Brown Thrasher

The U of Illinois owns some Old Rich Guy's estate—okay it's called Allerton—but I like to think of it as a The Birding Preserve. In fact, I like to think of the U of I campus as a Birding Preserve, but it's not quite as birdy as Allerton.

So I was out at Allerton The Birding Preserve last week and came across (shhhhhh) this Brown Thrasher. Singing like mad.

Seeing it and getting all new-bird-giggly (my notes tell me that the last time I saw one was in 1997), I couldn't help but think about Kinsey. Not The Kinsey Report, but Kinsey himself.

In the recent Liam-ified movie about Kinsey, the young Kinsey is figured as liking birds, guys in uniforms, and the Bible (in that order.)

After losing his way, so to speak, toward the end of his career, Kinsey has another epiphanic bird watching moment, captured in this still:

Behold the raptor! I mean rapture!

Though Kinsey didn't spot a Brown Thrasher (instead, the film has him ogling a couple of Pileated Woodpeckers and a Long-eared Owl; maybe some orioles around a nest—I forget), when I came across the thrasher I couldn't help but think of how much I appreciated the emphasis in the film on Kinsey's classificatory consciousness which so strongly informed, I was led to believe (rightly? wrongly?) his later work.


  1. dhawhee3:13 PM

    What a cool post--and your photo is so great, even caught the mouth open. Allerton kind of rules, though I realize that that probably had a more literal force at one point.


  2. What Debbie said. AND the proximate cause of the post is a brown thrasher, which I think is a pretty cool brown thrasher. I live too far north for them now, but they were everywhere as I grew up in southern West Virginia: large, rather ferocious-looking, and damn fine singers.

  3. sorry; revision: which I think is a pretty cool *proximate cause*!

  4. I'd never heard one sing "in real life" before (only on an album): very fine indeed! A rival to one of my favorites, even, the Winter Wren. :)