The Birds!

Posted in Mixed Nuts on March 11th, 2010 by MadDog
No Gravatar

This morning I walked over to the Hotel Pretentious to get few more  shots of the Victoria Crowned Pigeons. There’s a story here – I’ll try to keep it short, since there are a lot of pictures in this post and I want to get to them.

But first, A Pub-like Pronouncement:  I’d been corresponding with a Facebook friend who appeared, from her profile, to be an accomplished painter. There was a compete info page and lots of nice photos. Yesterday I got an email from “her” (not going to give the name, in case she got hacked and she’s for real) saying that she was stranded in London and urgently requested me to send her money . . . well, just read the email . . .

Hope you get this on time, sorry I didn’t inform you about my trip in United kingdom, I’m presently in Surrey and am having some difficulties here because i misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and other valuable things were kept. presently i have limited access to internet, I will like you to assist me with a loan of £1,450 to sort-out my hotel bills and to get myself back home.

I have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively, I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with, I’ll Refund the money back to you as soon as i return, let me know if you can be of any help.

I don’t have a phone where i can be reached.   Please let me know immediately.

Suspicious to say the least! There’s the fractured English, the peculiar amount, the urgent appeal, the sincere promise – all the hallmarks of a scam. In this case there was also the “lady in distress” for which I am a born sucker (ladies take note). “She” had previously contacted me via Facebook message asking me to get some more images of the Victoria Crowned Pigeon so that shes could paint them!  Fantastic!

I snooped around in Google and found that this is the “London Facebook Scam”. It seems that (if I have my facts right) hackers (criminals – it’s nearly synonymous now) set up fake Facebook sites to make “friends” (suckers!) and then use various means to defraud them of their hard earned cash. Well, I didn’t fall for that  one! All traces of this Facebook “friend” have now vanished, except  for the messages in my message folder which , curiously, now show no URL link at the bottom of Firefox and are not underlined.

So, that being announced, let’s get to The Birds! I’ll bet there are one or two which you may never have seen. This one, however is familiar to almost everybody:

It is, of course, the Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua  galerita),  considered vermin in Australia. I’ve had several as pets. I get them at the market when they are very young, sometimes still covered with tree sap from their nests. They bond strongly with humans and are incredible mimics. Walking around with your Cockatoo on your shoulder is common enough here. Over time, they gradually wander more and more until you never see them again. It’s a little sad, but if you’re going to keep wild birds as pets, it seems the most responsible way to do so.

You’ve seen the Sulfur-Crested here before in The Cocaltoo That Loathed Rush Limbaugh.

Well, you’ve seen this outrageous, world’s largest pigeon here before, so regular readers will recognise the Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria): 

This one is pecking madly at a Star Fruit freshly fallen from the tree.

Here’s another fairly familiar bird, the Papuan Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus):

You’ve seen them here before in my post about the Balek Wildlife Sanctuary.

These are young individuals. The prominent horn on the upper beak is only now forming:

The eyes are startling.

This one is having a bad-hair day:

I haven’t had a good-hair day for a while.

I might be willing to place a small bet that you have never seen one of these:

It is a Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus),  sometimes known as the Vulturine Parrot.

It does present a rather menacing aspect. As I was shooting it, it moved toward me several times, trying to get it’s beak on my camera or my fingers, I’m not sure which:

I politely declined to allow that.

The image above may remind some long-time readers of of The Lorikeet From Hell in which I brutalised the Black-Capped Lorikeet (Lorius lory)  way back in September of 2008.

The resemblance is somewhat striking.

Okay, okay, I can hear you yawning from here. “Come on! Give me something I haven’t seen!”

Right! Never fear. IN YOUR FACE  – a Parrot Fight!

The pesky male Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus)  simply would not allow the giant, vulture-like black and red terror bird keep that tasty treat. It kept hounding the larger bird until it was worn down. It was a David and Goliath sort of thing.

If you find anything more interesting on the web today, please pass it along to me.

I’m bored. That usually means something dangerous is in the works.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Cockatoo that Loathed Rush Limbaugh

Posted in Humor on July 25th, 2009 by MadDog
No Gravatar

Out next door neighbours have a Sulfur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) named Wili  (Willie). He’s quite the charmer. Cockatoos are raucous, outrageous, in-your-face creatures. In the afternoons, after a hard day taming wild computers with a chair in one hand and a whip in the other, I love to sit in my favourite chair with a cold beer and a cheap cigar, pet my dog, Sheba, and listen to Wili  raving next door in his favourite tree:

Wili the Cockatoo

Here’s another shot of Wili  in his “modesty” or “hiding” pose. When Cockatoos feel uncertain, the pull their cheek feathers up over their beaks and do not make a sound:

Wili the Cockatoo

Cockatoos are neither always certain, nor always noisy. Hmmm . . .  Why does this make me think of Rush Limbaugh? Could it be because he is always  certain and always  noisy? I find this irritating. Apparently others do. I Googled “rush limbaugh” and “buffoon” and got 26,500 hits. Impressive. Lest this turn into an unsubstantiated personal attack on a famous public figure, I will make my usual feeble attempt at humour to soften the blows.

Years and years ago we had a Cockatoo named Sysgen. (Old timers in the computer game who used Digital Equipment’s iron will remember the command to initialise a system device.) Sysgen was simultaneously fascinated and enraged by newspapers (much like myself). All I had to do to whip him into a frenzy was put a newpaper on the floor and let him have at it. If I wanted a spectacular show, I could wad up a sheet and throw it at him. I can remember Eunie and I laughing until tears streamed down our cheeks.

Somehow, in the tangled circuitry of my mind, I connected Sysgen and my disdain for Rush Limbaugh. The result was this poster, which has hung on my wall for probably twenty years:

Sysgen - The Cockatoo that Loathed Rush Limbaugh

You can click to enlarge to read the captions if you like, or here they are:

Frame 1:  What’s this!  Rush Limbaugh is coming to town???

Frame 2:  Arrrrggggghhhhh !  I can’t STAND that guy!

Okay, I admit that I’m a leftie, so sue me. However, if you’re of a conservative bent I ask you quite frankly:  Aren’t you sometimes slightly embarrassed by dear old Rush?

SO, on to less controversial images. While I was taking the shots of Wili,  sweet Sheba was observing.

Our Sheba

Honestly, have you ever seen a prettier mongrel?

Tags: , , , ,