Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Peacock strut

I haven't seen this kind of book before. I admit it was intriguing, in a Sherlock Holmes kind of way. This is a field guide (if you can call it that) to bird tracks and various signs of bird presence. How does an apple or pear look like after being pecked by a Blackbird? How do cones stripped by a crossbill look like? How do you tell the difference between pellets á la Mammalia and ditto á la Dinosauria, pardon, Aves? There is a large chapter on feathers, which include those of peacocks, guinea fowls and other introduced birds. Figures, I'm often attacked by peacocks in city parks after dark, so it could be good to know when *they* are around! The final chapter deals with skulls, and is the spookiest in the entire books. If militant vegans ever outlaw bird killing, I suppose Scotland Yard would have to order this volume to ascertain the identity of the victim… “This parrot (or peacock) is quite dead”.

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