We Wish You A Jolly Monday!

Good morning friends!!!  C’mon in where it’s warm!  Well, relatively warm, anyway.  We don’t keep it super-warm, for we don’t like those extra-large electric/gas bills, and we are trying to do our part for the environment by being conscientious.  How was your weekend?  Ours was quiet, except for all the coughing, sneezing, and nose-blowing, as all three of us have colds.  Joyful and I cooked up just a few treats this morning, while Jolly organized the ‘toons and such, so head on over to the table for a snack and then we’ll see what Jolly has for us to start the week with a smile!


We’ll get to the ‘toons in a minute, but I came across something that made me smile, and I hope it will make you smile, too.  A nine-year-old boy, David Balogun from Pennsylvania, just earned his high school diploma, something most of us don’t do until we are twice his age!  David has also already earned some college credits and he plans to become an astrophysicist!

If you’re interested, you can read more about David and his achievements at The Guardian!


Let’s start the morning with some animal memes, ‘k?


A few funny signs might give you a chuckle or two …


And now … on to the ‘TOONS!!!


And now for that cute/funny animal video!  I just love this one about a determined dog named Gus!


Well, friends, that’s a wrap for this Monday morning!  We hope you enjoyed the snacks and the humour, hope you are leaving with a big smile on your faces!  Be sure to share those smiles in the days ahead, for there are a lot of people who don’t have one of their own.  Keep warm and safe this week!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly, and Joyful!

A Tale Of Two People …

A short scenario for you to ponder …


Ed and Linda are married, own a home, have three children, and the usual household financial obligations.  Both have jobs outside the home, but Ed recently reduced his work hours – voluntarily – in order to “spend more time enjoying life.”

It is the end of the month and Linda is sitting down, checkbook in hand, beginning to pay the monthly bills.  But, between rising prices, an emergency appliance repair last month, and the reduced household income, it just isn’t adding up.  So, Linda tells Ed they are going to need to take out a loan for $1,000 this month in order to meet their obligations.  There’s the mortgage – $1,500; electric bill – $250; car payment – $425; credit card bill(s) – $185; their combined student loan payments – $350; cell phone service – $175, and cable television – $45.  But the bank balance is under $2,400, and the average weekly grocery bills are around $150.

Ed, however, says, NO!  He will not borrow money to pay their debt – financial obligations already incurred – because Linda spent too much money on the kids’ school clothes last month and until she reigns in her spending, he will not do what is necessary to pay their bills. (Never mind that two months ago, Ed spent over $1,000 on fishing equipment and hiking gear!)

Linda suggests that Ed could return to working full-time instead of part-time, but he is enjoying being able to go fishing on Wednesday afternoons and hiking on Fridays, and he’s not about to give that up – Linda will simply have to spend less.

So, what happens when the bank forecloses on the mortgage and the electricity is shut off for non-payment?  Does this little scenario remind you of another, only on a smaller scale?

Sunday Snark And Toons

It’s Sunday morning and it’s c-c-cold here!  It’s even colder in New York!  I have just two Sunday snarklets today, and a few ‘toons, and then I shall return you to the business of enjoying the rest of your Sunday while I growl a bit longer!


One piece in The Guardian caught my eye last night … first I laughed, then I growled.  Marge Greene, the highly unqualified second-term congresswoman from Georgia, has a salary of $174,000 per year.  This is more than three times the amount I ever made in a single year as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), where I often worked 15-hour days and weekends, too!  But … wait for it … ol’ Marge says that it isn’t enough!

Mind you, Marge was running a gym before she came to Congress.  Here’s what she told journalist Glenn Greenwald on his podcast earlier this week …

“Becoming a member of Congress has made my life miserable. I made a lot more money before I got here. I’ve lost money since I’ve gotten here. It’s not a life that I think is like something that I enjoy because I don’t enjoy it.”

