The Birdman of Benton

Rusty has a much younger sister who is also a very interesting person in her own way. She is a teacher of young children who comes up with unusual methods of making the students think and as a result remember what they learned better. She and her husband (and later on her children) took up hunting deer as a way to not only put food on the table but as a way of learning how food gets to the table and how it is a good conservation practice as well.

Recently she found a little bird that had fallen out of its nest or lost its parent in some way. She brought the bird first into her house and feed it. Then she brought it into school as a learning aid. Finally, she brought it home and started to train it to be released. She identified it as an English starling by the tufts of feathers on its head when it was very young. My wife and I saw it when we stopped by on a drive in the MG to see the puppies one of her dogs had just had. She and her husband were cute trying to demonstrate to the bird where to find food on the ground in its big cage.

She also owns some cattle with her brother and I and she came with her husband as we were culling the herd to take for sale. That created a great opportunity to release the fledgling up at deer camp. When Rusty and I arrived to start the process, she and her husband had been there for a while picking blackberries when the starling discovered how good the berries are. While her husband and I were in the pen with Rusty and she was tending the gate that we would need to scuttle out through if things got testy. All of a sudden Rusty jumps and starts flailing at his back. The starling had tried to land on his back!

Once he got out of the pen, the starling finally made a successful landing on him.

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Then here we are once our job was done at we were taking it easy, until the starling decided to join us.

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Shades of Burt Lancaster?

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