Lunchtime Photo

When I take pictures of our avian cousins, I’m usually attracted to birds that are interesting in some way. Cute baby geese. Colorful hummingbirds. A lovely egret. A magnificent heron. But what about the blue-collar birds? It’s not their fault that they’re boring. Don’t they deserve pictures too?

You bet. And what’s more ordinary than a finch? So I undertook to photograph one. But precisely because they’re so ordinary, I wanted an extra nice photo and eventually I got this one. And while it’s a nice picture, I have to say that this is one tubby little finch, isn’t it? Irvine must be bursting at the seams with delicious worms. Or whatever it is that finches eat.

UPDATE: Apparently this is a song sparrow, not a finch. How about that? And judging from a few pictures, song sparrows all tend toward the chubby side. This fellow, it turns out, is pretty ordinary.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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