So, I have to ask … what’s the issue?  She’s not content with her salary … the same salary that other, far more educated and experienced, members of Congress earn, and she doesn’t enjoy the job, so … the solution seems beyond simple to me:  Bye-bye, Margie!

In addition to the salary, there are perks such as life & health insurance, retirement benefits, allowances to cover official office expenses, including staff, mail, travel between a member’s district or state and Washington, DC, equipment, and other goods and services.  The hard-working people of this country dutifully pay taxes every payday to pay Ms. Greene’s and others’ salaries.  If she does not appreciate it, then she is more than welcome to step down from her seat … I don’t think anybody outside of her district in Georgia would shed a tear, except perhaps Kevin McCarthy.

In my time of being politically aware, some 50+ years now, I have never heard a member of Congress complain about their salary. Some even do it out of a sense of duty, a sense that they want to be a part of making this a better nation. Greene’s comment is like spitting in the faces of every taxpayer in the United States!


CNN reported yesterday that U.S. Supreme Court Justices have long used their personal email for sensitive Court business.  Their main reason seems to be that some of the justices had difficulty figuring out how to use their official secure servers for such things as … sending or reading email.  Now, I get that … I often have to ask my granddaughter for help with my “smart” phone, but then … I’m not a Supreme Court Justice handling highly sensitive information.

And the first thing that crossed my mind was … WAIT!!!  Isn’t this what people chanted “Lock her up!” in regards to Hillary Clinton having used her personal email server for government business on occasion?  So, can we expect Donald Trump and the maga crowd to start chanting “Lock them up!” as regards the Supreme Court Justices?  Just asking.  Could be that there’s some double standard here …


As of January 23, 2023

Saturday Surprise — Kangas & Ice Cream Trucks

Hello friends and welcome to the weekend! This is an updated reprise of a Saturday Surprise post I did five years ago in May, just as school was getting out for the summer, so the part about the ice cream trucks may be a little premature … or late, whichever way you look at it … but still fun, I hope!  This picture has absolutely nothing to do with today’s theme, but I came across it and just couldn’t resist …kittyAt the time of this original post in 2018, I had picked up a couple of new readers … very young ones, both 4 -years-old, and they happened to really liked animal videos.  So in honour of the two young men who fell in love with the wingless bee the prior week, I hoped they would enjoy these kangaroos!  And they did, and so did the adults/grownups in the room!


The sounds of summer did not began here in da hood this week, but they will soon enough.

school-out-1When that last day of school arrives in late May, we will hear the sounds of young voices laughing gleefully, the sound of balls hitting our back window, skateboards rolling down the street, and parents screeching.  But one sound in particular will be welcomed by all and is nearly an institution:  the ice cream truck!  Even though it is rare that I can eat ice cream, the sound of “Turkey in the Straw” rolling down the street always makes me smile.  And seeing the kids lined up at the window, credit cards in hand.  Guess what, folks … it is no longer a dime like it was when we were kids.  Now it is more like $2.  Inflation, y’know.  Our ice cream truck is driven by a retired couple and they are perfect for the job … always have a smile and unlimited patience with the little ones.  Anyway … the ice cream truck got me to thinking and wondering a couple of things, like when did the first ice cream truck hit the streets and where, and why the heck did they pick “Pop Goes the Weasel” and “Turkey in the Straw” for them all to play?  And so, as you know, when Filosofa wonders, Filosofa goes in search of answers.

