Open a flower guide, and you may find larkspur, owl’s clover, parrot’s beak, wake-robin, peacock plant, and storksbill. And there’s chickweed, hawkweed, ragged robin, cuckoo flower, and hens-and-chicks. At least one flower packs in two bird names: the dove’s-foot cranesbill. There are still more...
If you ever miss a BirdNote, you can always get the latest episode. Just tell your smart speaker “play the podcast BirdNote.”
Larkspurs: Flowers and Birds
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Hummingbird wing sounds]
Birds and flowers share some deep connections. The hummingbirds of the Western Hemisphere and the sunbirds of Africa and Asia are crucial pollinators.
The birds fly from flower to flower, sipping nectar and distributing the pollen that sticks to their bills, thereby helping the plants to reproduce.
Birds have also inspired the names of many flowers. Take the larkspur for example. This flower has a long slender spike at its bottom that curls around under the flower’s base. It looks quite a bit like the lark’s long, spur-like rear toe, which curls under its foot as it perches.
And there are lots of others -- like the owl’s clover, parrot’s beak, wake-robin, peacock plant, and storksbill. Open a flower guide, and you may find chickweed, hawkweed, ragged robin, cuckoo flower, and hens-and-chicks. At least one flower packs in two birds’ names: the dove’s-foot cranesbill.
And then, of course, there’s that exotic, long-stemmed plant you’ll find perched in hotel lobbies and restaurants -- the bird-of-paradise.
Which is quite mute compared to its avian namesake.
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
If you ever miss a BirdNote, you can always get the latest episode. Just tell your smart speaker: Play the podcast BirdNote. Learn more on our website, BirdNote.org.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Bird sounds provided by the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Anna’s Hummingbird wing sounds, ML 6121, recorded by D Allen. Ambient provided by Gordon Hempton: Nature Sound Essentials, Deciduous Forest Morning. Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise, ML 168347, recorded by T Pratt in New Guinea.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote May 2020 Narrator: Mary McCann
ID# flower-01-2020-05-20 flower-01