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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Birds and Postcards

By: Corinne Court, Collections Cataloger at Curt Teich Postcard Archives

DPC6889, Detroit Publishing Company, Who's Afraid?

The Lake County Forest Preserves is home to Robins, Cardinals, Eastern Phoebes, English Sparrows, Red-wing Black Birds, Blue Birds, and etc.  As this fall season turns into winter, I begin to understand the value of preserving land in Illinois. It enables birds such as the Crows, Chickadees, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers to survive Illinois' harsh winters.

Here at the Lakewood Forest Preserves in Wauconda, Illinois, birds are a common sight.  I keep a close eye on the Sandhill Crane family and watch flocks of Canada geese get ready to migrate south in the next few weeks.  Although, I have discovered some geese stay around all winter long.  The geese are not my favorite; they scare me half to death with their hissing and aggressive nature.

The Curt Teich Postcard Archives houses a large collection of bird postcards, and in the spirit of the fall season and harvesting, migration, and hibernation, I found a variety of bird postcards from around the United States.

4CH398, Curt Teich Colortone, Canadian Geese Feeding, near Horseshoe Lake, Cairo, Illinois
4CH37, Curt Teich Colortone, Canadian Geese in Flight, Horseshoe Lake, near Cairo, Illinois
As i mentioned before, Canada geese (also known as Canadian geese) are a common sight in Illinois. A few facts about this species: There are seven subcategories of these geese.  The giant Canada goose is the most common in Illinois and resides all year round.  They fly in a V-shape formation, because it reduces wind resistance and conserves energy.  Geese mate for life, but do re-mate if one of the pair dies.  For further information about Canada Geese in Illinois, please check out: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/directory_show.cfm?species=canadagoos
3EK200, Curt Teich 3-D Natural Color, The Nene 
6CK2224, Natural Color, The Hawaiian goose or Nene

The two images above are of the Hawaiian goose, known as Nene, pronounced as "nay-nay".  They were abundant on the islands of Maui and Hawaii.  It is considered to be one of the world's rarest birds, so rare it was on the brink of extinction in the 1950s.  However, with leading conservationists and state legislation, the Nene has been successfully re-introduced and is the official state bird of Hawaii.

4EK386, Curt Teich 3-D Natural Color, A Familiar sight over Keweenaw waters in the upper peninsula of Michigan

DPC8571, Detroit Publishing Company, Waiting for Breakfast
Gulls, as show in in the postcards above, have not been on the endangered list. They breed in every continent.  The mid-west and eastern gulls are large, loud, and live in colonies near the water, hence the name Sea gull.  Yet, the gulls are intelligent birds and communicate very well together. Their communication is shown when they display mobbing behavior, as many people have seen when they come too close to a flock.

0BH1459, Curt Teich Colortone, A Flamingo Hatching, Hialeah Park, Miami, Florida
0BH128, Curt Teich Colortone, Flamingos and Nests at Hialeah Race Course, Hialeah, Florida
Postcards often include great information on the back, and one of the Teich postcards above tells how the flamingos were imported to the states: "[Flamingos] were imported from Cuba and South America and in 1939 for the first time, were raised to maturity in this country...the young birds are white and take on their rich coloring with maturity.  Flamingos are fed a mixture of boiled rice, dried shredded shrimp, grains, and cod liver oil."

For more bird fun, please click on the link for a list of birds you can find in the Lake County Forest Preserves.   http://www.lcfpd.org/docs/media_pub_1438.pdf 



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