Friday, July 25, 2014

Anachronisms, Maybe

Last week we did some touring, one the stops being a charming museum of medieval art in New York City, the Cloisters.  As is my habit I keep an eye out for bird life.  Regrettably, I found only one species on the grounds which is a semiofficial king of urban birds---the non-native English Sparrow.  These pesky creatures abound in the Cloisters and were drawn to the outdoor cafe in a first-level cloister (the Trie)  A question came up in my mind that I can't yet resolve.  Did these European birds pester the monks in monasteries as much as they do the Cloisters today?  I have to think it's plausible.  ES's are definitely drawn to human habitations and monasteries, a relatively dense concentration of humans in their time, must have been irresistable.  I'd pity the monks, but the ES are natives there.  It might have been a pleasant partnership!

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