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peter-peter-peter and the BAND
The southern Tufted Titmouse, pictured above, is known for its attraction to backyard feeders and its active song that sounds something like a high pitched peter-peter-peter. You find them in wooded areas throughout the Southeast and farther north nesting in tree cavities and nesting boxes.
This soprano was sitting in a tree behind our house belting out a tune that got returned regularly from a distance. Was he issuing a territorial warning? Calling for a mate? Or, maybe, announcing a newly filled feeder to his compatriots. I don't know. Whatever it was, he filled the air with song.
Perhaps it is fitting, given how prone to song many species of birds are, that those who oppose the theory that traces bird origins to the dinosaurs call themselves BAND, or the "Birds are Not Dinosaurs" movement. I don't know who's right but I favor the majority view that ties birds to the flying Archaeopteryx and similar dinosaurs.
It's not that I don't appreciate a good disagreement. Anyone who went to law school appreciates the value of a good debate. But we also understand that not every position is a good one.
Darren Naish, British vertebrate palaeontologist and science writer, opines in last November's Scientific American that BAND "proponents have seen themselves as crusaders, true skeptics and better scientists than those who support what is now the mainstream model; they’ve – I think unwittingly – molded themselves into a distinct social group, even going so far as wearing special badges at conferences." He goes on to say that enthusiasm does not make them right and that the evidence for birds descending from dinosaurs is compelling.
And, even though I always wanted to be in a BAND, I am going to skip this one. Instead, I think I will just enjoy the thought of having flying dinosaurs in my backyard.
Image and text copyright Clinton Richardson. More Wild Atlanta images are available at our TrekPic.com web site in the Wild Atlanta Gallery, which is part of the Close to Home Collection.
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Travel, business and history with original photos.
Clinton Richardson - author, photographer, business advisor and traveler.
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