Monday, March 23, 2015

Whistling bobwhite: the birds of To Kill A Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a tale of growing up and encountering the world, told through the eyes of Scout, or Jean-Louise Finch, a young girl in Alabama. Birds are mostly part of the background setting during Scout’s account, but birds are also critical to the metaphor that gives the book its title.

It was only fitting to open with an image of a mockingbird, as the title introduces the species, but we will get to mockingbirds in a bit. The first bird species we actually encounter in the book is the Purple Martin.

"In summertime, twilights are long and peaceful. Often as not, Miss Maudie and I would sit silently on her porch, watching the sky go from yellow to pink as the sun went down, watching flights of martins sweep low over the neighborhood and disappear behind the schoolhouse rooftops." (chapter 5)

Purple Martins, male