Sunday, March 29, 2009

End of Days

guest-posted by Armadillo Joe

I don't think it's one of the signs of the apocalypse, maybe it's one of the ancillary affects of hellfire and brimstone -- B. Hussein is our president afterall -- but upstate New York is having something of a problem with black vultures.

And they are vile, disgusting creatures.

The manlinest name on the inter-webs, Lance Mannion, reports from the front lines:
Their feathers were black, not brown. Their bald heads and bills were gray, not red and bone-white.

Passing through the next town, we came across more of them. These were prowling the side of the road and, closer up, I could see that, big as they were, they were smaller than turkey vultures, squatter too. They struck me as uglier and meaner-looking as well, although that might have been an effect of there being so many of them together, pooling their ugliness and meanness.

"What kind of birds are those, Dad?" the Mannion guys and their mother wanted to know, as if I am the unimpeachable source of all things ornithological, an idea they picked up from their old man's habit of showing off the little bird lore that he has memorized.

"Beats the hell out of me," I said. "Definitely not turkey vultures though, unless they're a rare subspecies that works the coal mines."

I think at least two of my passengers were impressed that I knew what turkey vultures looked like well enough to spot that these weren't turkey vultures. The third passenger just harrumphed knowingly and went back to reading her magazine.

We were on our way to visit Mom and Pop Mannion and as soon as we arrived I hopped on the internet and called up Cornell University's Ornithology Lab's website, All about Birds.

Yep. Definitely not turkey vultures.

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