Wednesday, March 02, 2022

CoViD-19: White House Outlines COVID-19 Preparedness Plan | SD County 'Highly Recommends' Indoor Masks | J6 Committee Alleges Criminal Conspiracy For TFG | Attack On Ukraine Continues


Guam Kingfisher at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.2.22)

When you walk around the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park, each animal has a placard with the animal name, sometimes the scientific name, some factoid about it, and then a little bar on the bottom that tells you their status: stable, threatened, endangered. 

Today it was a busy Thursday and since we planned on Nova's game at 4:30 and Darren had his Safari Park interview at 3:15, I wandered around by myself for a couple hours before catching the bus to Hoover High. 

I never noticed this beautiful guy -- the Guam Kingfisher -- as he called out his captivating sequence of whistles, and his placard said "EXTINCT. This bird was native to Guam and after non-native brown tree snakes made it to the island, wiped out their population entirely, except for where they exist in zoos. I kind of became obsessed with it. Extinct means a whole new thing when you can see something that quite practically no longer exists. 

By sheer coincidence, I was whistling with my favorite gray parrot and a zoo ornithologist came by and let me ask him a million questions. He said there are breeding and reintroduction programs but the pandemic has made transporting animals nearly impossible. He also answered my questions about the turaco, his specialty, and the gray birds with the flamingos, which he called "the screamers." Yes, they lay eggs often he said, but the female is too old so they're never viable. 

But back to that little Guam Kingfisher. It was pretty powerful how thinking about this one little bird's extinction had me spiral thinking about mortality and climate change and this attack on Ukraine and well, I think we all know we're pretty well fucked. But on the bright side, maybe this little guy's plight can also give us a ray of hope. 

(In case you're wondering, Nova's team was short of a full squad, and got spanked by their opponents, though they played hard and were all smiles after their game.)

Stay safe out there.    

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