Tuesday, August 09, 2005

geocaches and bad tempered birds

bad tempered bird

K and I went geocaching again today, and came across this bird near the second cache we tried.

If anyone reading this knows, could you leave a comment and tell us what species it is? The sign on its enclosure didn't tell us what type of bird it was, except for a sternly worded warning that it was agressive, would bite, and should not be fed. I have to agree: this was the most bad-tempered bird I have ever come across. When he saw us walking into the field, he went straight into a wings up, hunched position, and came charging across to the fence. As long as we lingered near, he'd be prowling the perimeter, occasionally dragging his beak across the fence to make rattling noises as he walked (and suddenly every movie with a prison scene, and prisoners rattling cups across the bars, comes to mind). He even picked up a few twigs in his beak and snapped them to drive home the point that he was really, really mean. The photo isn't the best, but that's simply because he did such a good job of intimidating me that I flinched everytime he came near.

We found the cache that was hidden nearby, and I must say that I'm really grateful for caches like this: this one was within 3 km of where we live, and I would never have realised there was an animal sanctuary so close! The place feels distinctly rural (it's an ex-farm), and there are ducks, swans, what looked like a turkey, rabbits, a horse (very sad looking creature: took a photo and him, and he looked so depressing I couldn't bear to upload it), the abovementioned bad-tempered bird, and a few dogs. Needless to say, besides feeling quaint and country, it smelled beyond two shades of unbelievable.

Anyway, if anyone has any idea what the bird is (and let me summarise: about 1 metre tall when not hunched over and charging, black and white plumage, feathered ruff around neck, bald head except for straggly bits of hair, large beak, bad temper, cold, calculating eyes) do leave a note.

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4 comments:

fortycalibernap said...

Judging from the look of it, I'd say it's a Secretary Bird, native to the plains of Africa.

ampulets said...

This is a mad-uncle-of-a-cambridge-professor bird. That's what it looks like to me. What a strange suit of feathers!

Anonymous said...

It's a marabou stork.

Evelyn said...

What's a Secretary Bird and a Marabou Stork? Please provide full descriptions and references... It looks like a giant vulture to me.