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April 28, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Charlie and the Flyboys.

Fledging orphan Yellow-crowned NIght Heron.(Image: WIldlife Center of Texas FB)

And you think you can hardly wait for a wash, fluff and blow dry? (Image: WIldlife Center of Texas FB)

Ever wonder where Charles Schulz got his inspiration for Woodstock?

This orphaned Yellow-crowned Night Heron looks almost like Woodstock’s brother from another mother.

“He (Woodstock) also hates being mistaken for the wrong species of bird (though we are never told what species he actually is), and he is reluctant to eat thrown bread crumbs because he doesn’t want anyone to think he’s on welfare, and when asked about his net income by Snoopy in his ‘census-taker’ persona, he replied “four worms a day”. He’s a whiz at playing trivia, too…For all of Woodstock’s acumen and talent, he is physically a very poor flyer, which has been a character trait since he first appeared. He flutters around erratically, often upside down, and frequently crashes into things. He usually manages to get where he wants to go as long as he doesn’t have to fly too high. He is prone to beak-bleeds if he goes over 10 feet in the air… ” (Source)

Wildlife rescuers see a little dinosaur.

Guess it’s the feet…along with a big attitude stance and glare.

Who knew that since the Wildlife Center of Texas opened its’ doors, over 3 percent of the world’s total population of Yellow-crowned Night Herons have been brought in there for care? One big flock of hapless dependents.

Woodstock could at least struggle to safety or to his friend, Snoopy.

These fledglings are apparently quite vulnerable on the ground from rapid body temp drops, gnats, flies, fire ants, and predators. Impossible to re-nest according to experts. So if you find one, be a friend and give it a lift.

Bob. Lizard. "What do you mean family resemblance? All conjecture on your part" (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Bob: “What do you mean family resemblance? All that suspect conjecture on your part.” (© image.)

Charlie sounds:

  • Did you know in the cartoon, Charlie Brown’s father was a barber and his mother was a housewife just like those of Charles Schulz?
  • There was a Schultz family dog, an intelligent Pointer named Spike, who did funny and weird stuff like eat tacks and pins. Spike actually looked a bit like Snoopy in old photographs. Snoopy, of course, did have a brother named Spike who lived near Needles, California. Interesting enough that the Schultz family actually lived a few years in Needles to help with an ill relative.
  • Schultz also had two good friends named Linus and Sherman
  • The little red-haired girl. Unrequited love. Sigh. Based on an art instructor Schulz feel in love with and even asked to marry him. (She married someone else.)
  • Charles Schultz admitted in an interview that his Woodstock bird character from the Woodstock Music Festival poster of a small yellow bird perched on a guitar

Woodstock befriended Snoopy shortly after hatching and, not wanting to migrate, became the Flying Ace’s mechanic, pilot when Snoopy became a canine helicopter, golf caddy, assistant, and best friend (one who had no problem standing up to him if practical jokes go too far).

A small, good hearted bird with “absurdly and hilariously high physical strength and endurance”

See? Role model.

Little Yellow-crowned Night Heron and Woodstock: Life inspires art or the other way around?

“If you grit your teeth and show real determination, you’ll always have a chance.”

Charles M. Schultz

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Yellow-crowned Night Heron pair in Florida (Image: Terry Foote/

Cute couple. Adult Yellow-crowned Night Herons in Florida. Ancient aunts used to say, “It’s planned so each is beautiful his own time. So be patient.” (Image: Terry Foote/


  1. shoreacres / Apr 28 2020 7:17 am

    You know where I most often see these birds? No, not at a refuge. They like to hunt in the ditch that runs through the median of South Shore Boulevard. I almost always see them on my way to HEB!


  2. Kate Crimmins / Apr 28 2020 7:32 am

    We don’t get many herons here although one nests in the local preserve. Last year he enjoyed sushi at my pond. I have chicken wire over the middle part of my pond this year until I get enough pond cover from plants to protect the fish. The local one is a blue heron, almost as tall as me.


