Thursday, January 04, 2007




HEMP FOR THE BIRDS

Right and left are images of Carduelis cannabina (adult male). As its name implies, it eats hemp, which is in fact one of the most sought after seeds by graminivorous birds, including finches, buntings, sparrows, quail, crows, pigeons, doves, woodpeckers, thrushes and larks. The Linnet is Palearctic, so you may not see it in North America unless it is a rare migrant, in which case the twitchers well flock like hummingbirds (OK, that's not ornithologically correct, but rather a line stolen from Bernie Taupin, and if one is going to steal a line, it might as well be from Bernie). For those who want to demonstrate their ornithological aptitude, bring some hemp along to the sighting. Hemp is given to birds worldwide, a longstanding practice of which I write in Hemp for Victory.

You might want to show some sartorial eloquence as well; if so, wear hemp threads. Companies such as Minawear in the US and THTC in the UK are now producing T shirts with bird designs.

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