Statues for beloved birds, why not?

If you have read my bio, you will know that part of my life was spent studying statues placed in the public realm. I wanted to study the History of Ceramics but, at the time, there was no such programme in existence. The rest is more or less history. My niche was the public statues exported from Britain to the India sub-continent and Southeast Asia. If anyone asked me why, I would tell them that I loved to meet new people and travel and certainly that topic facilitated many adventures. On occasion, I still write an article or two. Public statues to men – there were hardly ever any celebrating women – are always controversial as we have witnessed over the past several years with the toppling of many public figures. Can a statue of a much beloved goose be controversial? I hope not!

Derek was a Snow Goose that arrived in Watchet Harbour in Somerset, UK, a decade ago. There are no other Snow Geese and everyone believed her to be a male until she laid an egg. Derek never migrated like the other geese. The boat owners feed her broccoli and Weetabix every morning. If they are late, Derek would board their boats and honk and honk and honk til she is fed. Charming. Sadly, Derek disappeared with only feathers being found a few weeks ago. The community fears a fox killed her. She delighted people near and far. As a result of the joy she gave there is a collection to have a statue of her made for the wharf. What a lovely idea. You can read about it here.

David Cohen’s statue to Ezra, Big Red, and chick

You might recall that a wooden sculpture was created to honour Ezra, Big Red’s Mate at Cornell. The work shows Ezra, Big Red, and a chick from their last brood. The detail in the carving is stunning. The artist, David Cohen, used acrylics for the plumage.

It is a lovely work celebrating a much beloved Red-tailed Hawk. It will remain on display for three years.

The only problem with this beautiful tribute to Ezra is that it cannot be placed outdoors. I am hoping that the Rock Star of the group, Big Red, will receive a bronze statue in her own garden in front of the Fernow Building which is across from the nest and where her fledglings always flew to first.

There are many animal and bird statues around the world. They are touching and quite lovely. Why not erect something to celebrate the birds that have brought us so much joy? Seriously, the politicians that find themselves immortalized often cannot make that claim!

Checking on the nests: At Port Lincoln, Dad brought in a fish at 06:22. Guess who stole the fish tail? If you said Ervie aka Little Bob you are 100% correct. Here is our lad finishing it off. Later, he was nosing around the nest looking for leftovers. Quite the guy you are, Ervie.

It is kind of wet in Port Lincoln. Don’t think any of the lads are going to be taking off flying today but…the birds always surprise us! The puffer fish is still being batted about on the nest but the chicks did not touch it. You can see it behind the chick on the far right, Bazza.

Yurruga has also had her breakfast. Oh, she is such a little sweetheart. She is changing every day. The wing flapping is really helping to get the floof off!

Mum and daughter looking out to Diamond’s territory waiting for breakfast delivery. I know that Yurruga is closer to the camera but she is really growing and, well, she is larger than Dad. What does that tell you?

When Yurruga is really hungry, she often picks at Diamond’s talons. See how much floof has disappeared since yesterday. Beautiful juvenile feathers hiding – and what a nice tail. I might not have noticed it because of those fluffy pantaloons. But there it is. Its length will be revealed once that white down is off. I keep saying it but looking at her it is just so hard to imagine her fledging in a week.

Xavier is excellent hunter. The girls hardly ever have to wait in the morning. In fact, most falcons have a place where they ‘stash’ prey. A pantry for those days when prey items might not be sufficient or for leftovers. The birds do not waste anything. We might all take some lessons from them.

Yurruga is doing really well at the self-feeding.

Self-feeding is tiring and Diamond helps get every last piece of meat off the bones – teaching the little one. Look at how carefully Yurruga watches. She is imprinting everything including the type of prey that is alright to catch. Her plucking is getting better, too. Again, she learned that from watching her parents.

The latest news about Grinnell is that he is healing nicely and has specialized home care. He is preparing to be released back into the wild. Send all your warm wishes his way that him and Annie regain their territory together. Oh, Grinnell you are so cute and so tiny with your wings all bandaged. Look at those yellow sticks for legs. Oh, my. You take care little guy.

Everyone seems to be alright. The big snow promised for this afternoon did not materialize. Thankfully. The garden birds have really been eating — and thank you for your kind notes. No, I am not going to get out in this mess. I put on my big boots with great grip and took care of the birds and that is it. I appreciate the concern. So very, very kind of you.

Thank you for joining me today. It is nice to see all the birds doing well today. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Stuart Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Lindsay Wildlife Hospital, and Suzanne Arnold Horning for the photo of the Ezra statue.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks for the newsletter Mary Ann! Good to see beautiful Grinell doing well! Yurruga and the PLO’s doing well too! Prayers for all 🙏

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Mary Ann I think the idea of bird statues is a great idea! I think this is the first time I had heard of the snow goose. I’m so sorry it is missing! It was there a long time so it seems so strange.
    Hope they find out what happened to her. Did her egg hatch? She was lovely 💖
    I remember when Ezra passed. The statue is so nice.
    Thanks for sharing this.

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