Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Birds of a Featherhead

A mass flocking of the global warbler was sighted in the environs of New York City recently. The warblers were preparing for their annual hibernation during the coming winter months and, as usual during such display rituals, were noticeably unrestrained and raucous. Estimates vary as to their actual numbers, from the mere thousands into the hundreds of thousands, although it was noted that the more partial to warblers the watcher was, the more inflated the report appeared to be. The peculiar stridency of the misnamed warbler, always an irritation and a nuisance to human ears, is reported to have been more pronounced and incessant than in past years, owing no doubt to the increasingly early onset of cold weather which the species finds so inhospitable to its own propagation.
     Fossorial?
The whereabouts of the warblers during the winter months remains one of ornithology's abiding mysteries. Some experts have theorized that the birds burrow into the ground well below the frost line in a deluded attempt to mimic the warmer zones of summer. As temperatures drop, the birds are forced to dig ever more deeply and desperately downward in their frantic quest for warming.
    Topsyturvial?
Others, however, argue that the hapless hiberphobes seek out a safe haven in the upper rafters of the UN building, hanging upside-down like a horde of bats from October to the end of March. This odd behaviour, conjectured to be a recent adaptation to an overabundance of unpredicted sensory data, accounts for the birds' strangely inverted perspective, evinced in their characteristic topsy-turvy flight patterns, when they finally emerge from their seasonal torpor with the first floods of spring.
    Muted Reaction
The Audubon Society has issued an advisement for those wishing to observe the warbler at this crucial juncture in its life cycle: Be sure to wear protective clothing against the species' disgusting habit of muting on and smearing anyone it identifies as a non-warbler. Eye protection is imperative, as the warbler always tries to blind any perceived threat with a vicious attack on the ocular sense. Its own limited vision is of course well documented and only adds to the hazards of conscientious field work.
     Endangering Species
Finally, enthusiasts are cautioned against ever approaching the warbler with a view, however well-intentioned or scientific, of actually communicating with our errant avian. This only incenses the poor creature all the more, sending it into a frenzy of paranoid rancour from which it may never fully recover.
     Pleasant birding!
      

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