Monday, June 18, 2007

Giant Birds

I would, of course, normally leave ornithological matters to Nige. With his post Birdsong, he firmly established himself as the W.H.Hudson of the net and I well remember the disordered day when I saw ring ouzels in his company in the Pentland Hills. (Or it could have been the Himalayas, it was a very disordered day.) However, I have one urgent bird issue I must raise. Why are they getting bigger? Here in Norfolk I daily see buzzards, egret, heron and barn owls in the field behind our house. And, a few days ago, I stood, frozen in shock, as a cormorant suddenly leapt out of the river barely six feet from where I was standing. It gave me what used to be called an 'old-fashioned' look. England is a land of small birds but these are big bastards and they will soon outnumber the small ones. Even the wood pigeons seem to be suffering from an attack of giantism. We know that squirrels are preparing an assault on the human empire, but is is possible they are in alliance with the birds? I think we should be told.

10 comments:

  1. Well, Bryan. It might be that nowadays we can get a bit nearer. They seem to have picked up, that we're not out to do them harm. But if you are near to one of the RSPB reserves, the bigger ones tend to push the little ones out. BTW, did they bring the 'scope back to its plinth.

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  2. Good point, Vince. I must go back and check.

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  3. For the details of recent senseless assaults by a squirrel see this report from Germany:

    "Squirrel goes on rampage, injures 3"

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  4. Thanks, Dave. I had seen that but then forgotten about it. What is it with squirrels? Where did we go wrong? Can we negotiate?

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  5. It's been tried, Bryan, it's been tried. I think I mentioned it a while back - squirrels communicate in morse code, but are totally intractable. Admittedly this happened in a Radio 4 comedy (a rare example that was actually funny) about pest exterminators - Exterminating Angels it was called...

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  6. For recent coverage of the squirrel threat, see D.T. Max's report "The Squirrel Wars" in the N.Y. Times.

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  7. Its very possible that the indian myth of the THUNDERBIRD could have happned when perhapes they encountered a very large bird maybe bigger then a condor Its just like BIGFOOT or NESSIE now the birds have their own big brother up there

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  8. Frankly if i were the giant bird featured in HISTORY CHANNELS program MONSTER QUEST i would stay away from the bioligists i sure wouldnt want to have a tracking collar strapped on me and tracked where ever i went and i wouldnt want to be declaired endangered

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