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The history of ice cream street vendors dates back to the nineteenth century and is shaped by advances in technology, and fortunately, sanitation. While much has changed since peddlers first sold dishes of ice cream from carts cooled with ice blocks. ice cream truck-6In the U.S, the ice cream cart began as an urban phenomenon in which working class laborers bought a small dish of ice cream that he or she licked clean. The dish was then returned to the vendor, wiped down, and loaded with a fresh scoop for a new customer.  Blech. Customers with more money—or a healthy fear of infectious diseases—opted for ice cream sandwiches.ice cream truck-3Milk was not pasteurized in the U.S. until the 1890s, which meant any dairy product was potentially laced with the bacteria that caused scarlet fever, diphtheria, and bovine tuberculosis. Ice cream poisonings were a common event and were regularly reported in the news. Newspapers described ice cream poisoning epidemics in which dozens of fair-goers, picnic attendees, and party guests were stricken or killed. Public health officials, however, initially overlooked dairy contaminates and blamed ice cream poisoning on artificial flavors, specifically vanilla.ice cream truck-5By the turn of the century, ice cream hygiene improved dramatically and fairgoers were no longer afraid to order a cold treat. At the 1904 World Fair in St. Louis, a convenient take-away premiered— the ice cream cone. The thin, crispy waffle had long been a dessert favorite, and rolling the waffle into a cone wasn’t a new idea. The novel idea was to scoop ice cream into the cone, and several men who sold concessions at the famed fair fought for recognition as to who was the true creator.ice cream truck-4In the early 1920s, advances in refrigeration meant electric coolers replaced ice deliveries. Electric coolers were far more portable, and made it possible for a chilled ice-box to be placed on a motor car. At the same time, the early 1920s also saw the start of Prohibition and the end of easy access to the daily delight of wine, beer, or spirits. For many Americans, the comfort of fast food and sweets replaced the indulgence lost with banned spirits. The popularity of ice cream parlors and trucks soared during this era.

The first ice cream truck was credited to Harry Burt of Youngstown, Ohio, who was the creator of the Good Humor brand. Burt was already delivering ice cream from a motorized vehicle when he had the idea to place chocolate covered ice cream bars on a stick. His new Good Humor ice cream “sucker” was easy and clean to eat, which gave him the idea to sell it directly from his truck to consumers on the street.

Ice cream sold in parlors or stores became a luxury item during the Depression. But ice cream trucks such as Burt’s Good Humor brand where able to survive the Depression due to the product’s low-cost. Many consumers couldn’t afford big ticket items, but they could afford a nickel for an ice cream treat. During this time, vendors began offering economical items such as twin popsicles that parents broke in half and shared with two children.ice cream truck-7Post-war ice cream production boomed and so did the competition. Mister Softee was founded in Philadelphia in 1956 by two brothers who created a soft serve ice cream machine built specifically for a truck.

Although Good Humor sold its fleet in the 1970s to focus on grocery store sales, Mister Softee trucks are still on the streets, not to mention a host of competitors who sell original treats as well as pre-packaged favorites to a new generation of kids listening to hear the familiar jingle on a hot summer day.

I still have no idea why they choose ‘Turkey in the Straw’ and ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ for the songs to play, and I’m too tired tonight to dig any deeper, but I did find a site titled “a brief history of ice cream truck music”, so can do your own digging on that one! But here’s a tidbit for you.  In this, the world of bluetooth, GPS and a host of other apps to allow you to do nearly anything without leaving the ease of your recliner, there’s an app for the ice cream truck also.  You can track the truck by GPS in order to know precisely when he will be on your street, so that your kids don’t have to leave their video games to go outside and listen for him. 🙄  But also … ALSO … you can even place your order ahead so that you don’t have to be troubled with telling the ice cream man what your heart desires.  🙄  If that is not the epitome of laziness, I don’t know what is.  And it seems to me that it takes all the fun out of it.  Might just as well buy your ice cream at the grocery and keep it in the freezer until needed if you’re gonna do that!

ice cream truck-8So, now that I’ve made you crave an ice cream bar … get outside and enjoy the weekend — plant some flowers, lie in the hammock and read a book, wash some windows — Oh Wait … it’s only February.  Well, stay inside, bundle up, read a book, and dream of hearing the ice cream truck making its way down your street in about three more months!

