Thursday, November 24, 2016

Revisiting the Turkey

My first portrait of a Turkey is from very early on in this blog's lifetime, 2012 to be exact. Back then I described the Turkey as a haughty blowhard and an awful dinner guest. I still sort of feel this way, and get the sense that I'm not alone in my interpretation of the bird. Why is the Turkey a disliked bird? Maybe it's that many people have had personal negative experiences with Turkeys (being attacked by them is not uncommon in some parts of America). Maybe we need to malign them to separate ourselves from the guilt we feel (subliminally or consciously) for farming them and eating them. Maybe we resent them for encroaching on human territory in an unapologetic and successful way (we also treat pigeons with scorn for doing the same). Today I'm going to focus on a different, more positive interpretation of the Turkey- with some Turkey quotes from my favorite website and yours,

"i have a tom who just follows me around like a puppy and he is the nicest turkey ever."

"i got a red bourbon hen about a month ago at auction and she is so sweet she doesnt exactly run up to you she just kind of stays out of your way but she will sit there and talk to you."

"Pros: sweet, docile, and good looking
Cons: none"

"never actually flogged me"

"We named all of our turkeys this year for dragons, so his name, due to respiratory issues, is Puff the Magic"

"In the video is my Royal Palm tom, Gerald, walking in his harness and leash. I have taken him to the pet store, to 4-H meetings and just down the road. Very friendly and easily trained to do about anything." 

And if that's not enough to convince you to take a second look at your Turkey bias, maybe a quote from one of our nation's founders will. Benjamin Franklin's  antipathy toward the Bald Eagle is well documented on this blog, as is his preference for the Turkey. Here is his justification from a letter to his daughter.

There you have it bird fans, if Ben Franklin can love the Turkey for its positive qualities, maybe we can learn to as well. With a perspective, The Amateurnithologist. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

American Wigeon

American Wigeon aka. American Widgeon aka. Baldpate (archaic)
San Francisco Bay Trail, San Rafael, Calironia, USA
March 2016
Member of the Duck, Goose, and Swan Family
§A Flush of Ducks§

~true bird fact~ Has a more vegetarian diet than any other dabbling duck. His short bill is built for this, as it allows him to exert more force, lever-style, to dislodge vegetation. Also, since I don't think I've ever fully laid this out, there are two types of ducks. 1) Dabbling ducks are the ones that stick their faces in the water and have their butts up in the air. They seem very buoyant and have smaller feet that are closer to the center of their body. This guy is a dabbler. 2) Diving ducks are the ones that fully disappear beneath the surface of the water and swim all the way to the bottom to eat. They have shorter legs and bigger feet, like these (all except the Mallard). Sea ducks are a whole other thing. So now you know something about types of ducks.

Projects a persona of tolerance and understanding, until you find something you disagree with him on
Values personal freedom very highly
Tries to play down his upper class background for 'cred'

female, male

Friday, November 11, 2016

Go Watch Planet Earth II (a recommendation with .gifs)

I've mentioned how much I love BBC nature docs, right? And their patron saint, Sir David Attenborough? Of course I have, because this blog is an honest and open place for sharing our passions. Well, in the midst of a year filled with bad news, the BBC gave us a gift. They dropped a brand new Planet Earth series on us almost over night, Beyonce style. Having now watched the first episode (Islands), I can heartily recommend it to you and declare it to be a winner. I don't think I've ever endorsed any kind of thing on this blog before, but buy this series (when you can). In the mean time I've taken it upon myself to give you a little preview in the way I know best- by making bird .gifs out of it.

Recommended use: When you see your best bro or gal for the first time in forever//when you have a complicated greeting ritual with someone
Recommended use: When you are feeling like an awkward third wheel//at a party where you don't know enough people
 Recommended use: After an epic fail of some kind
 Recommended use: Yoga//Instilling hope
Recommended use: When you're a crested penguin, just doing crested penguin things, that other, non-crested penguin beings just wouldn't understand

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Black-and-white Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler aka. Black-and-white Creeper (archaic)
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, Florida, USA
April 2016
Member of the Wood Warbler Family
§A Distinction of Warblers§

~true bird fact~ The warblers crawls and creeps up and down the trunks of trees unlike any other member of his family (hence his old name). He can do this because he's got an elongated back toe.. He's also unusually aggressive for a warbler, so don't even try to stop him from doing it.

Has an exotic and mysterious (but pleasant) smell
Loves esoteric collections (i.e. gas station signs, old coke bottles)
A little bit emotionally removed

Is that all for this blog? Well, I know what you're thinking and I'm not going to let you down. You're wondering what would black-and-white warbler look like if he were really black and white. Well, it might look.. a little something.. like this