Monday, February 20, 2006

A CACOPHONY OF CURIOUS CURSES


Or, let the feathers fly where they may!

Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D. , a Pretty Heavy-Duty amateur ornithologist (a.k.a brown-nosing bird-watcher) with a keen interest in 'big birds' of all kinds…but generally prefer to keep the company of frequent-flying red-heads if at all possible!




Some have described today’s workplace as an overcrowded cube-farm. I prefer to call it an awesome aviary filled with all manner of bodacious birds. Although, if truth be told, some of those warm-blooded winged creatures bear a striking resemblance to an ugly duckling, a motor-mouth mynah bird, and even an extinct species like the infamous dodo bird.

Since “birds of a feather flock together”, it behooves members of the 'wing-it' community (or wingnut command), whichever the case may be, to identify the various fowl-weather fiends or friends who share the same high-spirited, high-and-mighty, or in some cases possibly a hellishly helter-skelter habitat.

To find an appropriate loony label to hang on those bodacious bipeds inhabiting your big birdhouse, follow the instructions given below.

Step 1: Preen and screen. Get out your pen and paper, (that way you'll look breathtakingly busy when you're answering the following questions). Now put on your dunce cap and figure out who fits into what categories.
  • Who enjoys fouling your nest on a regular basis?
  • Which cockamammie character likes ruling the roost?
  • Who seems to have a knack for perching on anything or anyone just for the heck of it?
  • Do you have any “fly-by-night” types schlepping around your bird-cage?
  • Which one has a nose for odiferous things?…yup that “bird dog”!
  • Is there anyone who eats like bird at home but eats like horse when you're paying the bill?
  • Know someone who's a tad "bird-brained" or better yet simply, “for the birds”?
  • Have you ever had a "bird in the hand that's worth two in the bush?"


Step 2: Select the appropriate names from the list of bird types below that best describe your fowl friends and/or foes:

A: American Coot, Anis, auk, awk


B: Babbler (Less Orange-Footed), Bananaquit, Bare-Throated Bellbird, Bittern, Bobolink, Bonaparte, Booby (Blue-Footed or Masked), Boubou, Brambling, Brown Thrasher, Budgerigars, Bufflehead, Bullfinch, Bustard, Buzzard (Honey or Turkey)


C: Canary, Capon, Cassowary, Catbird, Chat, Chickadee, Cockerel (Red Jungle Fowl), Cockatoo, Common Loon, Common Raven, Condor, Coot, Cow Bird, Crake, Crane (Whooping), Creeper, Crossbill, Cuckoo, Curlew


D: Dalmatian Pelican, Doctor Bird, Dipper, Dotterel, Dovelet, Drongo, Dunkadoo, Dunlin


E: Egret, Eider Merganser, Elephant Bird (Extinct), Empid, Emu


F: Fantail (Piwakawaka) Flycatcher, Frigatebird (also known as a "Weather Bird"), Frowl


G: Gadwall, Gang-Gang Cockatoo, Gannet, Godwit, Goatsucker, Goosander, Goshawk, Great Bustard, Great Horned Owl, Grey-Faced Buzzard Eagle, Gull


H: Harpy Eagle, Helmeted Honeyeater, Hermit Thrush, Hoatzin, Hoopoe, Hornbill (Wrinkled), Howlet


I: Ibis


J: Jackdaw, Jungle Fowl

K: Kakapo, Keel-Billed Toucan, Kiskadee, Kingfisher (Kookaburra), Kite, Kiwi


L: Lapwing, Lark (Meadow), Larkspur, Laughing Gull, Limpkin, Linnet, Little Bustard, Longspur, Loom, Loon, Lorry, Lyre Bird


M: Macaw (Scarlet), Magpie, Merlin, Mockingbird, Monkey Eating Eagle, Moa (Extinct), Moorhen, Mourning Dove, Mudhen, Mute Swan, Mynah


N: Noddy, Nightingale, Nutcracker, Nuthatch, Nuthatcher


O: Oil Bird, Old Squaw, Oriole, Osprey, Ostrich, Ovenbird, Owl (Hooting or Screech), Oystercatcher, Oxbird


P: Palm Chat, Parakeet, Parrot, Parson Bird, Peafowl, Peewit, Pelican, Pewee, Phalarope, Pintail, Pipit, Plotopterid, Plover, Pochard, Poor-Wills, Ptarmigans, Puffins


Q: Quail (Bobwhite), Quetzal


R: Rail, Raptor, Raven, Redhead, Redpoll, Rhea, Rhinocerous Hornbill, Rifleman, Roadrunner, Roller, Rook, Rosella, Ruff, Rump


S: Sanderling, Sandpiper, Scarlet Ibis, Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher, Scoter, Seafowl, Sea-gull, Secretary Bird, Seedeater, Shearwater, Shoveller, Shrike (Butcher-bird or Loggerhead), Shitespoke, Silly Flycatcher, Skimmer, Smew, Solitary Bird, Snake Bird, Snipe, Sora, Spoonbill, Spotted Flycatcher, Starling, Stid, Stork, Swallow (Grasshopper), Swan (Black or Trumpeter), Swift, Surfbird


T: Thrush, Tit (Blue or Marsh), Titmouse, Twite


V: Vireos (Red-Eyed), Vulture (Turkey)


W: Wader, Wagtail (Grey), Warbler, Water Ouzel, Waterthrush, Waxwing, Wheatear, Whippoorwill, Widgeon, Wildfowl, Wirebird, Woodcock, Wood Duck, Woodpecker (Latter backed, Logcock or Pileated), Wren


Y: Yellowhammer (or Yellow-Shafter Flicker), Yellowlegs (Greater or Lesser).

Step 3: Having identified your favorite frequent-flying feathered folk …feel free to cackle, cachinnate, or perhaps casually curse them to your heart’s content.

Note: For best results, use your nifty new nicknames under your breath, other wise you may be kicked out of that cute columbary faster than you can count to three!

__________

For those barmy bird-watchers in the audience, please consult this little gem for more in-depth information about bleeping bird-names http://www.nzbirds.com/more/national.html

Those interested in weird or wonky birds that have a hard time getting off the ground should probably take a pee-break and drop by Project Ornithopter, an aircraft designed to derive its chief support and propulsion from flapping wings http://www.ornithopter.net/.

And for those winged winos out there, why not try a rich Riesling such as Lingelfelder 2003 Riesling "Bird Label" http://www.lingenfelder.com/creatures/bird-label.htm


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