What’s that? A jaskötka?

I was having dinner the other night. It was after the sun set, but long before it got dark. I was gazing out the restaurant window and lost in those thoughts all travelers get when there is a few moments of down time. I noted these birds darting about and preforming amazing arial maneuvers. This looked a lot to me like other instances of bats chasing insects.

I asked the server and was promptly given the name ‘jaskötka.’ After several jovial moments of my repeating the name, and failing I am afraid, the server informed me that these were fly catcher birds and not bats. He told us of how some people do not like them because they build there nests without regard for human purposes.

This was a great beginning to a very interesting conversation with the server and really got him rolling with his practicing his english. All the while the sounds coming out of my mouth when trying Polish, seemed to get all tangled with my tongue.

Later, when learning about sheep production in Poland, these same birds were much closer and I could clearly see they were not bats and very evident that they were truly skilled flyers. They darted about the low ceilinged barn and there nests seemed to be everywhere.

jaskötka or 'fly catcher' birds in the window of a sheep barn

jaskötka or ‘fly catcher’ birds in the window of a sheep barn

About Donald McGahan

Donald G. McGahan is an Assistant Professor of Soil Science at Tarleton State Univeristy (A member of the Texas A&M System) in Texas USA. His professional site can be viewed at http://faculty.tarleton.edu/mcgahan/index.html
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