Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Bird Sounds and Interesting Job Opportunity – June 28, 2011

CFN – I awoke to the loud sounds of excited bird calls this morning.  Certainly a call I had not heard before.  I got up to have a peek out the window to find a family of crows under the bird feeder.


The family was taking advantage of the spillage of black sunflower seeds which had toppled to the ground by the sparrow and goldfinches who regularly perched at the seed dispenser which had landing rails just large enough for the smaller species.  This group of four crows included two adults who occasionally fed the adolescent birds who responded with a song of thanks.


It was this calling of gratefulness which peeked by curiosity to begin with as I could not relate it to any recent experiences with birds.  I proceeded to watch them for several minutes as this was a site I had never seen before.  The adults seemed to move the seed from the ground towards the young birds encouraging them to find and eat seed on their own rather than wait for the parent bird to put the seed directly in their mouths.  Every so often a parent bird would drop some food in a young birds mouth to a chorus of the “unfamiliar to my ears” squawking grateful song.

And so a simple lesson of life is passed from mother to son and from father to daughter.  We are here to support you, to teach you.  We will show you what you can eat and what to look out for.  We will even feed and protect you.  We also promise to be patient and brave so that we can hold on to our tendency to do everything for you at an appropriate time so that you can learn to be independent, learn to fend for yourself and most importantly sore to the music you were born to fly to.  I guess even a crow can teach us some valuable lessons!

The All Things Food Network sent some information about a full time employment opportunity that they thought would be of interest to our Earth Matters readers.  As this position is open to all of our readers across Canada and relates to Community Gardens and Local Sustainable Gardening, we felt compelled to oblige.   The position is for a College Instructor to teach (Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens) through St. Lawrence College.  You would be teaching and corresponding with students on-line, from your home.  The position can be filled by applicants anywhere in Canada.

Are you passionate about interactive learning?  Adept in online environments?  Engaged in and knowledgeable about urban agriculture?  St. Lawrence College is looking for an instructor to teach CSSL 30: Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens, one of six in the Sustainable Local Food Certificate.  This unique position allows you to teach adult learners from across the country and support community initiatives in local sustainable food.

Duties include:
Course instruction, including mentoring, marking, and research support.
Ongoing communication with students via email and through the course discussion forum.
Ongoing maintenance of the course.  Uploading course materials, updating readings, improving the course each semester, as needed.

Candidate Requirements:
-Strong experience in academic and applied work in urban agriculture/community gardens.
-Experience in instructing online courses, and engaging students in online discussion forums.
-An understanding of community college level courses and the unique needs of part-time adult   learners.
-Strong communication skills are necessary.  A friendly, knowledgeable, diplomatic and punctual online presence.
-Ability to take initiative and work in a self-directed manner with minimal supervision.
This certificate is Canada-wide and we aim to have instructors from each region.  We encourage all to apply, but please note that preference will be given to candidates from Central Canada and Atlantic Canada.

To apply kindly send you CV and cover letter explaining how you meet the above requirements to: DEADLINE:  Monday, July 18th.

Your commentary is encouraged and welcome below or to



  1. Jacqueline, your articles never crease to amaze me. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  2. Thank you Stan!

  3. FYI…the little flying bug in the title image is ant-like in appearance and the wings sit out 90 degrees from the body when at rest. This one is photographed on a milk-weed leaf. They were enjoying the milk-weed environment along with the ants, flys and honey bees.

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