More data: talking turkey

Subject: More data: talking turkey
From: Con Boekel <>
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2008 12:33:35 +1100
I would hesitate before pair dancing the Charleston with the bird on the
left. A claw on the left leg appears to be being lifted off the branch
by a claw on the right foot. An anthropomorph would be tempted to point
out that the down-at-the-mouth look on the bird's face shows that the
bird knows it has joined claws, knows it looks silly, and is about to
try to resolve the awkward situation by seeing if its wings will work

Geoffrey Dabb wrote:

Just a further word on this, as there are a lot of these spectacular
birds in the local area at the moment. The complete bird is on the
left. They are pretty good tree-perchers, equipped with sharp claws
for the purpose. When they move along a slender branch, they need to
turn those great feet inwards, as here. The effect is rather of a bird
performing the Charleston. I wouldn’t expect everyone on this chatline
to know what a Charleston is, not that I can do it myself although my
wife is quite good at it. Ask your parents, or maybe grandparents, if
you want to know. According to Gill & Wright, of the /Anhingas/ we now
only have a ‘Darter’ (Africa, Asia, Australia) and an ‘Anhinga’ (N & L
America). As the American bird does occur in Charleston, South
Carolina, I checked to see whether Audubon had painted his watercolour
there, as he did some others, but in fact he painted this species in
New Orleans. The reproduction, background filled in by the engraver,
is at the right. Incidentally he called it a ‘Water Turkey’, possibly
to help sales of his shot birds at the poulterers in the Old Quarter
market. For myself, I’d rather take my fish straight, perhaps a fillet
of Cajun Blackened Redfish, lose the drizzled collard greens.

anhinga thoughts.jpg

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