The Rare Nun Bird

A dear Passionist friend of ours recently made his 8-day retreat here. We gathered for a monastic visit in the parlor the last evening of his stay. He regaled us with a new bird species that he discovered while here! Grazie Padre Giuseppe!

(Beware: Some of the humor contains “inside jokes” but we thought you would enjoy it “nun-the-less”!)


Special thanks are due to Fr. Josh McCarty of Lolek Productions, and his trusty aid and our dear friend, Larena Lawson, for this photo and many others that he took last week. More about the photos in a future blog post.


Avis monacha kentuckiensis

Uncommon and local. A rare bird indeed. Ranging in height from 5’3” to almost 6’. Typically all black with a white nape. The taller subspecies like the Maria Cecilia and the Ioannes Maria are more commonly known as ‘big bird.’ The Nun Birds tend to flock around a dominant female.

Breeding habits are undocumented, they just hatch and appear on the internet.

The juveniles are distinguished by a white crest extending to the scapular which molts over a period of 3 years or more. Creatures of habit, the juveniles may be seen on warm days between 2 and 3 p.m.; solitary, occasionally running or in small gaggles happily chirping away or pecking at weeds under statues.

Omnivorous, foraging habits are adaptable to the seasons although mature specimens have shown a penchant for pullum frixum (fried chicken) when available.

Voice: generally silent. Harsh call notes and hissing when feeling threatened by intruders. Otherwise, long soft high notes sounding like Domini, Domini until evening. No later than 9 p.m. a low croaking sounding like Good night Father!

This entry was posted by Sponsa Christi.

6 thoughts on “The Rare Nun Bird

  1. Sisters, have you every read the two-volume series of “Field Guide to Little Known and Seldom-Seen Birds of North America”? If not, I will be glad to buy them for you. Let me know.

  2. It’s great to know that such a new species of birds have been identified; it confirms the saying that “Birds of a feather flock together” :).

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