May 24, 2010 by wcobserver
Special dispatch from the front lines of birddom
By Joseph C. Neal
I know everyone really wants to know how come the sparrows have taken over their bluebird box? Or maybe what you’re wondering about is how it is that bee martins (AKA, Eastern Kingbirds) ride on the backs of crows? Is it RRRRREALLY true that migrating hummingbirds cross the Gulf of Mexico on the backs of geese?
But this week I want to talk about some really BAD birds. The Worst Birds. WANTED! For Crimes Against Our Sensibilities. The Worst Birds. Where I want to start this tour of Worst Birds is with Canada Goose (Branta canadensis).
I can remember the days before this goose took a bad turn. We revered them for their musical honking as they flew over in long graceful “v”s. The goose-for-Christmas-dinner was a staple of pioneer lore. They were welcomed to our skies and we enjoyed seeming them out at the lake. It was a “rush in the house and tell momma” moment when a pair of Canadas landed on the farm pond and then built a nest. Those cute yellow goslings, following momma across the pond – can you remember back to when you were little and thrilled at that sight? What has happened since then is just a crying shame.
To begin with, it turns out those graceful Canadas of the overhead “v”s have a lazy streak about a mile wide. There’s just no place to laze like a golf course, and of course now and then they peck out a hole in the green. When it comes time to molt and replace the old feathers with new, the old goose just covers the green with white feathers. It’s a barrier to putts on the 7th hole, even if you aren’t Tiger Woods. And I haven’t even mentioned goose bowel movements.
You might want to tell the kids to stop reading here because I’ve got a little more to say that isn’t all that pleasant. The golfers for whom the course was built – and who pay all of the bills – have a very complex plumbing system with pipes and fancy pumps allowing their personal waste to secretly flow south for ultimate deposit in multi-million dollar sewer plants and hence, into Beaver Lake. Canadas, by contrast, leave their business right out there on the green. It is a nuisance to the golf-playing public. Not a pretty sight, either, an affront to those expensive homes built all along the golf course.
Trial lawyers representing geese will claim they were here first, that in fact they rode to safety in Noah’s Ark where there were no golfers (or at least the Holy Bible doesn’t mention Noah playing golf). And finally this: Fox has allegedly just reported that Rush said that Sarah claimed that President Obama and his allies the Democrats will replace the Bald Eagle as the National Bird with…you guessed it… the Canada Goose.
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