  3. Pix Under the Palm Fronds / Apr 28 2020 7:46 am

    Oh my, I am in love with this little baby! We have Yellow-Crowned Night Herons at the ponds in our community which is surrounded by a Preserve. We have never seen a juvenile and definitely not a fledgling! Thank you for sharing this wonderful photo…this post is a joy to read!


  4. easyweimaraner / Apr 28 2020 8:35 am

    how cute it is… I never saw a baby heron…there is only one around a lake who is only there till I have my cam ready… LOL


  5. disperser / Apr 28 2020 8:54 am

    Interesting information.

    I have to admit to never taking to Peanuts. I read the cartoons occasionally, but the characters never resonated with me. Then again, I grew up on Tex Willer and Cocco Bill. A stark difference, that.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 28 2020 4:24 pm

      I enjoyed Peanuts for the astute observations about society, philosophy, and not really childlike messages (Thed series was much too adult and ahead of its’ time – which terrified sponsors who funded it) The melancholy undertones were noted, but after reading more of Shutlz’s bio and interview/quotes that is more understood.
      Actually I grew up with Lone Ranger, Roy Rodgers, Sky King, Rin-tin-tin along with Fractured Fairy Tales, Bullwinkle and Rocky and Friends (Boris and Natash, and Mr Peabody and Sheman,) Road Runner, and Speedy Gonzalez – so not so different
      Hey found you this:
      Links to other episodes, too – new entertainment to fill stay at home time! Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

    • disperser / Apr 28 2020 5:15 pm

      A lot is lost in the translation . . . there’s much more to the dialogue than just straight translation, but at least you get the art.


      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 28 2020 6:38 pm

        Having worked in international publishing, what you mention about translation is definitely real and true.
        (Possibly why elaborate and intricate graphic novels evolved to such heights – the art is as much of the story as the words are)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean / Apr 28 2020 1:27 pm

    That first photo stopped me in my reading. What a sadly looking little fellow. I knew some of your Peanuts trivia. I liked the strip and adored Snoopy who was always Joe Cool to me. Sure he had other personas, but Joe Cool won my heart at an early age.


  7. marina kanavaki / Apr 28 2020 1:52 pm

    Awwww… little fluff guy does look like Woodstock! I had no idea they were so vulnerable. FYI I’m a sucker for Schulz’ Snoopy! With Disney, they’ve provided the best summer readings! 😉


  8. sustainabilitea / Apr 28 2020 4:02 pm

    I didn’t know any of this: heron babies, “Peanuts”/Charles Schultz trivia, nada…so I greatly enjoyed the post. I love “Peanuts” and gentle, loving, real humor (and sadness) in it.



  9. Anne Mehrling / Apr 28 2020 4:41 pm

    I saw adult yellow crowned night herons when I regularly walked by an inlet of Long Island Sound. It took me years to identify them. I had to laugh at your first photo, because I saw no resemblance to the big, majestic birds I knew.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 28 2020 6:40 pm

      No ugly babies! And as you say, “Baby, look at you now!”
      Thanks for going with the fluff


  10. Curt Mekemson / Apr 28 2020 5:43 pm

    That baby is weird! But cute in a weird sort of way. As for Snoopy, always a favorite and Woodstock fir right in. My best Snoopy character was when he was playing buzzard and hanging out in a tree. –Curt


  11. The Coastal Crone / Apr 29 2020 11:54 am

    He does look like Woodstock! Interesting facts!


  12. Littlesundog / Apr 30 2020 6:47 am

    I have never seen a baby heron, though we do have many blue herons that frequent the slough and old river channel. I do not do wildlife rehab for birds anymore, but the last pair of Eurasian Collared Doves that I raised, were very homely to begin with. It took me a while to determine just what they were, but I grew to love them as they evolved into beautiful birds. They were a delight to raise and turned out healthy, and hung around here for a couple of weeks, then took off to the south and I never saw them again.


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