Friday, November 22, 2013

Townsend's warbler...

... is, like many warblers, a gem, a gift one can never tire of. Like most warblers, it is coy, and flits overhead in the branches, flashing its exceptional yellow and black facial plumage, often with a friend nearby. If you are patient and still, they may come nearer... curious, or just oblivious?

Townsend's warbler is named for the naturalist John Kirk Townsend, who identified the bird for western science in the 1830s. Townsend came from a rather remarkable Quaker family, it seems, back when the world was smaller and people were bigger...
John Kirk Townsend was the son of Charles Townsend and Priscilla Kirk, he had five brothers and four sisters. His sister Mary wrote a book called, "Life In the Insect World" in 1844. And Mary and another sister, Hannah, wrote "The Anti-Slavery Alphabet" in 1846, which was sold at the Anti-Slavery Fair in Philadelphia. His brother Edward was President of the Philadelphia Institution for Instruction of the Blind and helped organize the Philadelphia Dental College.
Photo credit.

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