Archive for the ‘avian’ category

America’s Best Eyeglasses Owl…

January 24, 2016

Owls have always had a popular following, representing as they do wisdom, knowledge, and learning.  Their popularity may have been further bolstered by their use in the Harry Potter books and movies.  

Recently an articulate and fine specimen has emerged as a spokesman for the America’s Best Eyeglasses line, suitably bespectacled and able to model different frames simply by an uncanny rotation of his head. The owl himself is both wise and extraordinarily expressive, with a lot of eye and other facial movement. He is further able to cast the hapless human into mimicking the usual owl role, reducing them to single-word utterances of “who?” as he elaborates on virtues of the eyewear company.

If Harry Potter had an owl of this caliber at his side, it might have been easier for him to take on Voldemort…

When Turkeys Attack!

November 27, 2014


The Destination America channel treated us to some strange, tongue-in-cheek fare the evening before Thanksgiving with a special styled somewhat like numerous others airing on that network, and called “When Turkeys Attack!”  The show used home video footage depicting wild turkeys chasing children, grandmothers, and grown men; one chased and kept up with a bicyclist for a short distance, while others attacked mail delivery vehicles in a territorial frenzy.

Now wild turkeys should be distinguished from domesticated turkeys genetically engineered to be walking hunks of meat; these are the descendants of theropods, a carnivorous dinosaur.  A wild tom turkey can stand about waist high on a human, and can drop kick you in the head.  This could be a bad encounter as the males have razor sharp spurs on the back of their legs that are 1-1/2″ – 2″ long.  They can flog you with their wings.  Turkeys will try to strike at your head, have acute hearing, and can read subtle behavior rather well.

How then does one defend against a wild turkey attack?  It was suggested that you don’t run and flee from them, but rather try to put a physical object between yourself and the offending turkey.  Don’t try to fend one off with a flipped jacket, which they may interpret as an invitation to attack. Cover your head, and try to kick at them.  In the words of one expert, “Some turkeys are territorial, some defend their women, some are just crazy!”  

Verizon’s “More Birds” Commercial…

August 17, 2014



People who seek to lure birds can sometimes get too much of a good thing…or so seems to be the underlying message of a recent Verizon commercial, More Birds.  “There’s good more, and there’s not so good more,” intones the announcer.  Hubby is outside while the wife is inside, plinking away on a computer tablet and happy that she’s accumulating  Verizon bonus rewards points.  

“Honey, look!  I got one to light on me!,” babbles the guy to his largely-oblivious wife as a small bird lands on his extended arm.  “Uh huh,” notes the wife.  “You’ve got a buddy!,” says the guy as a second bird lands on his other extended arm.  While the woman continues to be completely involved with her Verizon bonus rewards points, birds continue to land on the man’s extended arms.  “I’m like a statue!,” he intones, not wishing to scare them away. Trouble is, the birds continue to come, including an owl; things are getting out of hand.  The last bird to come appears to be a large bird of prey, and it grabs the guy from behind, literally carrying him away with his work.  The woman either doesn’t notice, or perhaps doesn’t care.  Familiarity breeds contempt, after all.

Perhaps Alfred Hitchcock was onto something in his classic thriller, The Birds.  Then in mythology we also have tales of the giant Roc, said to be large enough to carry cattle and even elephants away.  At the very least, birds can poop on you and your newly-washed car, which is horrible enough…


Snallygaster of Preston County…

June 22, 2014

wpid-1403393359636.jpgWest Virginia continues to be a hotbed of unknown species with the Snallygaster   (S2/Ep11, 2014), said to be a huge, flying reptile with a twenty-foot wingspan that weighs in at about 800 pounds.  First seen in the mid-1700’s, the Snallygaster was known to German immigrants. Multiple sightings occurred in more recent times in the 1990’s.

 The Mountain Monsters team first interviewed an eyewitness, “Bub,” a trapper whose coyote traps were being robbed of their catch and ripped from the ground.  “Bub” reported hearing a loud screech and beholding something about 7′ tall with a beak.  Their first night’s investigation followed, with area coyotes appearing stirred up and parts of “Bub’s” traps found.  Noises were heard up high, and fearing aerial attack the team took refuge under logs, vacating the scene thereafter.  

A second eyewitness, “Ty,” was interviewed the following day.  This squirrel hunter reported that one of his dogs was slain by something unknown, finding the animal dead with a puncture wound.  He had set up a trail camera, sharing two images which seemed to show something on the ground with wings.  A third eyewitness, “Mark,” a farmer, reported hearing coyotes fighting with the creature near his farm.  Remarkably, “Mark” also presented a large fractured egg, said to be one of the Snallygaster’s.  Speculated then was a scenario where the coyotes had stolen the eggs of the Snallygaster, causing it to essentially go to war with coyote-kind.  The coyotes needed a champion, and Wile E. Coyote was nowhere to be seen.  

