Wednesday, March 16, 2011

With Mercurial Smile And Incurable Style


Clay-colored Robins/Thrushes are one of the commonest birds here.

Chickens. What is the deal? I know some of you are big on chickens, for reasons I don’t fully understand. They make eggs, which is pretty neat. Nom…nom nom. And I suppose they could be nice to have around…they’re a project of sorts, right? You have to make sure they’re comfortable, healthy, protected from predators, etc. And some people just really, really like chickens.

Well chicken-folk, you need to drop whatever you’re doing right now. I don’t care if you’re doing laundry or nursing a newborn. You need to go to Mexico. Mexico has a lot of chickens. They roam the streets freely. From my tall vantage point at Swainson’s Hawk Bird Observatory, I can see a lot of chickens. Everyone seems to have them. Next to the observatory there is a flock of chickens, two fuzzy and disproportioned Muscovy Ducklings, a couple turkeys and gaggles baby chickens and turklings scampering around. For the most part, they are all pretty quiet and I don’t mind them. What I don’t understand is the rooster that lives among them. For one, he is currently molting, and has been stricken hideous. His neck and most of his disfigured looking head is devoid of feathers. But the main thing is his call. As I mentioned before, we have a sizeable hole in the wall of our relatively unfortified bunker that is aimed directly at the fowl yard. When the rooster decides to crow, it is close, it is loud, and there is nothing between him and me. I normally wouldn’t mind this, but he and the other Chavarrillo cocks think that all night long is the appropriate time to be calling. Honestly now roosters….what the fuck is the point of this? You damn domesticated birds have it all screwed up…you are supposed to wake up when it’s light out. Now that I am a raptor man, the last thing I need to do is be up hours before sunrise…I need to squeeze in as much bunk time as possible between mosquito/flea/possibly also bedbug bites. Other than the bizarre asthetic of being woken up at an ungodly time of day, what is the point of having roosters other than making more chickens? Tell me, chicken people.


An unalluring photo of the alluring Band-backed Wren.

We have a number of Short-tailed Hawks around town that can usually be spotted kiting extremely high in the sky, then making long, spectacular plunges/drops onto their prey hundreds of feet below. I find myself hoping more and more that I will get to witness this happen to Neighbor Rooster…he could feed a whole family of Short-tailed Hawks.
Of course, that’s all pretty unlikely. But I hear his godawful voice every morning and I have to stare at his grotesque chicken neck every frakking day. Familiarity breeds contempt, and all that. I don’t actually spend that much time contemplating chickens…not that there is anything wrong with that.

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes, chickens, We had a similar situation in rural Thailand once. The biggest meanest and loudest cock had an obscene truncated call. The cock-a-doodle phrase had been shortened to a single syllable. We called him the F-U rooster, because that's exactly what he sounded like.

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