Monday, January 29, 2007

Robotic Birds with Morning Coffee

My favorite gift this holiday season was a pair of robotic birds given to me by my goddaughter (here is a two-year-old with taste). They are Breezy Singers designed by Tomy/Tomika in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This means that my Cardinalis cardinalis (Northern Cardinal) and Sialia sialis (Eastern Bluebird) are anatomically correct and sonically exact. They move their heads and chirp in the most winning way when their motion-tracking senor is stimulated. One part Mary Poppins with equal share of P.K. Dick’s electric sheep. The Lenin-head candle is from a friend’s trip to Czechoslovakia…a different story but equally weird and charming.

Bird fact: the war between European Starlings, House Sparrows and the Sialia sialis for resources has decreased bluebird numbers, but human-placed nest boxes have helped a resurgence of the population.