Enjoy your weekend!!!ice cream truck-9

Happy Groundhog Day!!! – Redux (again)

This is a repeat of my 2017 Groundhog Day post. Every year I consider writing a new one, but after I read this one, and it even makes me laugh, I figure I probably can’t come up with anything better, so why re-invent the wheel, eh?  If you remember this from last year, or the year before, or the year before … pretend you don’t and read it again, laugh again, okay?  We need to find humour these days …


“Ground Hog Day is tomorrow. We’re the only country that accepts weather predictions from a rodent, and denies climate change facts by scientists.” – Alt-NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

ghd-3Good morning!  Today is a very special day, so I am setting aside my usual fare for this morning’s post to pay due respect and homage to none other than Pennsylvania’s own … {drumroll} … {applause} … Punxsutawney Phil!!!!  A brief summary of the legend and the history for my friends across the pond who may not know about Phil:

On this day in 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.

ghd-5Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal–the hedgehog–as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.

The line of groundhogs that have since been known as Phil might be America’s most famous groundhogs, but other towns across North America now have their own weather-predicting rodents, from Birmingham Bill to Staten Island Chuck to Shubenacadie Sam in Canada.

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According to the Weather Channel, the forecast in Punxsutawney is a high chance of cloudy skies, and even a chance of a flurry or two. According to the legend, this means an early spring is ahead. For the record, Punxsutawney Phil has only been accurate 39% of the time since 1887.

I used to say that Groundhog Day was my favourite holiday, mostly because it did not require a lot of effort on my part … no huge meal to cook, no presents to buy and wrap, no tree to decorate or lights to string.

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I happened across a humorous piece I thought you might enjoy.  Scott Feschuk, a Canadian speechwriter, humourist and former newspaper journalist, wrote this satire piece after hearing Trump’s rather ridiculous speech on black history.  It is his take on what a speech by Trump to commemorate Groundhog Day might be like:

“Well, this is Groundhog Day, so these are just a few little notes I want to share with you. On this day, we honour the tremendous history of groundhogs throughout our country. Throughout the world, if you really think about it, right? Because that’s where groundhogs are and where they live. Here but also there. Everywhere, really, except not exactly everywhere but almost.

Mostly in the ground though, on or it, or in the vicinity – which is why we call them that. Groundhogs. Right there in the name.

They’re incredible animals and their incredible example is unique in many ways. So many unique ways that honestly there’s no point in me examining any of them in any detail. We all know. We all know bigly.

You’ve all heard about groundhogs. They are well known and people know about them. We have some good ones. We have the one from that place in Pennsylvania and we have other ones and we have the one from that golf movie with one of the Ghostbusters. There are others. Many others that we all know, and I also know them.

The groundhog from the movie Groundhog Day is an example of a groundhog who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed. Big impact. But all groundhogs – big impact on the seasons and the changing of the seasons. There are several seasons and we all know what they are.

I do very well with groundhogs, by the way, not that you’d know from CNN which is fake news and disgraceful. But I do substantially better than others have done. They hear me talk about underground life—it’s horrible, life is short, you can get killed by a wolf on the way to pick up an acorn. They hear me and they love me.

The groundhog is cherished. I am very proud of the fact that people in America can learn about groundhogs, and many other things. And they can learn about their many, many accomplishments, which we celebrate on this day, which is why it is called Groundhogs Day and is so special.

I’m proud to honour our groundhog heritage and will be honouring it more and more. Like I said before, a groundhog is an animal—much like a fox is also an animal. And Fox News has treated me very nice. Wherever Fox is, thank you.

Omarosa saw a groundhog once.” 

So there you have it.  Everything you always wanted to know about Groundhog Day and more!  For the record, though I am not a cute, furry little animal that lives in holes in the ground, my prediction is that the sun has taken a permanent vacation.  Here, we have had exactly one sunny day since January 20th.  One.  Just ONE!  I think the sun came out, saw something evil, and went back behind the clouds for protection.

