Although it wasn’t a windy day, a pelican out in the water was having difficulty keeping her balance as she scratched her head. I laughed at her as she kept adjusting her wings to stay balanced.
Breathing is overrated, anyway.
The pelican who had been frightened away from the Log of Status was out stomping through the water. She tried to take off but was unable to do so successfully and floundered before getting back on her feet again.
Fuck this “walking” thing; it takes too damned long. I’m gonna swim!
She eventually made her way closer to shore, stopped, and began to preen.
But Mom, I’m only going to be out playing for a little while. Do I really have to wear five sweaters?
I CAN’T PUT MY WINGS DOWN!
The pelican who had successfully challenged her for the Queen of the Log position had just made a startling discovery.
Did this come out of me?
Here she resembles a Willie Stark–like politician soaking up the introductory applause before she begins a good ol’ rabble-rousin’ speech.
And now the Queen will do her imitation of her stuffy, out-of-it, non-populist political opponent.
Further out past the Queen of the Log log, pelicans who were lackadaisically hunting found some trash to play with. The younger bird seemed to enjoy swimming with the paper in her pouch, which I’ve seen a lot of birds doing when they are playing with trash out in the water.
Who said I would have to eat my words?
Then there were the soda bottle pelicans.
First there was only one, who kept trying over and over and over again to pick up the bottle. Her attempts attracted a nearby pelican to also investigate.
Come play with us, pelicansrulegullsdrool. Forever, and ever, and ever.
The second pelican managed to get a hold of the bottle by floating it into her pouch.
Luckily for the first pelican, the second pelican’s success was short lived.
Maria, I was here first! C’mon, give me a turn!
The first pelican’s luck abruptly changed, and she was able to take possession of the bottle.
How the hell do humans drink out of this thing?!
OH NO IT DISAPPEARED!
Both pelicans searched for the bottle again, but after several seconds the second pelican got bored and started to swim away. The first pelican was able to retrieve the bottle one last time and even tried to toss it into the air from her pouch, despite its weight.
Another bird tried to play with an old beer can. I think it might have been the same bird who was playing with the paper, but I don’t have any way to verify my belief.
What else was going on?
Lillian decided that Constance and Taliah’s interpretation of Biff’s final confrontation with his father Willie was too dour and needed a burlesque striptease to liven it up.
Then I saw some action, but surprisingly, it wasn’t on the Queen of the Log log.
If there is a pelican equivalent for “looking down one’s nose” at someone, the bird who retained her position is totally embodying it.
The first pelican who had been playing with the soda bottle wandered off and had a good flap.
Constance, Taliah, can I join your theater group? Watch this: “Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” Am I in, or am I in?
On the 15th I had noticed a new bird with a red wing tag. Based on the color and shape of the tag, I figured that she was from the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho—I had seen a pelican the past year with a tag the same color and shape who turned out to be from there. The problem was that I could only see two characters on the bird’s tag: 5J. There were three characters on the tag of the bird I’d seen the year before. The tag seemed to be tucked under the bird’s wing, and I just couldn’t read if there was another character. I hoped the bird would flap so that maybe the action would let the tag swing freely and I’d be able to read the whole code.
She grew up in a Minidoka town, had an egg-layin’ Mama, who hunted all around. But she grew up tall, and she grew up white, with those Minidoka birds on a Minidoka night.
5J1 did indeed originate from Minidoka. She was a second-year bird, hatched in 2013.
She flew down here, at an age before 3. She blew the birds away, was more than they’d seen.
At some point in time the Queen of the Log log had been vacated. Although I hadn’t seen the bird leave, I did see when a new bird arrived.
When I left to go home, I noticed a cute little squirrel hanging around near the dock. She would stand up to reach a plant stalk, drag it to the ground, and nibble on whatever seeds or leaves that she liked.
The next post or two will probably not be about pelicans to give myself and any readers a break, and then I will resume posting about the Migration Madness.