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Friday, June 5, 2015

Our National Bird



Good old Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. I can't help but wonder how our history would be different if he'd gotten his way. Now don't confuse the domestic turkey with its wild cousin. The wild turkey is a clever bird that knows how to stay out of trouble.

Instead we got the American Bald Eagle. Sure, it's a pretty bird, but it's not exactly a noble bird. We like to think of them soaring in the air with majestic mountains in the background. Now imagine them picking up road kill, stealing fish from osprey, and hanging around dumpsters. Yesterday I had one try to fly off with the string of freshly caught fish I had in my boat. Nasty thief.

Maybe that's why I don't call them Eagles. I call them white headed vultures. As the Bard once said, what's in a name? A whole lot, I'm guessing. If we called squirrels fluffy tailed tree rats we wouldn't be so fond of them.

But I digress.

Symbols are important to people. The idea of Eagle is more popular than the reality. Maybe if Ben had gotten his way we Americans might not be quite so full of ourselves. Then again, we'd probably idolize the turkey and picture it soaring with majestic mountains in the background.

-Sixbears

9 comments:

  1. It's hard to fly like an eagle when you are gobbling around like a turkey...

    or something like that..!

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    1. Sacred cows make the best burgers.

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  2. Our national bird is the flightless Kiwi. They had been nearing extinction but they are now maintaining their numbers. Very few, perhaps ten percent of the population of New Zealand has ever seen one...

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    1. If it wasn't the national bird it might have been wiped out by now.

      Actually, I'm glad to eagles around here again, in spite of their nasty habits. There were few around when I was a little kid but then pesticides killed them off. For decades there were none around, so I was excited to see them return. It's a sign that there's hope we can fix things in the natural world.

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  3. maybe if the South is able to secede this time we could have a more sensible choice of Southern national bird?

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    1. Turkey Buzzard? A graceful flyer that provides a useful service?

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  4. Hey, if you ever hunted wild turkey, you know they can fly quite well, run very fast, and are alert to any danger. Probably a better choice than the Bald Eagle who is mostly a scavenger.

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    1. Pay attention everybody, Dizzy gets it.

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    2. The Bald Eagle is lazy and belligerent and would rather steal from its neighbor than get its own food?

      Sounds to me like they got it right....

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