Malkolm is cycling on! He is now cycling from Alaska to Washington DC, and then continuing on to the UN Climate Change conference in Cancun in December.
It all started with Bird Year, Malkolm and his parents' year-long, fossil-fuel-free journey in search of birds. Cycling a total of 13,133 miles (21,144 km), they identified 548 different bird species and raised more than $25,000 for bird conservation. Bird Year turned them into confirmed cyclists and taught them that climate change was more serious than they had thought.
In 2009, Malkolm biked from Whitehorse to Ottawa as a part of Pedal for the Planet: the project called for the Canadian Government to become a leader in the struggle to come to grips with climate change. The Harper Government did not even meet with the young cyclists.
Malkolm is now 18 and just finished high school. On August 24, he dipped his foot in the Pacific Ocean in Skagway, Alaska. Then headed up and over the White Pass to the Alaska Highway on his journey to Washington and on to Cancun.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Vulture Love (Wendy)

“Don’t you think Black Vultures have soulful eyes?” Ken asked. We were leaning over a railing at Anhinga Pond in the Everglades, looking down at a bulky black bird. It was so close I could see his chestnut brown eyes, set in the deeply wrinkled charcoal gray skin of his head and neck. When he blinked, a bluish membrane came up from below. He did have nice eyes.

I apologize that the description that follows is unashamedly anthropomorphic.

A larger vulture swooped down and landed right beside the first, so close their sides were touching. At this, the first raised his wings out to his sides. He puffed his chest, stretched and curved his neck and looked coyly towards the ground. In this position, he slowly walked in a small semicircle.

“This must be a courtship display”, I said.

I wondered if I should get my little point and shoot camera. We were so close I could have filled the full frame. I didn’t, though. It seemed impolite.

Back facing the other bird, he jumped on her back. Their tail feathers ruffled and nestled together. The male gently pecked at the female’s neck. After ten seconds or so, he moved to stand on her shoulders, and stepped around a bit. Maybe he was giving her a back rub. He held his shoulders and head high. He seemed pleased with himself.

“Maybe those were not soulful eyes, “I said. “Maybe they were bedroom eyes.”


patricia said...

i am amazed of the picture you took. how did get to take the picture so near. I tried so many times to take a quality picture but I just couldn't do it.and yes, indeed such a soulful eyes.

Bird Year said...

Hi Patricia -
Malkolm took the photo. He has a digital Canon camera with a 400 mm lens. That bird was at Manatee Springs State Park, near a boardwalk, probably 20 feet away. He gets great shots, but he spends HOURS taking photos! - Wendy