as any suburban commuter is to raising a family and meeting a mortgage.

Still, a House Sparrow could wander south, or anywhere else.  How do you think this European species diffused from New England to cover the continent in less than a century?

When you can fly, you go with your whims.  The Vireo really might have been in Texas last week. The Scarlet Tanagers that show up every Spring come from the hothouse jungles of Latin America. Snowy Owls wintering on Chicago’s lakefront come from Canada where they sat on snow banks watching polar bears.

Bird sightings help satisfy our wanderlust.  But the real kick comes from seeing a fellow being who doesn’t have to live by the limitations we’re stuck with, gravity being a main one.

The concept of no rules has long been attractive.  Maybe you find it difficult to cooperate with regulations, whether in schoolrooms, bureaucratic workplaces or even refereed sports. Which might be why you’re the best solo basketball player in the neighborhood.


8 Responses to “No Rules”

  1. Jeremy Miller says:

    Found the Steller’s Jay. I remember seeing this guy in Yellowstone many years ago.

  2. Two-Fisted Bird Watcher says:

    Ian, hope you spot the sea ape in Alaskan waters. For anyone who doesn’t know what we’re talking about, check the Feb 28 daily sightings blog piece, Thanks for the comments.

  3. Ian Layton says:

    There’s the Steller’s Jay – a “stellar” find! First saw these near Jemez Springs New Mexico – they would come right up to you to beg food. Probably the result of too many snacks from daytrippers. Somewhere I have a pic of one perched INSIDE the wheel well of my car!
    Going to ALaska this summer – will keep my eye out for the “Sea Ape”!

  4. Gizhawk says:

    I just found this site and am really enjoying exploring it.

  5. Bill Baity says:

    Nice Steller Jay under “No Rules”
    Don’t see them in the Florida tidewater for sure – didn’t even see them in my 32 years in San Diego, California, only up in the mountains or further North.
    Many thanks for your blog, which I follow daily on my Kindle.

  6. Lee Dager says:

    Yep, there is that ol Steller’s Jay. I’m sitting here looking at him and watching Purple Finches eating my sunflower seeds in the rain. A good way to spend the morning. Keep up the good work.

  7. Marshall Claassen says:

    Here’s the Steller’s Jay. Enjoyed the story you told about Georg Steller in the blog….it will be shared with a few friends who I know will appreciate it.

  8. Ron says:

    Found the Steller’s Jay.

    Also, I love your site.

    Take care,

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