27 January 2024 – The Holcombe Flag, the Tongue of the Woodpecker, the Squirrel’s Dirty Secret

Jan 26, 2024 | Blog, Saturday Fairy Eggs

Children are naturally curious creatures and with so many under one roof coupled with the fact that we homeschool, we are frequently looking things up to answer the various questions that arise. For instance, the children found that one of the chickens had laid an egg the size of a cherry tomato. We looked it up and found out that such an egg occurs on occasion, that there is no yolk inside and that they are called – by some – fairy eggs.

Here are some other fairy eggs we found this week:

  • We are Missourians and we’re learning about the Missouri flag whilst doing our Missouri unit. There were actually two flags in contention.

The Oliver Flag, which is the one that won and is Missouri’s state flag:

And the Holcombe flag which those deciding felt didn’t represent Missouri enough and looked too much like the US flag:

We agreed with the decision. The Holcombe flag looks a little like a phone in. Here’s some info on the Missouri flag:


  • In science , we learned that the woodpecker’s tongue is 3-5 times longer than that of any other bird. It fits in his head by starting at the right nostril, splitting, wrapping around the skull beneath the skin, rejoining and coming up through the lower jaw. It’s stretchy like elastic and is especially designed to probe holes for insects. (source: Understanding God’s World, Abeka)
image from ‘The Book of Birds’, Memoria Press
  • While reading an old book about birds, we came across a sentence that nonchalantly stated that squirrels eat baby birds.

I’ve known many people who are not fans of squirrels but mostly for the damage they do to gardens, vehicles and wiring in houses and for stealing bird food from bird feeders. I have never before heard that they eat baby birds. This book is over a hundred years old, so I hoped they’d gotten the science wrong. They did not:

I’m not sure if me and my house will ever look the same at squirrels again!

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