A reverse catapult trap to catch the flying reptile had originally been designed, but the box component of it proved too heavy to support aloft, resulting in the team resorting to a simpler box trap.  On their final night’s hunt, the team as was their usual practice split into two groups to flush the beastie towards their trap.  They saw two sets of eyes in the darkness, suggesting that there were at least two of the creatures.  One of the team groups found a ground nest with a deer leg in it; they radioed the other team members, and fearing attack took refuge jointly in an old cabin. In a scene reminiscent of the original Night of the Living Dead movie, the united AIMS team was put under attack (or so it was presented) in their cabin refuge, with impact thumps heard to the roof and walls.  Feeling themselves to be sitting ducks in the cabin, the team members fled the location, taking off down the mountain in their all-terrain vehicles while apparently under pursuit for part of the distance by presumably the Snallygasters.  The dragon-like beasts abandoned their pursuit of the humans when they were partway down the mountain, possibly feeling that they weren’t worth their time…


Flying Humanoid, Jersey Devil, Batsquatch…

February 27, 2014


– – “Things that fly” might have been considered the unifying theme of a recent Monsters & Mysteries in America episode, one in which the segments again considered content previously aired on such shows as MonsterQuest, with Batsquatch essentially a rehash of a segment already done by Monsters & Mysteries itself.

Now Flying Humanoids have been reported dozens of times, both from across the United States and elsewhere. The occurrences reported on here, however, transpired in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri in Turkey Creek. Two bothers reported that in July of 1998, they had been looking for “a bit of adventure” when an unknown flying fiend was powerful enough to lift their vehicle slightly off the ground and shake it. The humanoid is reported to be tall and hairless, having red eyes and a great wingspan. Brothers Ed and Danny Overton reported that a humanoid flew at their car, causing it to go into a tree. Dan Overton returned to the Turkey Creek area in 2010, where he observed a freshly-dug cave, and heard the growl and sound of something large coming through the woods. Drag mark scrapes were seen, and tree limbs were broken and dropped around them. The humanoid was reportedly seen and pursued, but took off and subsequently disappeared.

The Jersey Devil is a classic cryptid native to the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey with a back story going to 1735 when a Mother Leeds gave birth to an unwanted 13th child and cursed it, wishing for it to be a devil. Be careful what you wish for, as they say, for Mother Leeds reportedly birthed something with the head of a horse, red eyes, and the wings of a bat that grew to be about the size of a small elephant. Considerable hysteria over the creature was reported in 1909, and in more recent times times Paul Pedersen Jr. encountered the devil as a child in 1963 while babysitting his sister at home. Hearing something hopping up the cellar steps, young Pedersen and his sister ran to the front yard to await the return of their father, who found the basement trashed, and removed a coal chute through which it was figured something had gained access to the house. Even more recently in 2008 a woman and her boyfriend while in a car heard screeches and the flapping of wings. Something then hit the top of their car, which was dented as a result.

The last segment of the episode was a recap of the Batsquatch sightings in the Rio Grande Valley area in 1976, with attacks having been reported in Raymondsville and also Hidalgo County near Houston. Please reference the earlier Sheepsquatch, Batsquatch, and Sasquatch post for additional information if desired…

Doritos Breakroom Ostrich…

February 4, 2014

doritos ostrich

The 2014 Superbowl was not especially memorable for either football or commercials, but the Doritos ad featuring an ostrich was cute.  The  short spot began with an office boss dressing down two employees for eating all of the Doritos in the breakroom, plus making an awful mess.  One of the two employees just so happens to be be a full-sized ostrich…

…the crime scene itself is then recreated, as we are shown the balding male employee scarfing down every Dorito in sight, and indeed making quite a mess in the process; he would seem from the wrappers to prefer the nacho flavor variety.  The ostrich appears in the doorway and observes the spectacle, casting a disapproving gaze and then backing out; the man says nothing.  When the boss is then confronting the duo and telling them that the offense has been narrowed down to one of them, the human shamelessly says that the ostrich is “obviously” the culprit, at which point the ostrich does a memorable and wide-mouthed gasp!  Obviously, some humans are capable of anything

…and darned if I don’t have an incredible desire to eat some Doritos right now, although I prefer the ranch flavor…ranch, Mmm!

Sears Black Friday Commercial, “Turkey Chase”

November 28, 2013

turkey chase– –  “Get in the bag!- – Get in the bag!,” cries the Denskies’ Dad, a would-be turkey pursuer to an agitated and very mobile turkey, which readily keeps ahead of the hapless hunter.  So intent is Mr. Denskie at bagging the bird that he is oblivious to a number of trees looming in the immediate vicinity, soon colliding with one of the massive trunks and getting knocked out cold.  The turkey escapes, none the worse for the wear. – – So who’s the real bird brain here?!

We haven’t seen a hunter this inept since Elmer Fudd, and Sears is bringing us this reminder of their Black Friday sales as a better way to save money than hunting your own wild turkey, most of which bear little relationship anymore to what’s being sold in supermarkets…and a happy holiday to all of you!