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Jolly ‘N Joyful Take Over

Hello fwiends!  Jolly Monday dis week is brought to you by me ‘n Joyful, ’cause Gwammie is in a wabbit hole and Uncle David is workin’ on gettin’ her out, but we couldn’t let you start da week without some laughs, so we did the best we could without her!  Joyful was busy helpin’ me wid da ‘toons ‘n stuff, so we just picked up some donuts for da mornin’ snack … I hope dat’s okay.  So, go get a donut an’ a coffee and come see what fun stuff we found for you!


While Jolly was off finding ‘toons, I went in search of some music puns, and here’s what I found!


And now for some ‘toons to make you laugh!


An’ here’s a few memes, too!


And we found a cute cwitter video wif a bear cub pwayin’ wif some lion cubs … it’s short, but we hope it makes you smile!


Well, fwiends, we hope you enjoyed our limited, gwammie-less Jolly Monday, and we pwomise to get Gwammie out o’ da wabbit hole before next Monday!  Love ‘n hugs from Jolly ‘n Joyful (and Gwammie, aka Filosofa)!

A Few Thoughts

Just a few of my thoughts on this Saturday afternoon …


I think the people of District 3 in New York should have the opportunity to recall George Santos and force a special election.  The man they thought they were voting for, after all, does not exist.  Mr. Santos, or whatever his name actually is, built his reputation on a tower of lies … a very high tower, as it were.  And now, that tower is crumbling and should by any logical thought, be brought down before it does significant damage.  However, by the terms set forth in the U.S. Constitution, a member of the House can only be removed by a 2/3 majority vote in the House … or death.  With the current panic by Republicans over losing so much as one seat of their paper-thin majority, that is beyond unlikely.  Remember when the former guy said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not suffer any repercussions?  Well, apparently that also applies to George Santos and any other House Republicans.


Apparently, the committee name “House Intelligence Committee” is a misnomer, for Republican House Leader McCarthy has ejected the only two members who actually had any … intelligence, that is.  Yep, the arsehole refused to allow two very intelligent and qualified Democrats, Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, to serve on the ‘Intelligence’ Committee.  Both have previously served on the committee, and Adam Schiff, notably, has led the Intelligence Committee for the past four years!

McCarthy did not diss Schiff and Swalwell because they weren’t qualified – he dissed them in retaliation for the times that some of his choices were not chosen for various committees, such as when Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t allow the two Jims – Jordan and Banks – to serve on the January 6th investigative committee because both had played a role in the insurrection.  Or the time that the Democratic-led House stripped Marge Greene and Paul Gosar, two radical conspiracy theorists, from their committee assignments.  Or perhaps, as Adam Schiff says …

“His objection seems to be that I was the lead impeachment manager in Donald Trump’s first impeachment, and that we held him accountable for withholding hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid from Ukraine. So he is now, I think, carrying the dirty water for the former president in trying to remove me from the intel committee.”

Whatever the reason, he is denying two of the House members with the most experience a seat on an important committee, one that is crucial to the security of the nation, for reasons that make no sense to a rational mind.


Remember, folks, it’s not about good governance, it’s not about what’s best for the nation and its people, it’s not about justice or truth, it’s only about power and wealth for the few.  Full stop.  Let us hope that in November 2024, people will vote more conscientiously, will actually put thought into their vote rather than simply voting along party lines or for the loudest voice.

And now, let’s lighten the mood with a few ‘toons, shall we?

My Imagination Runs Amok …

It is early June, the crisis point on the debt ceiling has been reached, and word has come down from on high that “Nobody leaves the Capitol until there is agreement on raising the debt ceiling NOW!!!”  And so, the 435 representatives of the 50 states, tired and grumpy, are once again trying to hammer out a compromise that will at least appease both sides.  For the purpose of this conversation, there are only two voices – Republican and Democrat, shortened to Rep & Dem – representing all members of each party’s interest.

Dem:  Well, the problem is actually quite simple … putting it in layman’s terms for you, consider the family whose bills exceed their monthly income.  Now, they have a few choices:  take another or get a better-paying job to earn more money; reduce some expenses, cut back on non-essentials; or sell something for additional funds.  This is where the U.S. government is at.  Now, let’s talk about those three choices.

