Season 546...can we revisit Season 54?


Well-known member
Aug 11, 2010
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Cloverdale California
Allow me to explain. Many years ago your host took up two new hobbies, in a sea of hobbies, that seem to have stuck. One was playing the Ukulele, and the other was handling birds of prey who are educational ambassadors at The Sonoma County Bird Rescue Center. (if you are so inclined, we do what we do entirely from donations.)
At first, it was just a casual interest, and then I fell head over heals for a falcon...she passed and then there was a hawk, and then a turkey vulture. Things just kind of snow-balled on me much like my ukulele collection and well, today at the same center I am a:
Raptor handler
Handler trainer
Rehabilitation volunteer
Rehabilitation volunteer trainer
Field Rescue team volunteer
and...well, a board member.
The last few years have been rough. First, there were fires, and we had to evacuate our ambassador birds. Then we were evicted off the county land we have occupied for 30+ years (we have really done well fundraising for our new center- we have two million to go but we are going to get it!). Then COVID hit and we lost so many volunteers...and so many did not come back. Through every bit of it, I think I have brought to our work (we rehabilitate and re-release native birds who are ill or injured- 3500 a year) a smile, and a cheerful demeanor. I can laugh at anything, and I work all day tirelessly trying to both take care of my charges (I am the Corvid guy in the hospital), and to make my staff smile as much as possible. They work so hard, and without volunteers, they are there for 12 hours a day often.
When I signed on to do this week, I had a totally new idea. It was so great, but I am saving it for later. For now my head is on birds.
This week those smiles at the rescue have been hard, not gonna lie. A Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus has since December been making its way from Canada across the northern part of my country. Last time it reared its head it stopped before it hit us (we always figured the heat would stop it) but this time it is here. The number of birds affected so far is 40.14 million across the country, and it is fatal, every time.
Now- I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer...we are all I am sure so fatigued by the bombardment of "and now this is an issue", and I get that. I just cannot help but talk about this, because it is all I think about all day, all night. I wish you all could spend a day with me at the center and see how cool birds really are...but they are also a canary in a coal mine and that keeps me up at night.
I am sullen at the center because I know there is so little we can do.
I am nearly defeated...but not yet, by all the bad news that just seems to get worse.
So I call on you fine people, many of whom I have never met, but also whom have ever let me down.
Play me a bird song. Play me every bird song you know (please)...It only needs to mention a bird once. That will strengthen my resolve and make this easier. It will repair my wings. Season 54 was birds, and I will post the playlists here for inspiration.
Bob- when you do the Trashmen/RAMONES song...can we get the dance? Just going on a hunch here ;)
Much love Brothers and sisters. No prizes this week, I am just going to buy my staff lunch and smile a lot.5B8B0987-E7B3-4C4F-94D3-0893C06871D5_1_105_c.jpeg

Me and Phoenix...who clearly has only one eye. She is a pirate. Red-Tailed Hawk.

For inspiration- Season 54 Playlist
and as we used to do- Season 54 Bonus songs

And of course- this weeks playlist- SEASON 546 HAS GONE TO THE BIRDS
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I am so sorry. This is heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing.

I happen to be up late. So I wrote this for you, and for those who share your compassion and labor.

For the Friends of Birds

The Birds above, see how they fly
They leave the earth, and travel the sky,
Why can’t I…

Some bond just once, some mate for life
They seem to float, above the strife
Why can’t I… why can’t I?

Wings lifted by the breath,
that bends the trees and spreads the death
That brings them down. Brings them down

Their friends below, see how they cry
As helplessly, they watch them die
Watch them die…
Why must they die?

Repeat Chorus

It hurts to love, it’s hard to bear
I hope it helps them to be aware
That others care, that others care…

Repeat Chorus

The Birds above, see how they fly
they seem to float, above the strife
Why can’t I?
A fine idea for the week Dave. I only hope that you and your birds get through this virus.
Only yesterday I watched a Red Kite circling over our house, the first time I have seen one around here. They were almost wiped out, but re-introduced in a few places about 20 years ago. Beautiful creatures.
every now and again in life you hear a song or band that completely sends you into a new musical avenue to explore ... this oldie by Louis Jordan which i probably first heard in the early 80s is one of those songs for me ...

Here's some love for you and the birds from Australia. It's 8pm now, but hopefully later in the week I can make you an outdoor video with some of our amazing Queensland birds - kookaburras, cockatoos, lorikeets, and my new friend, an Aussie magpie who steals my food and walked into my home the other day like he owns the place.

