Last night I went to Liberty to hear a lady from the Houston Audubon Society talk about bird migration. Which she did, with many slides, in the dark. It was very interesting. But my eyes were heavy.
When she finished her talk she called for lights. And then, behold, she lifted a covered birdcage from the floor and set in on a table. From the birdcage she drew forth a beautiful Purple Martin, name of Emilio. Seems Emilio smacked into a window as a youth and sustained brain damage. He can’t see, he can’t feed himself. But he can sing, like an angel.
After telling his story and giving us time to admire him, she put darling Emilio away and lifted a large box to the table. From this box she drew forth…a swallow-tailed kite. This creature had fallen from her nest as a baby, mangling herself, but surviving. She’s grown now. One wing is useless, she hasn’t got much of a swallow tail, she has zero coordination. But oh that sleek, noble, beautiful white head! Those fierce orange eyes! I was pleased to hear she shares quarters with a rescued Mississippi kite. An interspecies friendship.
After her story was fully told, back she went into her box. Another box even larger was hoisted to the tabletop. There was a great commotion going on inside it. The bird lady said it was this bird’s first time to be shown in public, and it could be a disaster, but she’d had a chat with the bird about proper behavior, so they were going to try it. Quoth the audience, “What kind of bird is it?” She wouldn’t tell. She opened the door of the box, struggled mightily with the creature, and brought forth … a turkey vulture. This we were not expecting!