Thursday, May 28, 2009

the rock bird

Can you see the rock bird in the picture?
Well, it was just another work day in Miami at my job collecting environmental samples. These tasks would take me down various dirt roads to remote locations around the nuclear power plant. As I drove down the dirt road I spotted a small wounded bird in the road. I knew that it was wounded because it was holding one wing fanned out at a strange angle to the body, like a bird with a broken wing. I stopped my van and got out to see if I could help the poor bird. As I walked towards the bird it fluttered and wobbled away from me. I walked a bit more towards it and the bird did the same thing with its pitiful fluttering and wobbling and squawking. It just had to be in terrible pain. I immediately went to the biology department of the plant that was responsible for the wildlife of the plant to tell them of the wounded bird. I related to them in impassioned detail about the wounded bird. They told me that it was only a rock bird. These birds like to make their nests on the ground among small rocks or pebbles. Since they are on the ground they use the broken wing scenario as a ruse to lead predators away from the nest. They said that the eggs look exactly like rocks and are very difficult to spot. They were right as I saw these birds at various locations doing the same broken-wing maneuver. The birds also blend into the ground pretty well but I managed to get a picture of one sitting on her nest. Can you spot the bird in the picture above? She is sitting on her nest. Here is a little help below.

The wildlife was the best part of the job. And I learned a lot from the biologists and especially their foreman Glen. I miss my adventures in the wilds because I have a tendency to remember only the good things and not the bite of the mosquitoes, the intense heat, the high humidity, the bright sun, sinking in the mud, the crocodiles, and a whole bunch of more unpleasantries (is the spelling or word usage correct?). But the good definitely outweighed the bad and overall it was a really neat job. The best that I have ever had. Have a nice day. Lew

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