Sometimes it it birds that rescue people.
In the West End of Derby lives a working man,
He says, “I can't fly but my pigeons can.
And when I set them free,
It's just like part of me
Gets lifted up on shining wings.”
Charlie Edson's pigeon loft was down the yard
Of a rented house in Brook Street where life was hard.
But Charlie had a dream,
And in nineteenthirteen
Charlie bred a pigeon that made his dream come true.
There was gonna be a champions' race from Italy.
“Look at the maps, all that land and sea,
Charlie, you'll lose that bird.”
But Charlie never heard,
He put it in a basket and sent it off to Rome.
On the day of the big race a storm blew in,
A thousand birds were swept away and never seen again.
“Charlie, we told you so,
Surely by now you know
When you're living in the West End there ain't many dreams come true.”
“Yeah, I know, but I had to try,
A man can crawl around or he can learn to fly.
And if you live round here,
The ground seems awful near;
Sometimes I need a lift from victory.”
I was off with my mates for a pint or two
When I saw a wing flash up in the blue.
“Charlie, it's the King of Rome
Come back to his West End home,
Come outside quick, he's perched up on your roof.”
“Come on down, your Majesty,
I knew you'd make it back to me.
Come on down, my lovely one,
You made my dream come true.”
In the West End of Derby lives a working man,
He says, “I can't fly but my pigeons can.
And when I set them free,
It's just like part of me
Gets lifted up on shining wings.”
Hey, Dave, great theme for the Season. Thanks for the background information; it sounds like noble work and I'm glad there are people like you who give it the importance it deserves.

I recently ran into this guy, who was clearly giving me the eye. I think he knows I'm old. Turkey vulture, I think??? This was in San Diego County.

Hey, Dave.

Thanks for hosting! I'm really sorry to hear about all the hardships and I wish you nothing but the best of luck with the virus, mate. It must just be heartbreaking for everyone concerned.
Like Steve, it's been a joy seeing the resurgence of the beautiful red kite in the UK over the last few years. They've even begun to find their way into Derbyshire and have been spotted flying over my home town! Awesome.
Sorry to disappoint on the Ramones/Trashmen front (it's still early days, right?) but the first song that sprung to mind was a much more mournful affair with little to no dancing.
Loads of birds though! Including the purple martin, robin, dove, lovebird, bobwhite, whip-poor-will, goose, seagull, hawk, thrush, cock and swallow.
Now there's value for money!

All the best.

Thanks for hosting again Dave. I hope things get better with the birds soon.

There's so many great songs that are about birds, or mention birds, and I can't decide which one to do yet, so I'm going to do none of them (for now) and instead bring a song that I wrote a couple of weeks ago for 50/90. It's about my favourite beach pastime, and mentions the seagulls. The seagulls around here are ruthless... look after your sandwiches...

Incidentally, for any golf fans, if you were watching the Open a couple of weeks ago, the first and eighteenth fairways at St Andrews are all that separates my office from the beach in question. I recently learned just how scary it was to be walking over there and hearing a yell of FORE!

I thought I had already done this one fairly recently, but it was actually two and a half years ago. Who knows where the time goes, indeed. Anyway, it involves birds leaving and returning, and ensures that Sandy Denny will never be forgotten.

So sorry to hear about the awful impact of this virus. I hope there is light at the end of the tunnel. Here is a little homemade song for the season...

"two for joy"

Thanks for hosting and sharing the background for your theme. Sorry about the situation. Hope you all don't mind another instrumental, but this one's a favorite. Arrangement by Ukulele Mike.

BIRD ON THE WIRE - Leonard Cohen
Howdy Dave,
The first "Bird" song that came to mind was a Canadian song from the late Leonard Cohen. Though Leonard does a great version of his song, my favourite is Joe Cocker's from the Mad Dogs & Englishmen LP. I'm afraid my version sounds nothing like either of these.

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Hey, Dave. I recently sustained an ugly bruise to my ring finger (see photo) so making chords is rather painful right now. I'm generally out of commission, so I just did a tiny fingerplucking of Hedwig's Theme, the intro to all the Harry Potter films. (For anyone who's not a fan of Harry Potter, Hedwig is Harry's pet owl). Sorry I can't do more right now.

Hey, Dave, great theme for the Season. Thanks for the background information; it sounds like noble work and I'm glad there are people like you who give it the importance it deserves.

I recently ran into this guy, who was clearly giving me the eye. I think he knows I'm old. Turkey vulture, I think??? This was in San Diego County.

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Yep! That is a Turkey vulture- look alive Ila!
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