Bird Watching Fail

Essays, Stories, Adventures, Dreams
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek



Bird Watching Fail



A story without a purpose, a story without a photo, a story devoid of observations—is not much of a story at all.  If the readers of these Chronicles of a Footloose Forester were expecting one of those “you just can’t make this stuff up” kind of chronicle, you would be disappointed.  Like the Seinfeld episodes, this drab reportage is a tale about nothing.  Nothing happened, nothing to see. But it could have been, and might be at a future date.  It would be an unbelievable yarn about black buzzards and turkey buzzards.


Yesterday on his way to church in golden sunshine and a cloudless sky, the Footloose Forester made a left turn on one of our residential roads and immediately noted that at least a dozen huge, black buzzards and turkey buzzards were perched in full sunlight on the roof of one of the houses.  Some people call them vultures. They were warming themselves in the early January sunshine. Buzzards roost around here all year long, in flocks that are sometimes small, and sometimes impressively large. So, seeing a buzzard or two is nothing noteworthy.  Except that there were about a dozen more buzzards on the roof of the next house, and about a dozen more on the third house along the street, and maybe a dozen more on the next house, and on the roof of the last house in the clearing before the tree line, yet a dozen or so more.  That would make 60 buzzards sunning themselves on a fine, cloudless day.  Would you believe it? 


Turkey Buzzard

With a firm belief in the periodicity of habits and movements of various animals, the Footloose Forester was hopeful that only 24 hours later and in a similar cloudless sky, he would be able to capture a video of the line of buzzard-occupied rooftops on that same street.  Nothing is so convincing as photo evidence to back up his story. 

But to his disappointment, not a single buzzard was in sight.  Let’s call it a bird-watching fail.  No dozens of buzzards on the rooftops, and no story this time around.  The good news is, the Footloose Forester knows that the buzzards prefer that street because he has seen them there in large numbers before and will see them again.  Next time he will have his smartphone ready to capture the evidence.


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