Friday, May 29, 2009

Florida Part 3: Of Kites and Other Oddities

Here is the final Florida installment. Living in Minnesota, one can't help but compare the differences in the birds that live and breed in Florida. Here are a few of my weird favorites.

I have always thought that Gotham City should reconsider and use the Magnificent Frigatebird as the Signal for the Caped Crusader. I suppose, though, that Frigatebird Man doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as Batman. And I suppose it would not be as feasible for Batman to find Magnificent Frigatebirds in the well to scare him onto the path of becoming the hero he is. Oh, well.

Crested Caracaras are another favorite. It's tough to just eat dead stuff and still look cool, but they pull it off with remarkable aplomb.

Okay, Swallowtail Kites really do travel with a chorus of angels to herald their apperances because I swear I hear them every time I run into these birds. They really are one of the sexiest things with feathers. Reier and I counted 15 - 15! - in all their Swallowtail Kite goodness over a field in Florida.

And then we have the Snail Kites - gotta love these guys, too. We ran into a family of adults and juveniles, the latter probably in the last few days of being able to hang with their parents. The male brought the female a lovely snail, and then commenced to woo her with a courtship flight that was pretty neat. He would fly up, tuck his wings, stall out, drop, and then start the pattern all over again. It was kind of like a drunken woodpecker flight, actually, just with more height.

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