Friday, April 28, 2006

Bird Watching in Ottawa

It’s springtime and a sure sign of the season is the return of various migratory birds to Ottawa. Recent sightings include:

The Five-pointed Harper
A somewhat plump bird, the five-pointed harper is known for its rather bland yet odd markings. When spotted in southern climes, its breast sometimes features a down-filled covering. At home in Canada, it occasionally can be seen sporting a leather vest and a string tie but more often wears a plain blue suit. Easily identified by its rather annoying repetitive cry of "five points", "five points", "five points."

The Yellow-bellied Duceppe
Ornithologists have a difficult time classifying this exotic bird. Although often spotted at feeding stations in Ottawa, the yellow-bellied duceppe is thought to be native to Quebec. Its plaintive cry of "Quebec first", "Quebec first" belies its Canadian food source.

The Orange-throated Layton
Once listed on the endangered species list, the orange-throated layton has recently made a surprising comeback. Although its numbers in Ottawa are still somewhat sparse, its ability to sing different songs has allowed it to survive. Appears to thrive in a minority position where it can feed off other species.

The Mauvish Martin
For the first time in years, the mauvish martin has not been spotted in Ottawa. Long noted for its careful food surplus gathering, more recently this bird suffered from a fatal indecisiveness. Its protective ability to rapidly change color ultimately led to its downfall when it could no longer maintain a coherent position.

The American Ignatieff
Rarely seen in Canada for over thirty years, the American ignatieff has recently returned to its native land. Unlike most Ottawa birds, this unusual species does not sing in short repetitive bites. Rather, it warbles lengthy baroque arias with no discernible themes. When roosting, likes to position itself on the centre-left.

The Reversible Emerson
A rare bird indeed, the reversible emerson has the remarkable ability to instantly change its colorings. While wintering in its native British Columbia, it retained its gritty red markings. But on its return to Ottawa, it immediately changed to a bright tory blue. Known for its perpetual ministerial bearing.

The Snowy Manning
A longtime seasonal visitor to Ottawa, more recently the snowy manning migrated back to its native Alberta. Thought to have disappeared, its divisive call of "new party", "new party" can once again be heard throughout the western political nesting grounds. Prefers to feed on the carrion of other parties.

The Muted Cabinet
New to Ottawa, the muted cabinet travels in a flock of 27. Uniform in color and position, the muted cabinet is noted for its surprising inability to sing. Even when threatened by its natural enemies like the print and electronic media, it remains silent. Often looks to the five-pointed harper for protection.

No comments: