Tuesday, May 03, 2005

birds in the news

Birds have been big news in recent days. They have brought color to dour newscasts and have given relief to those of us who still haven't figured out the media's obsession with all things Jacko.

The ivory billed woodpecker, long thought extinct as a result of the destruction of its natural habitat in the southern US, has reappeared. Diminished, precarious, but not GONE.

A true survivor's tale.

Ornithologists and nature lovers of lesser pedigree are thrilled with the discovery of conclusive evidence of the magnificent bird's survival, including a videotape of a close encounter. Definitely good news and a bit of proof that we can undo some of the damage we've done to Mother Nature.

We've all followed the drama of 'T-Bill' or, 'Duck Cheney', who decided that the Treasury Department front entrance was as good a place as any to sit on her nest egg. The little quackers hatched yesterday and were whisked away like any other family of celebrities to a more discreet location. The paparazzi were not entirely foiled, but neither did Momma Duck make any effort to hide her true identity.

'T-Bill' doesn't care who's watching.

Finally there's one other notable birdbrain that caught our attention this week. This specimen was thought extinct and became the object of an expensive search across the southern US. It was briefly spotted and then vanished. No one could fathom why she would fly the coop just before mating season was to officially begin. At long last this rare bird reappeared and showed surprise at all the attention, as if there were nothing strange about her migratory pattern.

She's back and her wings are temporarily clipped, but those close to her are now worried about the bill...

This bird is famous for the wrong reason...