Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Teach Me about Birds, Flash Cards in Full Color...revisited!

The little Brown Creeper was such a cool bird I thought it deserved a Teach Me about Birds, Flash Cards in Full Color check, and sure enough, one was in the box! Here is the Brown Creeper flash card from 1968 (my first field guide),


…and even more interesting, on the back of the flash card was the best description ever,
...a small, five-inch, mouse-like bird that climbs up trees in a spiral.
“Mouse-like bird” is such a perfect description. I don’t understand why it’s not in any of the contemporary guides. As I read further, I came across something else new,
Feeds on tiny destructive insects that it finds in the bark of trees. The bird’s pure-white breast may help to reflect light into the darker nooks.
Well that’s cool. None of the current guides talk about the breast reflection thing, so naturally, I started thinking about the white-breasted nuthatch and wondered if they used the same logic with that bird, and sure enough, they did. Here is the flash card,


…and here is the description,
A sturdy, little, 5 to 6 inch, grey tree-trunk acrobat (again a totally cute description). The white breast helps to reflect light into crevices in the bark it searches.
So there we go. Why is this little tidbit missing from today’s guides? Is it no longer valid, or just not deemed important. Whether it’s true or not now, it was in 1968, and that was a pretty good year!

6 comments:

Heather said...

Wow, what cool info. I have no idea why that isn't included in any of the current field guides - seems very important to me. Thanks for sharing that.

Kelly said...

...I'm going to have to check the descriptions of all the flash cards. Maybe something else interesting from 1968 will pop up!

John said...

I found you with a google search. I'm working on a project for a web design class and I decided to scan my TMB flash cards to make a site from them. I'm glad someone else has enjoyed the nicely done paintings on these cards. maybe when I'm done I'll come back and post a link.

Kelly said...

Hi John! What a coincidence. Today I wrote about the TMB flash cards again and reviewed my old posts and found your comment (which looks like it arrived today)! Let us know when you're finished. I'd love to see your site.

Larry said...

Wow Kelly, those cards are really cool! How many are there?

Kelly said...

...there are 47 cards in my deck. I don't know if that was the original total, or if I lost three as a kid, which would have made an even 50. I think 47 was the original total...with one card of instructions...