Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One more big bird

In Kodiak you keep sane during the winter wondering about things you guys in the lower 48 have no time to think about. Before you know it, you think it's worth studying.

One book I read was on identifying birds. They recommended you figure the size and weight of a bird you know and compare any new ones to those characteristics. Then you apply it's color scheme, beak, etc, etc, etc and figure out what it is.

So, while vacationing in the lower 48 and driving for miles and miles through the Southwest, I found myself comparing those birds to our Kodiak birds.

The lower 48 buzzards are interesting to me. A recent comparison chart on our blog showed that it is not really much less in wingspan than an eagle.

But why is it that every time a little wind comes up, those buzzards seem to suddenly loose their balance and tilt 15 - 30 degrees. Not so for our eagles; it takes a mighty gust to make them tilt much.

I've figured it out: they have a very slim trunk, compared to eagles...probably 1/3 their weight. And that explains why they get buffeted all over the place by a little wind!

Anyway, I know you are getting tired of our bird stories. So we'll leave that subject with 2 pics of one type of Kodiak seagulls.

If you have nothing else to do, try to figure out what kind of gull this is.

Look at the color on its legs and beak. Look at its size.

But, for me, its a pretty darn big compared to an 18 wheeler's tire.
Don't you agree?

Maybe next winter will be a good time to classify it further.

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