Waseca County Pioneer 111 W. Elm Ave.

Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


Was the cardinal just coincidence?

The word “coincidence” is made up of two parts. “Co-” is a prefix that means “together,” as in “cooperate” (work together) or “coordinate” (plan together). Joined with “incidence” it means “happen together.” So when we say something is “coincidence” we’re saying they simply chance to have happened at the same time.
But isn’t it amazing how often things coincide?
This past week, a cardinal flew into my window, injuring itself. Since it couldn’t fly after the collision, it would have been easy pickings for predators if left on its own. But once it was caught, what could be done for it?
I was fortunate to find out Waseca has Chasity Marquette, who knows more about helping birds and wildlife than most of us could ever guess. Chasity explains she is a certified animal rehabilitator as acknowledged on both the state and federal levels. She also says it’s no simple matter to meet all the criteria for those certifications.
As a news writer, of course, having learned about Chasity and all she can do, I had to interview her. Watch for the story next week–it will warm your heart and probably also amaze you.
But about those coincidences…
Awhile back I had registered for a retired teacher get-together taking place up in the Cities this week.  Of course important things were being said and done, but I was there because of the day’s “keynote” event: the University of Minnesota Raptor Center was scheduled to give a demonstration, and I wanted to be there.
The knowledgeable speaker showed us four raptors: a red-tailed hawk, a kestrel, a great horned owl and a bald eagle. Along with the beauty and majesty of the birds themselves, the information shared was utterly fascinating. For example, it is well known that owls have large eyes to give them excellent eyesight. The presenter informed us that, if human eyeballs were proportional to owl eyeballs, ours would be roughly the size of softballs.
But when it gets too dark to see, owls hunt using sound.  They have extraordinarily large ears, and–never would have guessed this–they are at different heights on the two sides of their heads, giving them powers of echolocation which are just as impressive as their eyesight. This amazing sense of hearing allows them to pinpoint and capture small animals moving around under a bed of snow.
The bald eagle which was part of the demonstration had been taken in by the Raptor Center because it was too accustomed to human presence.  In fact, this giant bird had located himself on a golf course and had taken to landing on people’s golf carts hoping to be fed.
Can you imagine what a fright that would be?
So it’s been a very bird-related week for me, and I’m deeply grateful.  The speaker from the Raptor Center informed us that, by contacting their facility at the University of Minnesota, folks can arrange a visit and tour. If you want to speak with Waseca’s own rehabilitator, you will have many opportunities next spring and summer when Chasity’s domestic animal rescue facility, Aspyn Acres, will again be open for events.
In the meantime, I’m fascinated with all I’ve learned in the last few days–and with the coincidence that caused me to have these interrelated experiences so close together.


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