Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Avian wonders from my childhood

My first review! courtesy of my sister Mary. Here's what she said about my new little blog:

"That’s just the cutest. It’s like looking at a newborn baby or something. I just love it.
Did you include the owl that tried to kill you – was that a great horned owl? What about Chacha lakas (sp?), pelican’s from SP Island, and the notorious RGV Big Bird with eyes like silver dollars?"

by way of explanation:
I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, in Raymondville, then in Harlingen, home of the RGV Birding Festival.

There was indeed a great horned owl that tried to kill me. When I was about five, my father knifed this owl while on a hunting trip--the owl was only stunned, though, and when Dad got home with it, the owl got up and came after me, flapping its great wings and terrifying me.

Chachalacas are a very loud, small turkey-sized bird common in the Valley--they literally scream "cha-cha-lac! cha-cha-lac" and the racket can be quite deafening.

A pelican at South Padre Island did indeed gulp its big mouth over my dad's entire arm once, when Daddy was fishing, and when we were kids (early 70s) an urban myth began to circulate about this giant bird in the Valley, and people took to calling it Big Bird. No facts on that one, unfortunately.

So--those facts are now on record, Mary. Somehow, I overcame these terrors and now I watch birds for amusement!

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