Rep:  I’ve been saying all along that we need to reduce expenses!  Those retired people are getting around $1,600 every month for sitting on their porch swings throwing peanuts out for the birds!  Cut that in half … they should have been smarter and saved while they were working!

Dem:  I’m not even gonna dignify that with a response!  Those old folks paid into Social Security all their lives on the promise by the U.S. government – US – that they would have a cushion for their old age.  You want to jerk that right out from under them?  I know you probably don’t pay the bills in your house or do the shopping, but let me tell you, $1,600 a month is nothing!

Rep:  Okay, okay, you bleeding heart liberal!  So, what’s your better idea, or do you just want to rebut mine?

Dem:  We increase revenue by … guess what … taxing your rich buddies!  Percentage-wise, they are paying less than your average working Joe, especially since the tax cuts your lying little buddy gave them in 2017!  Cut their loopholes, institute a fully gradient taxation schedule, and no exceptions!

Rep:  Oh no!!!  You start doing that, and our donor contributions will shrivel to nothing!  Absolutely NOT!  That idea is not even on the table!

Dem:  Alright, then … that leaves the third option:  we sell something.

Rep:  Like what … maybe the White House, complete with the president in it?  (laughs at his own joke)

Dem:  No, I’m thinking maybe … well look, we’ve got 50 states, right?  Personally, since it’s likely going to be underwater in ten years anyway, I’d opt for selling Florida.

Rep:  I knew you’d pick a red state to sell … just knew it!  Okay, let’s take a different approach and look at which state is smallest?  I’m thinking that would be Rhode Island, right?  Only about … let me look this up right quick … only 1,544 square miles!  We’d hardly even miss it!

Dem:  No way, Josè!  First, it may be the smallest in terms of land mass, but not of population.  Second, it is in the heart of the New England states … nobody is going to buy a state that’s surrounded on all sides by other states.  But, that brings to mind another possibility, one that you might even agree to.  Alaska!  Alaska has the fourth smallest population, only 724,357 people, and it isn’t even physically attached to the U.S., but rather to Canada!  Why, I bet we could make Justin Trudeau an offer he couldn’t refuse and he’d snap it up in a heartbeat!

Rep:  Well … I dunno.  That would increase your majority in the Senate by two.

Dem:  And it would increase your majority here in the House by one.  And what, really, does Alaska contribute to the national good?

Rep:  Hey, there’s oil under all that snow and ice!  OIL!!!

Dem:  And you know as well as I do that the future of oil is doomed.  You can deny it ‘til the cows come home, but climate science is real and oil is soon going to be a thing of the past as we move on toward more renewable, environmentally-friendly energy sources.  WAKE UP!

Rep:  Yeah, yeah … I know it and you know it, but I can’t tell my constituents that, for I’ve spent years convincing them that climate change is a Democratic hoax!  Why, I’d never get re-elected!  Not to mention I’d lose all those lovely donations from the fossil fuel industry.

Dem:  Okay, fine, whatever.  It’s after 2:00 a.m., we’re all tired, and we have a mandate to come to an agreement before we can go home and crawl into our beds, so … do we have an agreement?  We raise the debt ceiling, pay the bills and let the old folks keep on keeping on, and to make up the difference, we sell Alaska to the Canadians?

Rep:  I don’t much like it, but I sense it’s the best we’re going to manage, so … okay, deal.

They shake hands, and the deal is done. 

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – January 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Margaritas and Regrets

Okay friends … it’s time for us all to take a bit of a breather from the dark global/political world and try to find a smile … let’s head over to Smorgasbord and see if Sally ‘n Debby can brighten our day just a bit!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Firstly, some funnies from Debby Gies who has been doing some excellent foraging for us.

