Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Big Easy

While in New Orleans this past weekend I was lucky enough to happen upon the rare and elusive, 'Patty O'Briens Hurricane Pigeon'! Fortunately, Daniel Chung was ready to get a shot with his iPhone camera - thanks for sharing the shot Dan. This mighty hunter has adapted to an environment of loud music, raucous humans - and thrives on dropped pieces of complimentary popcorn.

Also spotted on the trip, but not photographed were the recently separated species, 'Lucky Dog Cart Pigeon', and 'Days Old Pizza by the Slice Pigeon'.

Perhaps the most unusual species of all was seen just outside the hotel in the lush bamboo grove - known best by its Latin name; owlus plasticus.

Other individuals of that species had tragically passed and were found lying face down on the pavement - for the sake of the readers those images were not captured. Another individual of that species showed a remarkable survival strategy, it had apparently gone domestic and was touring the area with a group of young ladies, who would photograph it to document their progress. I knew of a penguin that had adapted to that 'roaming garden gnome' survival strategy years ago. That bird caught the eye of exotic bird traders and was left to an unknown fate, I can only hope this one fares better.
In all seriousness I had a great time in New Orleans, and didn't do a bit of serious birding or photography. I now have a Louisiana state list of three species - Rock Pigeon, House Sparrow, and Laughing Gull. Getting the chance to hang out with 14 plus friends who only get together once a year is a priority that at times has to take precedence. The New Orleans area deserves another trip where birds are the priority, and I hope to make that happen as well, sooner rather than later.

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