I admit, I do like Western meadowlarks. They’re harbingers of spring, ushering in the new season with their distinctive, if sometimes annoying, song. I say annoying because they just. Won’t. Stop. Singing. Ever.
It’s wonderful to hear that distinctive song during the first several weeks of spring, but as time goes on, it starts to be a little much. At least, it does at my house, where there are always seven or eight meadowlarks all vying for the same territory, and they all just keep squawking all day long.
As I pointed out last week, Wyoming was not a copycat – or a mockingbird, if you will – when it came to choosing the meadowlark as our state bird. We were the first state to pick it, and all those others like Nebraska and Montana followed our lead. But it would still be nice to have a state bird that’s just ours.
And why do we want a state bird that flies away when the weather starts getting crummy? Most of our people don’t do that – we stick around through the wind, the snow, the wind, the rain, the wind, the hail, and the wind. Why should we celebrate a bird that picks up and moves south at the first hint of snow in the air?
I propose we shift our allegiances to a bird that sticks around all year long. One that’s resourceful, like us; intelligent, like us; and maybe a little mischievous, like us. My vote is for the magpie.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re going to say. I’ve heard it from a bunch of people, that they peck out the eyes of baby calves; they steal dog food; and they kidnap small children and clean out senior citizens’ bank accounts. Whatever. They’ll eat dead stuff, sure, but they don’t do any of that other stuff. And why shouldn’t we honor a fellow omnivore? One that lives here all year long? And one that’s sometimes misunderstood, just like us?