Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Ducks, trains, and kids

On Monday, Beth went to New York with her sister, our 8 year-old niece, and our niece's step-sister. The train to New York drives right through NJ's meadowlands and is a great way to do some leisurely birding. Beth was pointing out birds to the kids and the conversation went something like this:

Beth: Look! There are some birds.

Beth's Niece: They're DUCKS!

Beth: Well, ducks are birds.

Beth's Niece: Yeah, but they don't fly!

I guess from a kid's perspective who mostly sees ducks in parks, this is their perception!


Owlman said...

Kids are too funny - they have such a creative way of looking at the world.

noflickster said...

If you can't convince kids (or others!) that ducks are birds, you can always make the argument that birds and ducks are similar, a comparison that changed bird conservation in North America forever. From a 2001 "Birdscope" article:

About 10 years ago an influential state wildlife director uttered five words that may have changed the course of bird conservation on our continent forever: "Birds are just like ducks!"

That's from a short, worth-reading piece about how birds are just like ducks, and bird conservation overall, written by John Fitzpatrick (keeping the relative dates in mind: article written in 2001, the quote he refers to would be from around 1991).

Anonymous said...

I had a similar sorta "there can't be ducks in trees" discussion a few years ago. Birding from NJ Transit can be quite good in the Meadowlands.