BIRDS OF A FEATHER
My friend the birdman Gerry Wilson occasionally strays into social commentary, so I feel justified in straying into his territory once in a while. This is to describe some of the birds I have seen around town this past year or so.
Black-crested Dipperbird — These appear in great abundance in spring, generally around bars and recreation facilities. Their cry sounds like ‘entitlement, entitlement, rights, rights, rights’. As summer comes on, they tend to disappear into parents basements, and the black crests disappear, making them indistinguishable from teenagers generally.
Ruby-breasted Fluffytail — Very brightly coloured plumage, flits around a lot while swishing its fluffy tail back and forth, usually found in singles bars and similar habitat, cry sounds like a high-pitched giggle, finds well-heeled male patrons very attractive, uttering its giggle-cry at any remotely humorous remark he makes.
Knowitall Gull — Very loud, aggressive bird generally in-your-face, uttering his rasping abrasive call ‘knowitall, knowitall’; is known to use his, ahem, manure as a weapon, diving and dropping bombs aimed at the back of his opponents neck. Has a peculiar structure in his wings which causes him to fly in big, leftward circles.
Dowdyfeather Swallow — Usual habitat is government offices. Very dull plumage. Call is a faint ‘peep’. Seems to understand the Knowitall gull’s call, and accepts it unquestioningly as absolute truth.
Hairychested sandscratcher — Found hanging around beaches, generally posing with muscles flexed and a stare fixed at the horizon, except eyes seem to follow any specimen of Ruby-breasted Fluffytail in the area. Cry is raucous, sounds like ‘cervesa por favor’.
Huffnpuff Bird – Puffed-up plumage, flies with ears close to the ground. Generally found hanging around city hall, especially on Mondays., where a flock circles with their heads down, muttering ‘huffnpuff, huffnpuff’. Unusual ritual behaviour, individual specimens take turns stretching neck upwards like a bantam rooster about to crow, but cry sounds like ‘financial-genius, financial-genius’ rather than ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’.
Pundit bird — casual plumage, can be found hanging around radio stations and cable companies, offering explanations as to why his forecasts are wrong, call sounds like “raintodaysunnyfriday” A cousin found in bigger cities can be heard going “bull,bull, bear bear bear”
Pining buzzard – sad, wrinkled face with a sharp beak, big, floppy slow-moving wings, always looking back over his right shoulder as though pining for the past, cry sounds like ‘don’t-change-a-thing, don’t-change-a-thing’
Naezlflat Warbler — Bright, cheerful plumage, bobs about in a rhythmic motion, usually found hanging around karaoke bars and churches, at his most raucous in a shower.
Woodchopper bird – Plumage distinguished by a bright, shiny orange head with strange appendages on each side, baggy orange body and huge hands and feet, usually found in mature forest muttering his cry ‘%&@# fell the wrong way again”.
Heavy-butt bully bird — Plumage looks like flip-flops and shorts, cry sounds like “that’s a big 10-4, good buddy”, generally found in herds of monstrous big vehicles, often right on your tail.
Wrinkle-neck grey crow – Dull, ill-fitting mismatched plumage, only flies once a year, gait is like a crippled turtle, usually found hanging around the Seniors center and funerals, cry sounds like “I’m-right-your-wrong, I’m-right-your-wrong”. Occasionally writes columns.
No charge for all this insight into Mother Nature.