D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

My thanks to Debby  for expert foraging…

D. G. Kaye – Buy:Amazon US And:Amazon UKBlog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness. Learning to trust your intuition

Now something from Sally’s Joke book archives….

In the dock

Clerk: Prisoner at the bar, how do you plead, guilty or not guilty?
Accused: How can I tell till I’ve heard the evidence?

Accused: As the Lord is my judge, I am not guilty.
Judge: He’s not, I am, you are, six months.

Judge: you have been found not guilty of robbery and…

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Saturday Surprise — Birds’ Tongues!

This is a reprisal of a post from fall of 2019 … it was fun to research some burning questions about bird anatomy and I thought it was worthy of sharing again!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!


A few days ago, a friend and I were having a conversation about whether birds have tongues, and if so, whether they have taste buds.  Of course … a perfectly normal conversation!  What?  You don’t discuss such things?  Anyway, naturally the question kept burning in my mind, keeping me awake far into the wee hours, and I simply had to satisfy my curiosity.  Well … turns out they do have tongues, and this ferruginous hawk just had to prove the point!ferruginous-hawkJust as birds come in all different shapes, sizes and varieties, so do their tongues — long tongues, short tongues, spiky tongues, curly tongues, forked tongues, frayed tongues, brush-like tongues.  Care to take a look at a few?

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This rainbow lorikeet has a brush-like tongue

These hummingbirds have forked tongues that are rolled up inside their beaks until submerged in liquid, at which time they partly unfurl.  As the hummingbird drinks, the forks of his tongue furl and unfurl, so it’s almost as if he is drinking through two straws.hummingbird-1

hummingbird-2Isn’t this guy pretty?  He’s a purple honeycreeper (looks blue to me) and has a very long tongue, to enable him to drink nectar from flowers (or the hummingbird feeder you have on the back porch).purple-honeycreeper.jpgWoodpeckers also have very long tongues that are also sharp and spiky … the better to get the bugs out of the holes in trees!  And here you thought they just liked waking you at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday!  This guy decided to take the easy way out, though, and drink from the hummingbird feeder.woodpeckerWhile we’ve established that birds do have tongues, what they don’t have is teeth, so birds of prey, such as fish-eating birds, have tongues with little rear-facing hooks or spikes to prevent a captured fish from slipping away from them.  Penguins have very spiky and partially keratinized tongues, meaning that parts of the tongue are made strong and stiff by keratin.

gentoo-penguin-chick

Gentoo penguin chick

Geese and ducks also have spiky tongues, as well as hairy tongues and tongues with hard flat surfaces that, from a distance, seem to resemble a human’s tongue.  However, they are really nothing like our tongues, for they are covered with hairs and spikes that act like a sieve, allowing the bird to filter food particles from the water.

Canada-geese

Canadian geese

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Mallard duck

So, we’ve seen that birds have tongues, but do they have taste buds?  Now, this whole conversation started because my friend’s budgie had stopped liking one food that he was once very fond of, and nearly gobbled another that he never used to like at all.  Turns out that yes, birds do have taste buds, but not very many, and not on their tongues, but rather in their bills!fieldfareTaste buds in birds haven’t been the subject of much research, so not as much is known, but what is known is that birds have far fewer taste buds than we humans.  Depending on the species, birds may have fewer than 50 or up to roughly 500 taste buds, while humans have 9,000-10,000 taste buds. Birds can taste sweet, sour and bitter flavors, and they learn which of those tastes are the most suitable and nutritious food sources. The sensitivity to different tastes varies by species, but most birds use other senses—sight and hearing most prominently—to locate the best foods.

And now you know more than you ever thought you wanted to know about birds’ mouths!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures and the mini-lesson!  Now go forth and have a fun & wonderful weekend, my friends!

For more fun reading about birds and their mouths, here are the sources I used:

Let’s talk about bird tongues  (Research on Dark-eyed Juncos and why animals do what they do)

Bird Senses and How They Use Them  (The Spruce)

How Do Birds Taste Their Food?  (Audubon)