"Spark Bird" being - The bird that helped spark your interest in birding. It helped open your eyes to the incredible beauty
The expert they interviewed, Noah Strycker, was amazing. He and Ira Glass were out in the field and Strycker identified a Steller's Jay imitating a red-tailed hawk. I knew that blue jays imitate them, as I've heard them. I didn't know why. His theory is that they like to terrorize the chickadees!
It's an interesting podcast for amateur birders, like me. He spotted a crow, focused the parabolic listening device on it, and found it was humming to itself. It was a fascinating story, explaining that turkey vultures were his spark bird. He brought home a deer carcass to put in his backyard and watch them. (Sound familiar? Life includes death in the rural cycle of life: deer carcass & The circle of life. )
We had 13 mourning doves under or near the feeder. Dec. 18th is our Christmas Count, here. JB asked the collective noun for doves.
"There are a number of collective nouns for any group of doves. They include cote, dole, dule, bevy, flight, and piteousness. For the Mourning Dove specifically, I would offer lament as a collective noun because of its sad song, sung over and over and over again."