Saturday, December 03, 2005
Let’s talk about Sheathbills. These very cool but gross birds are hated by a lot of people down here, especially the “birders”. Birders are the people who are down here to study the lifecycles of the birds and penguins. The problem with these birds is that they are fearless and disgusting all at once. I have really liked these birds up until today when I found out where they got their nickname. Today there was too much ice in the bay to set our Zodiacs in at our regular launch so we had to put in on the other side next to our outflow. This is a place that we all avoid at all costs. Well there were about ten “S!$@ Chickens” picking debris out of the water and eating it. Yes, it was totally gross. So the reason that people hate these birds is that they will not leave us alone. They will dive-bomb us, hover over us or just plain follow, looking for us to drop something. And knowing the kind of places that they hang out in you don’t want any part of them touching you. These scavengers are also known as the preening crew for the elephant seals; they clear the nostrils of these huge beasts. Yep, gross animals. I have a different view of them now.