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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We write for creative doers who seek inspiration from experience. Our readers are students of life, interested in travel, photography and ideas.
Clinton Richardson, has been writing and photographing for decades. His acclaimed venture strategy series is now in its 5th edition. His Ancient Selfies is an International Book Awards Finalist and an eLit Award Gold Medal Winner. Many of his images can be seen online at TrekPic.com.