Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Birds......and Bees

"Too Much ?"
Birds of Paradise - they have it tough, don't they?

Firstly, they have the most unimaginative name in the world. That must of been a real brain storming session back at camp, the first time a naturalist caught one:
1st Naturalist: "This is a wonderful specimen - but I can't think of a suitable name for it"
2nd Naturalist: "What about 'The Bird of amazing coloured feathers'?"
1st Naturalist: "No - too long-winded."
2nd Naturalist: "Okay - how about 'The show-off Bird'?"
1st Naturalist: "No - that doesn't sound right"
3rd Naturalist (not paying attention to the other two): " You know, I love it here; the Sun, the incredible animals, the lush diversity of plant life - this really is Paradise."
1st & 2nd Naturalists (together): "Say that again....."

Why aren't more birds named via the same system - basically, where they were found? Why aren't Puffins called "Striped Beaked Cliff Birds"? Why aren't Penguins called "Ice Waiter Birds"? and why aren't Albatrosses called "How the hell should I know where it came from - we've been out at sea for six days, and it just showed up this morning!" Bird.
The majority of all other birds have a more exciting name - Eagle, Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk, Vulture etc. It's seems ironic that a bird with such beautiful plumage, should be given the Avian equivalent of the name "Neville". So it's got a rough deal on the name front if you ask me.

And it gets no better on the mating front. In order to find a mate, the Bird of Paradise puts out it's feathers in an incredible display, and does a dance. Check this out:

And after doing all that, it still isn't guaranteed to get a mate. Just imagine being a bloke in a nightclub, and every time a woman looks at you, you immediately start busting your best moves and flashing your most attractive smile. You only stop if she looks or moves away - but have to start again if another woman looks at you. Now imagine having to do that for hours and hours on end - and then imagine if, after all that effort, you still didn't get anywhere. You'd be so depressed! I reckon that there must be some wildlife footage of a Bird of Paradise where he starts his display, but then stops and says:
"Sod this for a game of soldiers - I sweating my arse off here! Look love, are you interested or what? 'cos if you aren't, I'm not wasting my energy. No? - well jog on then."

"Shit! I'm clashing!"

Bees don't have it easy either - which is a shame because they are one of the most happy-go-lucky insects out there. Bees don't buzz by the way - they Hum. Always in a good mood, they go about their business humming a happy tune. Of course, to our untrained ears it just sounds like one continuous buzzing.
Bees have it difficult in two ways: Firstly, they eventually wear their wings out so much that they fall out of the sky and have to spend their last few days crawling on the floor. As is the way of things, Bees never exactly know when this wing failure is going to happen - they are just flying along minding their own business when WHAM! they are spiraling down into a nosedive. Now, given the number of Bees in the world - over 25,000 species, each with millions of Bees - and given the fact that all they pretty much do is leave the hive in search of food, or return to the hive with food, surely there must be mounds of flightless bees milling about just beneath the entrance to their hive having just fallen out of the entrance on their way out, or have their wings fail them on re-entry?

How many Bees got up in the morning and said:
"Right lads - I'm off to get some food. I'll see you back here lat - AAAAAAAARRRRRGH!!!!"

Or how many were merrily returning from a good days food gathering when:
"Oh - there's the hive. Thank goodness - my pollen covered legs are weighing a ton. Never mind, soon be - shit! I'm going down! must...catch....thermal current.......keep.....nose up......dammit! I'm going down, I'm going down......mayday...mayday......."

Or something similar.

All I am saying is that based on the law of averages, this must happen. And anyway, they rarely make it to the wing falling off stage of life anyway, because many die - stinging people as a last resort. Oh yes, Bees don't sting for fun - you're thinking of the wasp. Wasps sting people just because they can; Bees sting people only if they have to. In fact, Bees would rather open a dialogue and talk the problem through, rather than resort to violence. Because they know that they will die as a result. And what is even more unfair is the fact that the recipient of the sting usually has only minor irritation from the sting. Only in cases of Anaphylactic shock, could there be danger. So the Bee stings a much larger creature in self defence and dies - it's only hope being that the "stingee" has a nasty reaction. That's like us being attacked by a blue whale with a taste for human flesh, and at the last moment, smearing our body in Peanut Butter in the hope that the whale has a nut allergy.

I have terrible feeling that I've written this before........definitely a case of "Blogja-vu".

If you have read this before, I apologise.

But not if you are reading this particular blog for the second time - you can't pull the wool over my eyes!!

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