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My Blog today has nothing to do with themes I set up for myself and it's not Friday night; yet, I am going to stretch a bit because I have wanted to write about or create a poem for the fascinating Thaga birds I followed around in Botswana: they are everywhere. (See above photo; I don't remember them being any larger than the picture reveals.) They are small with unusually large voices. I love them as much as our California humming birds. More because, believe it or not, our humming birds can be mean; a surprise to me. Anyway, I'll simply think about some of the Thagas as tiny, female birds in history so I can try and honor one of my own themes: “women in history” – forgotten women in fact.
The truth is I loved all Thaga birds. They sing in the trees (see above for one of Botswana's blooming trees during its winter) like all of our birds in Alameda. (Though I never heard squawking crows in Botswana.) While the Thagas sing in the morning, they are a monstrously loud chorus at night, singing far past 10 pm. I don't know when they stop singing because I fell asleep to their thunderous chorus every night. It is as though these tiny birds gather their little yellow community to sing about their glorious day. They are thrilled to be alive, and I loved their chorus every single evening that I think starts around 6 pm.
I set out to see what Thagas do during Botswana's hot, sunny hours. They are busy all day, going from tree to tree to collect materials in order to build nests that look like the size of a medium-size ostrich egg. The male Thaga builds the nest. If the female doesn't like the nest, she tears it down and he has to start all over. When it rains, the female Thaga makes the male sleep outside; she also makes him sleep outside at night. This arrangement actually works, and that's what fascinated me more than anything. He keeps her happy and he builds her a beautiful home that she likes. Now how could anyone not like a little, yellow bird like that?