For the birds

Like many who grew up in the Twin Cities years ago, I watched “Axel and his Dog,” a local kiddie program. Clellan Card portrayed Axel Torgeson, complete with a scandihoovian accent. He’d close the show by quoting his own version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Time to Rise” poem:

Birdie with the yellow bill/hopped upon my windowsill/cocked his shining eye and said: (and then some some clever or horrible pun like “What did you do in the kitchen? Sink?).

Axel Torgerson

A few Axel videos are available on YouTube. Just fast-forward toward the end. But I digress. Birdies with yellow bills, or not, have caught my attention for many years. I appreciate the Audubon Society’s bird field guide and Merlin Bird ID app, which does the heavy lifting when it comes to identifying the winged creatures. The Merlin app can even identify a camera-shy bird by its song. In my newspaper days, I learned that misidentifying a bird leads to angry and snide phone calls, even when the ID came from a trustworthy expert. Sorry that the captions couldn’t have been more specific.

I hope you enjoy the gallery and some Minnesota history.


I am a photojournalist and photo editor in eastern Idaho.

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