John and I took Luke for a walk on Siesta Key this morning. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach anymore, but there are places to walk by the beach where they used to be welcome. While walking, we caught a Snowy Egret sneaking up to a bait bucket.I missed the picture of the egret beak and body-deep in the bucket because the fisherman interrupted. He’s not casting his net; he’s chasing after the bird, fists flying. There was not one bit of that Southern boy shouting, “I’m gonna bring mah gun out next time,” that found humor in that situation. Still, John and I thought it was hilarious and John even more so when I started taking the kid’s picture as he was storming down the beach…anything for the blog.
The birding continued at the Sun Coast Exotic Bird Fair, an unexpectedly great assignment from the newspaper. I truly haven’t been so excited about birds since I was a kid and learned to feed our pet macaw a peanut from my mouth. Although the macaw was exotic and colorful, our canary was yellow and the cockatiel white.
But today’s birds are like comparing the toys you grew up with to the toys your kids play with–from Atari to Xbox but with birds. There are a dozen different colors of parakeets–pink, purple, turquoise–name a color and there’s a feather to match.
The birds were from all over the world–Australia, Africa and South America–all colorful and gorgeous, but the funny birds were the babies. One vendor brought newly hatched macaws. There were four or five that had all been hatched within the past few months, one only nine days ago. They kept squawking and spreading their wings. The nine-day old in particular was feisty. It’s little head kept bobbing up at me, squawking at every other bob. It was so cute and funny, and with barely any feathers, it gave off such bravado that it seemed like it would fly any second. At one point, I actually confirmed with the vendor that it wouldn’t. You have to visit the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for a picture of that little bugger; mine were blurred from the bobbing head.