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March 24th 2010    Tim Candler

    Thrashers when I first saw them twenty four years ago looked like Mistle Thrush or Song Thrush.    I didn't see the yellow eye or the rust in a Thrasher's back.   I saw only the speckled breast.   But I knew there was a difference, because a Thrasher moves quickly, in a nervous way, while a Thrush inclines toward a serenity.

    Always rather dull to think of our own State Bird here in Kentucky.  I imagine the moment of choice.  Just before lunch the committee gave up and  opted for the portents in the color Red.  And yet I wonder why Georgia chose the Brown Thrasher for their State Bird. 

     

    Maine and Massachusetts boast the Chickadee and Delaware has the Blue Hen Chicken.   Oklahoma has the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.   And in 1955 Utah went for the Common American Gull because in 1848 it saved a harvest from Rocky Mountain Crickets.

      I can see the quarrels emerge.   Sleepless nights.  But what a responsibility to have been part of the discussion.   And had I been there in 1926 when the Cardinal was chosen as Kentucky's State bird I probably would have left disgruntled for my own choice, which might have been a Blue Heron. 

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