Woodcocks and Ken dolls.

Guys I know are sometimes amused that I write about birds.  A typical comment: You know all this shit?

No problem. I’ve been interested since I saw a Cardinal in the city when I was a kid.

I wrote about it in “Tardy,” a little story on another website. There’s a link at the end of this post, if you care.

But for now, back to the questions I get.

I hear this one a lot: How do birds do it?

It’s always asked like there’s a serious scientific inquiry being brought up.

I guess I should know the answer, since I know birds.

Truth is, I know the hawk watching my house is a Cooper’s Hawk, and I know I saw a Rose-breasted Grosbeak this morning.

But I’m no expert on bird sex.

Whenever I check into the subject, I get the feeling something’s missing.

The male bird’s got no…what?….I guess the current term is “junk.” The guy’s smooth as a Ken doll. What’s he using?

There’s an answer. But like all science answers, it isn’t 100% simple. Some guys in the bird world do have junk. Geese, for instance.

You just don’t see what geese have because it’s tucked away until they need it.

But they’re the exception. Other male birds are Ken dolls.

They mate by getting their “cloaca” up against the girl bird’s privates, and an exchange of fluids happens.

A poorly engineered idea, with a lot of ruffled feathers. Although it seems to work.

But consider the irony.

Old timers told kids to learn about the “birds and bees.”

How’d that go?

Nobody knows how birds do it.

And bees? That’s another website. But they have even less to do with how humans do it.

Then there’s bird names. Cocks. Peckers. Dickcissels. I can’t tell some people I saw a Woodcock without their doing a double take.

But junk or no junk, avian guys are getting the job done. We’ve got plenty of new birds to look at. (Especially geese. Hmm…)

And while watching all these birds, we sometimes run late for other things. Which brings us back to that link to “Tardy” I mentioned earlier.

7 Responses to “Woodcocks and Ken dolls.”

  1. sandy komito says:

    Some years ago, I belonged to a golf club and many of my friends were admitted womanizers. When I’d return from a chase, one in particular would say, “Hey, Sandy, where you been?” I’d say, “Yuma Arizona.” He’d reply, “You can level with me, you really have a bimbo there, don’t you? Protests were hopeless. “So what did you see?” he’d continue. “A Double-striped Thick-knee” I’d say. Now, if ever there was a bird that sounded like I had made up a name, that was it. He let me know, he was proud of me and from then on, I was considered, “one of the boys!”

  2. b says:

    I raise my beer in your general direction. ( I guessed ) I saluted you sir, and the work that you are doing. Well done. ( said in a horrible, not-even-close, british accent, ) I just found your site,…Finally a bird-watching site wit balls. – or at least a couple cloaca’s. Thank you. – b

  3. Response to ‘Tardy” – When I lived near Newburgh NY (say three or four years ago) we were starting to get Black Vultures. I would be surprised if you didn’t see them around Chicago.

  4. Nina says:

    It’s way weird as in ironic kind of weird…I have a huge flock of bushtits in my backyard and, they’re ALL girls.

  5. Scott Hopkins says:

    And then there’s all those goatsuckers…

  6. Kai Mata says:

    I love the reactions I get when people ask what I researched in Russia and I tell them, “Great Tits”.

  7. Greg Neise says:

    …just for the record, my Big Day team is named The American Woodcocks. And one of us is a girl…