Wednesday, August 02, 2006

ucutz il chican (Ocellated Turkey)

Inspired by Nutbuk's compilation of her photos of Hawaiian bird visitors to an awesome tree in her yard, my previous post on backpack packing, and my recent walk down Mill Creek with Mr. Loom Sleyer who spotted a bizillion killdeer and kingfishers, I couldn't help but to see if I could locate my all-time-favorite bird photo.

I shot this ocellated turkey while on my backback's inaugural trip. The turkey was poking around in the garbage dump at Chan Chich with its friends. I love that it's staring right at the Corn Flakes rooster. I didn't notice that until I had the photo developed. I just wanted a close up of this beautiful bird.

I'd better get to work on my Dissertation so that I can get those three little letters behind my name so that I will be officially qualified to get a tenure-track job to pay for future travels to places like Chan Chich!

Here's another from my
Animals in Trash series:

I think coatis look like lemurs.

From a distance in a dark jungle when you're tripping on anti-malarial pills they also look like miniature brontosaurs.**

By the way, the world's greatest lemur is discussed here.

If you really want to study captive lemurs, here's the place to be: The Lemur Center at Duke University.

**Did you know:

As late as 1989, the U.S. Post Office issued four dinosaur stamps, Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Pteradon (sic!) and Brontosaurus, for which it was accused, amongst other things, of "fostering scientific illiteracy." The Post Office defended itself (in Postal Bulletin 21744) thus:

1989 US Postage stamp featuring the Brontosaurus
1989 US Postage stamp featuring the Brontosaurus
Although now recognized by the scientific community as Apatosaurus, the name "Brontosaurus" was used for the stamp because it is more familiar to the general population.
Stephen Jay Gould supports this position in his essay "Bully for Brontosaurus", echoing Riggs' original argument that "Brontosaurus" is merely a synonym for "Apatosaurus".


Nutbuk Ug Bulpin said...

Isn't it illegal for those animals to hang around people's trash? It would be bad for them to get sick!

Holly said...

I don't know what the laws are in Belize and Guatemala where I snapped the photos, but I agree. When animals eat trash, they are bound to get sick.

In some parts of Africa baboons have found out where humans dump trash so they naturally flock to the easy pickings. It turns out these garbage-eating baboons have heart disease and diabetes at much higher rates than non-garbage grubbing baboons.

Seagulls flock to open-air landfills in some places in the U.S. Air cannons are deployed to frighten the birds away.

Some countries deal with the problem of garbage-eating animals by poisoning the area which is not only an ineffective long term solution but is also immoral in my opinion.

I think the only real solution for humans to prevent other animals from getting sick from our refuse is to reduse the amoount of grabage we make and secure it so that animals can't get to it.

Obviously the lodge I stayed at in Belize (Chan Chich) still had to figure that out back in 1999 when I was there. It's been a while, so maybe they have changed the way they dispose trash.