We’re familiar with these facts:

  • Brown Pelican_DingDarlingNWR-FL_LAH_6701Brown Pelicans are saltwater birds, sticking to the coasts.
  • It’s only the male bird that sings.
  • Birds that migrate fly north in the spring and south in the fall.
  • Great Blue Herons eat aquatic insects, crustaceans, amphibians (such as frogs) and fish.
  • Males have the ornate feathers, while females tend to be drab and camouflaged.

We think we know. We think we understand. We’ve observed, conducted studies, collected facts. We think we have it right. And then Mother Nature confounds us.

Don’t Feed the Animals!


The large sign was front and center, but no one seemed able to read it. The scenic turnout was crowded with retirees, young couples, and other tourists. Chipmunks scampered over the rocks, gorging on Fritos, sunflower seeds, and bits of doughnut. Clark’s Nutcrackers swooped down to nab the handouts before the rodents could grab them. There was even a bird perched hopefully on the sign. What do you mean, “Please, don’t feed the animals”?